Pastoral Letter Re: Worship & COVID-19 Response

A PASTORAL LETTER RE: WORSHIP & COVID-19 RESPONSE

Dear Scottsburg United Methodist Church members and friends,

Regarding our community and nation’s response to the coronavirus, here in Scottsburg, there are many closures for the foreseeable future and the local schools have been shut down. With all these responses and the health of the most vulnerable among us in mind, the Scottsburg United Methodist Church will not hold corporate worship for Sunday.

Worship is suspended for the next four Sundays. Please help get the word out. The church office will remain open during these weeks to help facilitate communication; also, during this time, we will be hyper vigilant about sanitizing our facility.

The primary challenge before us is to figure out what it means to be the church for/in this time. While this question is always before us, this moment is extra-ordinary. I will be in contact with our Church Leadership to continue the conversation of how we move through these unprecedented times together as a community of faith. I will be posting updates on our Facebook page throughout the upcoming weeks concerning worship opportunities.

I will continue to make myself available, but for the sake of the community and the health of my family, I will not be making in-person visits except in absolute emergency situations. Please do not hesitate to call, email, or text. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. I will do my best to keep you updated as this situation continues to evolve. Remember this is temporary.                                                                                      

 Our church continues to serve our congregation and community. Continue to be a part of the ministry – the need for the support you give in our area and around the world continues despite the pandemic. Watch your email for opportunities to serve individually or in smaller groups.

Please continue your financial support of the work of the church. Many of you have set up your tithes and offerings to be automatically given. If you haven’t, you can, or you can mail a check to the church at Scottsburg United Methodist Church, Attn: Finance, 615 S. Honeyrun Parkway Scottsburg, IN 47170.

Office Hours 7am -Noon Monday-Thursday.

Also, here are some links to churches with live-stream worship.

Indianapolis St. Lukes UMC (https://www.stlukesumc.com/worship/watch-live)  and Adam Hamilton’s church  ( https://cor.org/worship-online).

Here is the worship and liturgy for this Sunday.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fourth Sunday in Lent                                                    

Call to Worship:

L: We are blind to many things.
P: Lord, cure the blindness of our hearts.
L: The light of God shines for us today.
P: Lord, pour that light on us.
L: Come, worship God who forgives and heals your blindness.
P: Open our eyes, O Lord, that we might see opportunities to serve you. AMEN.

HYMN  –  “Open My Eyes, That I May See ”      UMH 454

Prayer of CONFESSION & PARDON      

In Unison:  Healing God, we have languished in our blindness. We have chosen to hide in darkness in order to avoid reaching out and risking acceptance. We are afraid of the light, and yet we crave it. In your light, there is healing and hope, restoration and transformation. Forgive our lack of faith and our fearfulness, O Lord. Give us courage to reach out to the light and accept its healing rays. May our lives be transformed by your mercy, for we pray this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance   Even though you have lived in darkness, God’s light is being poured out for you. Accept the light and love that is freely offered, and be transformed by its healing mercies. Through the saving love of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and blessed! Amen.

Hymn – “He Touched Me ”                   UMH 367 

 CONCERNS AND PRAYERS, The peace of Christ

Worship In Thanksgiving                                                          Offertory                                                             *Doxology #95

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE         John 9:1-41

                                                                                                                                                                                                 L: This is the Word of the Lord.                                                       C: THANKS BE TO GOD!           

SPECIAL HYMN                 “Gloria Patri”                        UMH   70

Sermon      Eyes of Grace and Eyes of Love

Closing Hymn        “Amazing Grace”                            UMH 378

 Taking the Light of Christ into the World

 Benediction:  Lord, give us such sight, that we may see the many ways of serving you by helping others. Help us bring sight to others who dwell in deep darkness. AMEN.

Postlude   “Shalom to You” UMH #666 

Shalom, Pastor Greg