Rev. William Bills
April 7, 2021
FROM THE PASTOR
I don’t know about you but from where I am sitting this stuff is starting to look old! I was recently thinking back to last Easter and questions from people about whether or not we would meet for worship on Easter in 2020. Of course, similar questions were raised around Christmas time. Now, Easter 2021 has come and gone and not only is Michigan in the national news as a Covid “hot spot” but we were recently featured on the BBC news as well. With the roll out of the vaccines I was hopeful that we might open soon. Now it appears that our Governance Board was prescient in deferring our return to the sanctuary until at least Memorial Day weekend. If we are able to worship together then we will simply resume with our summer schedule (if you can remember back that far). Of course, social distancing and masking will very likely still be required in the future.
In the meantime, we plan to resume evening services in the parking lot for those who are interested. These will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month and will alternate between holy communion and hymn sings. If you come, please remember your lawn chairs and your masks.
I appreciate your patience in the midst of all this. I never dreamed that the pandemic would affect us for so long. I also appreciate the ways that so many people have adapted to things like online worship services, Zoom book studies and Zoom church meetings. The building may be closed but the church is still open. As an example, let me offer gratitude for your generosity with the recent Easter Special offering. We received $5,000.00 in gifts which were forwarded to the Haven House shelter in Lansing and the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Illinois. Beyond that, another $850.00 was given for Easter dinners again this year. (Families in need received gift cards for food purchases rather than basket deliveries again this year.) Through the Good Samaritan Fund I have also been able to help area families and church members with things such as gas, groceries, and medical bills in the amount of $1,000.00. Even though we may feel separated or even isolated we are still able to connect in ways that help others as they struggle along with us during this time.
Please be assured that the Governance Board, the church staff and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee are continually monitoring the Covid-19 numbers in our area. Our concern is always for the health and safety of others. While this does present significant and ever-changing challenges, I thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your continued support.
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.