Part of the Family Update: March 2020

Hello members of God’s Beloved Family!

I sure do miss all of you as I’m sure you are missing each other!  

How different our patterns of life have become. Routines are not so routine. “We’ve always done it this way,” no longer applies to just about everything – from handwashing to spontaneous trips to the store, from gatherings of all types and sizes to everyday greetings. All of these practices have moved from being second nature to mindfully present. We are highly aware of our surroundings – what we touch and how close others are. We seek updates from medical professionals to gain a sense of what to prepare for and how to proceed. And as people of faith, we look for God’s Presence at work in the midst of this crisis. (Fred Rogers can’t be quoted enough, “… look for the helpers.”) 

The rapid spread of the coronavirus – COVID 19 – has forced us to intentionally physically distance ourselves one from another. Which is difficult because humans are, by nature/by creation, physical AND social beings.  It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We are being told to keep “a safe distance” and avoid “non-essential” contact to help prevent the spread of the virus. When after worship hugs and handshakes are missing we need to intentionally seek other healthy forms of physical touch. One way to do that is to be mindful of how your body interacts with the world around you. Be fully present as you:

    pat your pet; walk outside; enjoy the warmth of the Spring sun upon you; wear snuggly clothes;

    sip a cup of tea/coffee and feel its warmth in your hands and as it slowly works its way down…

Remember, too, in Jesus’ day physical distancing was used as a way to stop the spread of disease – and to marginalizing and disenfranchising large segments of the population, but that’s another sermon ☺.  We can learn a lot from how Jesus interacted with and advocated for the “unclean” and the “outcast”. Time and again Jesus spoke directly to those isolated from the community. (phone calls, cards, letters)

He addressed them as part of God’s family. (seeing people as people and not statistics /use their name) He expressed His concern for them (looking out for our neighbor and thinking of the greater good) and prayed for their well-being and wholeness (Praying). He advocated for them and kept their needs ever before those who governed. (naming injustice for what it is and calling our lawmakers) 

He worked to reconnect people to people, even when difficulties, laws and disease required they stay physically separated. (volunteering when/if possible)

So, let’s be like Jesus and build upon our social connections in this time of physically distancing. 

Here are some of the old ways and new ways I’m trying to socially connect with all of you:

  • Phone Communities of 4-5 people. Check-in on your Phone Neighbors
  • Mid-Day Prayers (Sext) on FaceBook Live  Monday – Friday (sometimes Saturday) @ 12:30 pm Join Facebook and LIKE People’s United Methodist Church’s page.
  • Thursday’s Mid-Day Prayers will be A Service of Communion or Love Feast
  • Part of the Family Update which will include a message or a poem or prayer as well as important information from Maine’s CDC as it pertains to Churches and In-Person worship (This will be sent via the Newsletter email list and Postal Mail for those not connected to the internet)
  • PUMCST’s Drive-In Worship on Sundays @ 9:00 am Come as you are and Stay in your car!
    Bring your coffee/tea, your snack/breakfast Bring a Bell to ring! (we can help you find one)
    I hope to figure out how to Live-Stream or ZOOM our worship services, too.
  • PUMCST’s Palm Sunday Drive-In Worship on Sunday, April 5th  @ 9:00 am
    • Bring Your Own Branch Palm Sunday Parade
      We’ll start at the entrance to Owls Head Transportation Museum and drive to the church
    • In-Car Communion/Love Feast
      Bring your own Bread and your own Juice – I’ll say the consecrate and we’ll receive together
  • Mid-Coast Community Going on a Bear Hunt Bear Hunt!
    Place a stuffed bear (or any stuffed animal) in your front window for Kids to look forI have bears I my office windows as well as the large bear in the window of the side entrance to the sanctuary
  • Parade of Promise
    Decorate your cars and drive pass the local long-term care facilities and rehabs to show our love and support and to say we remember you and are here for you

Other Ideas:

  • Wednesday Evening Prayers (Compline 9 am) we’ll use one of the ancient Service of the Hours
  • Zoom Appetizer Check-In
    Let’s pick a day and meet around 5:30 pm via Zoom Meeting. 
    Have your own appetizer and what-have-you and we’ll chat for an hour

Let’s Intentionally find ways to be socially together as we wait to be together physically. 

What a day of celebration that will be!

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Chellie


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