Midweek message #37
Good morning and welcome to Midweek Message #37. I find it hard to believe that I am still writing this MM. I started it in order to just keep in touch with you shortly after ‘rona hit and I saw that it was having a greater impact on you and me than I originally thought it would. And I don’t think anyone…ANYONE…ever thought it would still be playing havoc with our lives almost 10 months later. But here we are. Life has changed dramatically in so many ways and I believe I can honestly say it will never be the same. But I’m glad I serve a God who never changes. Who never moves. Who never cracks. Who never panics. Who never bites His fingernails and wonders what He is going to do next. Psalm 27:1 is still true: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
It will be December 2 when you get this and the Christmas season will be into full swing. No doubt some things will change (we anticipate spending Christmas here this year, for example). Our annual Thanksgiving meal was cancelled (wisely) but an ongoing result of the virus is the change to our Christmas plans. We didn’t do the Giving Tree, opting instead to give a monetary donation to Tri Kappa to help them purchase gifts for children in our community. (We received a really nice note of thanks from them). Every year we also offer a Christmas breakfast at the Lion’s Club. This year that has also changed. There will be NO Christmas breakfast this year. However, we can’t forget about our community. So Jo & I would like your help in reaching people in our community. We all know people/families who will be in desperate need for food. We are asking you to pick up one of the lists of canned goods and non-perishables we would like to include in bags and bring that food to the church building before the 20th. We will pack them on the 21st and then distribute them on the 22nd. It will be curbside pickup only. The exception would be if the person is unable to come then the person giving their name would be responsible for delivering it. But here’s the deal: an open invitation will NOT be given to the community. I hate to say it but every Tom, Dick and Harry will be bombarding us if we do. However, if you know someone who needs help, you can give us their name or have them call the church office (812.828.9840) and have them give us your name as a reference. We will then put together a couple bags of food for them. We anticipate “rogue” phone calls for help (as well as every other food bank in the tri-county area) so unless you give us their name or they give us your name as a reference, they will not receive any food. Sadly, we have to do this because every holiday brings out those who want to “use” the system and organizations. There are forms to fill out with name, address and number of people in the family. We will do all we can to help people the best we can. But as you can see, we definitely need your help in making it happen. And here is some further help: if you would prefer not to shop for the food, you can give money to me, Jo or the church and we will do the shopping for you! Can’t beat that can you?
On to another subject: there was some interest shown in the “masked” service idea. I’ve contacted those who did respond. It is not too late to give your thoughts as to whether you would like to attend one. At this point, I plan to offer one this Sunday, the 6th at 2:00. That will be the initial one and then those who attend can discuss in detail the next steps. This will at least be a starter and then we can go from there. I can tell you the service will be simple-Communion; the sermon that I preached that morning; and a discussion time following as we try to figure this out in more detail. There will obviously be no nursery or children’s program. And keep this in mind: anyone is invited to attend! Just remember you must wear a mask.
FYI: Steve and Erin Pendleton have a burden of praying for our country, especially at this time. And I believe we would all agree it is needed. They would like to have a 24 hour prayer vigil on December 12-13 starting at 8:00 a.m. on the 12th and running through 8:00 a.m. on the 13th. You will be asked to sign up for 15 minute time slots and you can sign up for as many as you like. You may sign up as a single, a couple or with some friends. Erin will have a hard copy for you to sign this Sunday and Diana will include a link in the bulletin she will be sending later this week. Steve and Erin will be telling us more from the pulpit during announcement time this Sunday. Any questions you have should be answered at that time.
The Christmas season is upon us. I know for many this will not a fun time. One of the messages of Christmas is the Love, Joy and Peace available to all. Jesus came to bring and to give all of those to us. Of all people, we who are Christ-followers have the most to be excited about. We have embraced the message of those three words and we have the privilege of sharing that message with a world that so desperately needs it. That last statement-“the world so desperately needs it”- is said every year. But I think it is safe to say it most definitely is true this year. After all 2020 has brought us, Jesus brings us something much, much better. Those three words should resound inside us. Let me challenge you to find someone whom you might know needs to hear about those three words. In the meantime, always remember you are loved.