Info, Thoughts, and Prayer

For this week’s message I’d like to share a couple of updates, a few thoughts about our current sermon series, and a short prayer.

First, on Wednesday, May 13, our Bishop, Robert Hoshibata reiterated that our United Methodist churches in the Desert Southwest Conference need to remain closed for in-person gatherings as we have not yet reached the point where the number of new COVID-19 cases has begun to decline in our area. So, we will continue with recorded worship at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays, Who’s With Me Tonight? at 7:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday, zoom gatherings for classes, committee meetings and prayer groups, on-line activities for children and youth, and drop-off times for items for the ICS food bank.

Also, a team of church leaders that includes pastors, lay leaders, staff team leaders and some committee chairs has been meeting regularly and has developed a summary document that is a Plan for Reopening St. Mark’s. That document will be presented to our Covenant Council next week, and then in the next Messenger I’ll share the concepts in it with all of you. The main idea is that there will be a gradual reopening that works to insure the health and safety of all our people.

Be sure you complete the congregational survey (link below) by May 24 that will help guide our leaders in our reopening plans.

Now, a few thoughts about our current sermon series. We’ve been talking about Walk…with Christ.  This week I’ve thought a lot again about stories – stories from Scripture and from my own journey that have shaped my life. Some of the most powerful stories for me come from people who share how God has brought them through struggles and pain to places of hope and new life. How has God done that for you? How is God doing that even now, strengthening your faith by bringing you hope and healing? Sometimes that hope and healing comes through other people – they become part of our faith stories. The fifth essential practice of walking with Christ is sharing, sharing our lives and our stories of faith with others. This helps us grow and helps others too. That will be our focus this Sunday, May 17, 2020.

A prayer:  Faithful God, you have brought us through so many things in our lives. Bring us through now, through this current pandemic, through our anxieties and irritations, through our worries about viruses and reopenings. Give us your guidance and help us to follow that with strength and faithfulness to you. Strengthen all of us so that we can better follow you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings, Sharon