I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together!

All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together!
The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.

Do you know that song? It’s actually in our hymnal, number 558. When I sing it, I always picture a bunch of children singing along, using the hand motions where you build a church with your folded hands and open them up to show all the “people” (your fingers) inside. You just tried that didn’t you?

Right now, we are living the truth of that song every day. Since March 15, we have not gathered together in our sanctuary for worship. The building continues to be closed, and will be at least until mid-summer, when we will be prepared to open safely. When we are finally able to gather, we will need to keep in mind safety protocols around hand washing, social distancing, and wearing masks.

But we have not, and we will not, stop being the church. I gathered with church leaders on a Zoom videoconference call last week, and we discussed how we can keep reaching out to our community during this time. Our worship services, thanks to Rob and John and our wonderful musicians including Roy and Jiří, are wonderfully produced and have been watched by many more people than those who attend in person! What else can we be doing, to keep answering the call to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?

Jill and our education team sent out a packet of Sunday school lessons in early April to each of our children and youth. The team will be assembling a Summer Box for each family with activities and ideas to help our younger members know that Christ UMC Cares. Our outreach team, headed by John, is planning on a surprise for church members as well. And as of mid-May, our wonderful administrator Jo and other volunteers including Phil have been ringing our bell every day at noon to proclaim our message to the world that we have joy in Christ!

Our Care Circle volunteers continue to make regular calls to each church member to check in and offer prayer. I give thanks for each one of them!

If you have other ideas about how to keep being the church for one another, our neighborhood, and the world, please let me know. I miss all of you so very much, and am resting in the joy of knowing that in Christ we are always part of one another!

Fear Not
Pastor Dianne

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