Dardanelle FUMC Response to the Covid-19 Measures

 

In response to the unprecedented actions being taken by local, state, and national governments, I feel it necessary to also adjust our local church’s response to keep our members safe and assure each of you that the ministry and work of the church will continue despite many of you needing to shelter in place.  With that said, let me encourage and instruct you in several areas of continuing need.

First, our worship and spiritual needs:  I want to encourage you with the knowledge that even when our world seems to be living out the fear and tension we all feel with such upheaval in our society, that despite that panic we feel, God is still in control.  Nothing in our world takes place without God’s steady presence with us and for us.  I encourage each of you to be in prayer time each day, read from God’s word and rest in the assurance that God never abandons us to the whims of the world and its turbulent cycles.

Heeding the advice of medical professionals, we will not meet for communal worship or group activities for the next three Sundays.  This includes our WNL activities.  March 22 and 29 will have no physical gatherings.  April 5, Palm Sunday, we will offer a come and go Holy Communion at the Sanctuary from 10:30 to 12:00.  I will prepare and bless the bread and juice, and will be present to offer personal blessings as you partake and return to your homes. More instructions considering Easter worship will be given as more information becomes available to us.

 In place of communal worship I will place a video message on our website fumcdardanelle.org before each weekend for your spiritual enrichment and encouragement.  In addition, you can pick up a copy of The Upper Room daily devotional guide from our office and we will be sending out devotional material to accompany the video message for your personal study.  Included in the video message will be a pastoral prayer and an offertory message and prayer.

Time and practice tell us that when people miss worship, they also miss their opportunity to give to the support and ministry of our church.  Such giving is not only vital to our daily operations, but also to the outreach we offer to our community and world.  Therefore, the following options are available to support the church:

  • Drop off your gift to the church office (The church office will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
  • Mail your weekly gift to: FUMC, P.O. Box 188, Dardanelle, AR 72834

Second, our ministry to one another and to the world:  I want to encourage you to continue staying in contact with one another and the church using the wide variety of instant messaging, cell phones, email, and other means available to us.  This would include:

  • Using your Sunday school class meeting time to encourage and pray for one another.
  • Using such time to share God’s word with friends and class-mates and reach out to those around you, enriching their lives with fellowship and love.
  • Inform the church of your prayer needs which will be shared if you request it in the video message sent out to all.
  • Continue our ministry to the less fortunate by dropping off your food or outreach donations at the church for continued distribution.
  • Share our website with others you know who may feel isolated during this time of sheltering against virus transmission.

Last, and importantly know that I will be praying for you.  If you or someone you know is facing a medical or personal crisis please call me at (479) 699-4683.  I will make myself available as needed to help them.  Please know that you can continue to contact our office during our regular hours and we will be available to assist you with your needs.

I want to encourage each of you to also be in prayer for our church and community.  This crisis also opens up the opportunity to speak peace into a world caught up in crisis and turmoil.  Many who often do not think about God from day-to-day will be presented with some moments where they may be open to a message of hope, and the knowledge that a Savior has been made available to those who have been lost in the darkness of fear.  Now is the perfect time to offer them your personal witness and an introduction to Jesus.  Just know that God can use even situations we see as a crisis and turn them into good.

May God bless and strengthen each of you and fill you with the Spirit’s dynamic power to bless and speak peace in our community.

 

                                                With heartfelt compassion, Bro. Jim