Rev. William Bills
“Thank You! … You’re the Best Congregation Ever!”
November 18, 2020
FROM THE PASTOR
I would like to thank everyone for their support of our fall financial campaign, “Unprecedented Times, Unprecedented Challenges.” Many people returned their estimate of giving cards to the church in a very timely manner. The results are very encouraging. In this time of pandemic and economic uncertainty, your financial commitment is something we celebrate!
I would like to remind everyone that during these unprecedented times, the church is not closed. It is true that you need to call ahead to get in the door. It is true that we have only been able to hold several parking lot services this summer and fall. It is true we have only held two funerals and two Sunday morning services. But we are not really closed. Our routine activities have been curtailed but we continue to be an active congregation.
Our staff are all still employed and splitting time between work at home and on site. We regularly record music and other elements of the worship service. Many staff and volunteers are involved in the work, often from home. Online worship attendance has been very good. We still hold some meetings on site and many others online. Over thirty people participated in an online book group on “White Fragility” this fall. We are not able to worship in the sanctuary but we are finding new ways to connect and serve.
Because we could not distribute Easter and Thanksgiving dinners to area families this year, 100 Meijer gift cards were mailed or delivered to families for their holiday meals. Our “Good Samaritan” fund has contributed over $5,000.00 to members and friends in the local area. Over $17,000.00 has been given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Midwest Distribution Center for flood, hurricane and wildfire relief. The youth group raised $2,300.00 for Midland flood relief with their “Flocks for Floods” project in the summer. $4,000.00 has been given to Justice for Our Neighbors Michigan for legal aid for immigrants. $4,000.00 worth of meals and snacks were provided for hospital staff on the front lines of the pandemic. $2,200.00 went to jail ministry in Mason and we honored our $2,500.00 commitment to our missionaries in Zimbabwe. Many of you helped the United Methodist Women meet their goal for mission giving when their fund raising events were canceled. We have not been together in person very much but we continue to make a difference in the lives of many people. Your generosity is a great blessing to many!
If you didn’t receive an estimate of giving card for 2021 and would like one, please call me. If you still have one you can return it any time. The cards help us plan the 2021 budget. If your circumstances change during the year you can adjust your commitment with a phone call. Thank you for being in mission and ministry even though we can’t worship together. You are the best congregation ever!
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.