Category: SUMC People
From: Indiana Conference of The United Methodist
Subject: Bishop Trimble Responds to Governor Holcomb’s Address
Dear Beloved Friends and Members of The United Methodist Family,
Thank you for your faithful witness, prayers and patience as we continue to embrace social distancing and spiritual connection with an abundance of caution. In his briefing on Friday, May 1, Governor Holcomb shared his guidance for how Indiana could get “back on track” in the weeks ahead. The Governor took great care to emphasize that his plan represents a “measured” path with five stages to exercise caution and wisdom along the road to what some may consider a new normal.
The Governor has deferred to churches and leaders of churches to use wise judgement on best ways to resume gathering for worship and ministry in the weeks ahead. The state plan lists specific guidance for churches which can be found at www.backontrack.in.gov.
What about our work and worship as United Methodists in Indiana? In a recent communication, as your Bishop I asked United Methodist churches not to plan to meet before May 17.
We believe it is still wise to plan “in person” worship no sooner than June 14.
Further, in concert with the state’s guidance regarding protecting those among us who may be more vulnerable, 65 and older or those with health concerns, all congregations are encouraged to consider gathering plans that are more conservative than the ones allowed in stages 2-5 of the state plan.
The Governor’s guidance specifically recommends that churches continue to conduct as many activities as possible remotely. We are already doing livestream, virtual, drive in, and recorded services. We believe this is good ministry that can be missional, and we celebrate the efforts that have resulted in reaching our members and new people as well.
We do not believe it is prudent or necessary for the United Methodist churches in Indiana to recommend a “one size fits all” protocol for churches that are in different community contexts, have different membership, or have already been planning a process for return. Each setting will require discernment of its own. And, in fact, congregations with clergy who are themselves in the “vulnerable group” are asked to take that into consideration in their planning.
Here is what I know for sure:
We have provided resources here that include a guide to consider as you plan to return to worship and in-building activities. Please communicate with your Conference Superintendent your plans and questions.
We will continue to make recommendations and decisions based first on our General Rules as United Methodists, the first being to “Do no harm.”
We believe no one should feel compelled to attend worship who does not feel safe or that they may be at higher risk for becoming sick.
We know that persons can be asymptomatic and yet have COVID-19 and spread it to others. We know that at this time there is no vaccine or cure. We do know that wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing disciplined social distancing has prevented more people from becoming ill.
The easing of government restrictions should not be equated with assurance that our public gatherings are safe. It is incumbent upon our local churches to make wise choices about how to manage coming back into the church space. We are no longer living in a time where we can go back to the way it used to be. We are now responsible for the well-being of ourselves and those with whom we will come in contact.
As clergy, you have been called to be shepherds—with the laity—of the flocks of Jesus followers with whom He has entrusted you. One shepherd penned Psalm 23, which is rich with honesty and assurance. “Even though I (We) walk through the darkest valley, we fear no evil for God is with us” (Psalm 23:4).
We do not know how long this pandemic will last, but we must not forget the word “through.” We will go through this valley together, with each other and the One who has said to His disciples, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
Please know that the Bishop and Extended Cabinet are praying for all of our pastors and congregations and ministry partners. You will be learning very soon about the ways we have been working diligently to provide a worship resource that can serve as a respite for our clergy on an upcoming Sunday morning.
As Easter People, we share the message of hope and the incarnational love of Jesus Christ with all the people we can, in all the ways we can in the days ahead. Be encouraged as we go through this valley together.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church
The Mountain Mission Truck will be arriving on July 6th. Please mark your calendar.
Pastor Gregg has written a letter to our Congregation, a Very Important Letter. Please read promptly.
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.
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
The Scottsburg Community Choir is seeking new members to participate in this year’s Easter program. The community choir is a group of singers that for the past few years has presented special musical programs for Christmas and Easter, and participation is available to all singers, regardless of Christian church affiliation.
Participants in past years have come from Baptist, First Christian, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. The rehearsals and performances have been sponsored by the Scottsburg United Methodist Church, and have been directed by Mr. William Henderson, former Scottsburg High School Director of Bands and Choirs.
Rehearsals for this year’s Easter program would be held on Wednesday evenings, with the Easter performance on Easter Sunday evening. New people that are interested in singing with the group should call the Methodist Church office to leave their name and phone number. Mr. Henderson will call all interested singers to give additional information and to answer any questions.
There is no cost to participants. The purpose of these special performances is to worship Jesus Christ as Savior through music. For planning purposes, there is a deadline to become a participant.
All interested persons should call the Methodist Church office (812-752-3545) BY FEBRUARY 1.