Updates and a Prayer

In each Friday’s weekly email I will give you a brief update about COVID-19 and our church. Here is today’s update:

  • As he did the week before, our Desert Southwest Conference Bishop, Bob Hoshibata, on Wednesday, April 29, directed all United Methodist Churches to remain closed to in-person gatherings of any type. Here is a short excerpt from his letter:  “Having prayerfully considered the statistics that show that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the states of Nevada and Arizona continue to rise there are no changes to the instructions given last week. The churches of the Desert Southwest Conference will continue the suspension of in-person worship and gatherings. We must continue to engage in ministry in faith to care for our people, especially the most vulnerable among us, doing our best to protect their safety and health.”
  • Worship at St. Mark’s will continue to be prerecorded and offered at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays on the website (umcstmarks.org/live-worship), YouTube (UMC St Marks Oro Valley) and Facebook (StMarksTucson) Many thanks go to the large team of people working to honor God by putting that worship together. We are making plans to offer prerecorded worship at least through May, 2020.
  • A team of leaders is meeting weekly to hear updates and make plans for a gradual reopening of our church, when the time is right. We expect the first steps in reopening will be for the pastors to record worship in the Sanctuary rather than at home, and for small musical groups to gather in the Sanctuary to record for worship. This may happen before the end of May, but we’re not sure about that right now. A first step may also be for the office to reopen on a limited basis. We will keep you posted on this. Again, our leaders are meeting regularly and faithfully to gather the best information and make plans for our future.
  • Please keep giving to your church. You can give online (umcstmarks.org/giving), or by mail (St. Mark’s UMC, 1431 W. Magee Rd., Tucson, 85704). While we have done okay so far financially, we expect that April expenses will exceed income. In next week’s update I’ll give you more info on our financial status.

A regularly-scheduled Messenger will go out on May 6, so watch for all the news and updates in that.

This Sunday, May 3, we continue our series on “Walk…With Christ” by talking about interruptions in our lives that call us to serve God in new ways. As I continue to say, even in these strange and uncertain times, I am confident that God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God!

A short prayer:  Help us walk faithfully with you during all our days, O God. Keep us focused on you and your love for us and your call to live that love in the world. Give us patience. Give us a calm heart and steady endurance, following you each day of our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Blessings, Sharon