March 20, 2020
It’s a strange time, isn’t it? I’ve been trying to think if there have been other times like this during my lifetime and can’t really think of anything quite like these times of staying away from others, staying in, not going to restaurants or movies. I find I’m so grateful for ways we can stay connected now that weren’t available in times past – phone, email, texts, livestream, social media. This time gives us a chance to use these tools wisely and well in order to be informed and stay connected. With so much uncertain right now, I thought I’d share with you what I know about things at St. Mark’s and then offer you a prayer at the end of this message.
- For now, our church office will be open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to noon. If you need something or a pastor after those hours, leave a message as we’re checking messages as often as possible. If you have an emergency, leave a message on the emergency line through the office (520-297-2062) as a pastor is contacted immediately.
- Every evening at 7:00 p.m. you can join us for Who’s With Me Tonight? on Facebook live. Go to St. Mark’s Facebook page to join this. Along with me, our other pastors and Kim Ogle are taking turns leading this lighthearted, uplifting and informative 5-10 minute time. Include your children and grandchildren in the viewing.
- On our website (umcstmarks.org) under the “Home” tab, you’ll find a LATEST UPDATE page. This will be updated regularly to give information and reflect any changes. On this page you can also view the videos from the previous night’s Who’s With Me Tonight?
- On Sundays at 9:45 a.m., you can join us for livestream worship at umcstmarks.org. Click on LIVE WORSHIP. This will be a regular worship service with music, singing, Scripture, message, children’s time, prayers, and offering. This Sunday, March 22, we’re continuing our Lent series Cry of Our Hearts with talking about pairs of words related to our faith. This week’s theme is Greed and Contentment. We’ll be doing this livestream only worship at least through March 29 and will keep you updated if that is extended. If you have trouble with the livestream, immediately email email@example.com and someone will work to help you.
- All of our other classes and activities are cancelled or postponed.
Please be sure to reach out to others via phone, email, or texts during this time. Be particularly mindful of those who don’t have computers or internet and call them. We need your help with this.
It is a strange, unsettling and uncertain time. On our first segment of Who’s With Me Tonight? on March 18, I used Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Remembering that and praying that is so important for me right now. I find myself saying it several times a day, both in my heart and out loud.
Here’s a short prayer: Keep us grateful, O God, even in these uncertain times. We are grateful for your love and presence, for the kindness of others and the willingness of staff and leaders to help us through this time. Keep people well. Heal those who are sick. Give us your strength and courage, and fill us with joy and peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.