Middlesex United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Making Disciples - Transforming the World

Message from Pastor Rachel

March 28, 2020

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4

MUMC Family,

As I reflect on the past two weeks and the uncertainty we have faced thus far, I am filled with gratitude. I am thankful for the ways you have remained prayerful, hopeful, and committed disciples of Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness to Christ and MUMC through worshiping and connecting online, calling one another on the phone and writing cards, praying for and with one another, and serving one another as you are able. You all have shown up to be the church even when the church has left the building. What an incredible witness!

Last night we received word from Bishop Park imploring all churches within our Susquehanna Conference to continue to suspend all gatherings for worship and other non-essential activities until future notice. For MUMC this means our church building will not be open, and all worship and ministries will continue online for the foreseeable future. Along with the leadership of our conference we are monitoring the directives of the Governor, the PA Department of Health, and the CDC. The COVID-19 situation is still escalating and so we will remain socially distanced and follow preventative practices until the current limitations change. We will keep you updated weekly.

Our staff is continuing to create ways for us to worship, connect, and care for one another while we are not physically together. Through our Facebook page, we will continue to worship live on Sunday mornings at 10:30am, post daily worship videos and reflections, read bedtime stories at 7:30pm, and more. Separate Facebook pages have been created by our children and youth ministries respectively, and our Facebook group, “Sunday’s Coming at MUMC,” will remain a place to dig deeper into scripture together. All of this is accessible with or without a Facebook account. In addition, weekly email announcements and updates will be sent on Saturday evenings. We have created a phone team committed to checking in on every family at MUMC (as long as we have a phone number for them), as well as people who are writing cards to those who do not have internet access, and people willing to pick up groceries or other items for those who are unable to leave their home. Please contact our church office if you would like to be added to a communication list or help us care for one another during this time.

Bishop Park recently reminded us of how we can still practice John Wesley’s three simple rules during this time of social distancing. As we stay home as much as possible in order to flatten the curve, we are doing no harm. In addition, we are doing good because more lives will be saved. We can also do good during this time by checking in on one another, supporting places like Community CARES who are in desperate need of food and meals while other organizations in the city are closed, and continuing to support MUMC’s mission and ministry commitments through mailing in your regular contribution or giving online as you are able. Lastly, as we socially distance we are staying in love with God if we take this opportunity to grow closer to God through prayer and study.

Friends, you are not alone. While our staff primarily works remotely, our mail will be picked up and phone messages will be checked daily. Contact our church office if you would like to pray or talk with Pastor Jay or I, or if you need food or supplies during this time. I continue to hold each one of you in prayer: as you feel isolated at home and disconnected, as you deal with the stress of homeschooling your children and figuring out this new normal, as you face anxiety with the loss of your job and wonder how you will manage your bills, as you fear for the future and your own health or the health of those you love, and as you continue to go to work in hospitals, urgent care centers, emergency services departments, and more, risking your own health for the health of all. Please join me in prayer and remember: we do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future! God is faithful! I love you and cannot wait until we are physically in community again.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rachel