The irony, or maybe appropriateness, of the timing of my sermon titled Giving It Up: Giving Up Expectations, is not lost on me. I think we all had tons of expectations at that point. Expectations about our daily lives, our Spring Break plans, our ability to move about where and when we want, and just how much toilet paper we need to have on hand. 😊
And yet, we now find ourselves in this strange place of social distancing and “stay home, stay safe” without a clear end in sight. That is not to say or speculate that there is no end, just that even the best experts around the world are still working diligently to help find the answers. What is clear so far is that our worship services during Holy Week, including Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, will not be in-person as many of us, myself included, had hoped for. We will still be using our online worship for those days, and I am continuing to meet (virtually) with the Worship Committee to see just what those high holy days will look like for us.
I also want to ask that each and every person prayerfully consider continuing making their weekly tithes to the church during our time apart. There are still costs that accrue even in the absence of in-person worship that are vital to the ministry and life of the church. Many people have already made use of electronic giving setting up an automatic payment, and I thank you for that commitment. Others are mailing their tithes in, or dropping them off, and again, I am truly thankful. Many banks will also now allow you to send payments directly from your account through the mail via their online banking system. I thank everyone for their faithful giving and just ask that you again to prayerfully consider continuing this during these times.
I want to leave you all with a question, one that I hope will turn your thoughts to happier days and a bright future. I want you to ask yourself, “When this is all over when we get to gather again once more, what should that time look like?” What things would you like to see? Should we have food? (I know, I know, we are Methodist, of course, there will be food). But in what ways would you like to see us celebrate that return to gathering in-person. Think on it, and please feel free to share with me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or any of the other members of the church leadership. We will have some time to plan, so we can dream about it and do something wonderful.