We have entered a new season in the church calendar and I am going to be preaching and leading a new sermon series called "God is Holding Your Life". The format of the service will be a little different. I am hoping this is a season where we can be reminded that God is in each of our lives and that God cares about each and every one of us. It is tempting to preach about what happened this week and what happened in the capital, this unrest will continue for some time in our nation. Yet, I feel we need a place to break from all of it and rest with God. I believe at this time we need a time of worship that soothes and restores each of our souls. I hope this series is one that will allow each of us to do that. Please know I am not ignorant to all that is going on in the world, and there is a time and place to call out words and actions that are not ok and not part of the way of Jesus. Yet, we as a nation, and we as people, are on edge and I hope and pray to create a worship time that will allow us to have a respite from the world. Please invite friends and others to join us because I think many need to have their souls soothed in this time. I worry that between COVID and all the other unrest many of us are at our breaking points, and some of us don't even realize it. We can not easily control what happens elsewhere but we can make sure our souls stay connected to God and that we are centered on God's good word for each of our lives. I hope and pray we might be able to do that in our time of worship together.
During our worship time together you will be given time to write down prayers and to place them into or onto something. I have attached a pair of hands, and you could put your prayers on these hands or each week you could write your prayers on the palms of these hands. This is a way for us to remember that God holds our prayers and that our prayers are precious to God.
The bulletin is attached but the words to most songs are no longer in the bulletin. The songs that are meant for us to sing will have the words on the screen. What is important is not whether we sing along but whether we allow the message of them to wash over us, if we truly enter into worship, and let God restore us with the music that is part of the service. I know that the structure of the services until Lent might feel a little weird to us at first but I think it will allow our souls to be restored.
We are continuing to offer many ways to worship. The downstairs Fellowship Hall is available to worship and there is plenty of room for all who come to have safe space between others. I know those that have come have enjoyed being able to be in community with others and that their souls needed that. At this time we are still not in the sanctuary because it cannot be done safely and at the same time me be able to fully connect with the many who still wish to worship from home. Our Fellowship Hall worship space with altar allows people to come together in a space where everyone is masked and all can easily maintain safe distance. To give you an idea of numbers, we have had between 10-15 people worshipping in Fellowship Hall and can safely accommodate double that (if not more). So if your soul needs to be with others for a time we offer this but know that for now it is safer to stay at home and utilize the many other ways we offer for you to worship together.
We will start the Facebook Livestream at @8:50am and you will see message on the screen and hear music playing. This is the best option if you want to interact with others online. Feel free to chat to each other before and during the service. You can put prayer requests in the chat. This is great way to be able to interact with others if you watch it live with others in your church family who are staying home but want to worship as part of an online community. It will continue to be there to watch later and feel free to share or create watch parties in order to share it with others.
You can catch this livestream on our Toms Creek UMC channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6E7eCwH2ZGYspkSCF0CGw/featured. We will start the YouTube Livestream at 8:50 am and you will see announcements scroll and hear music playing. This format is best if you are watching on a television or large screen with lots of people gathered around. You can have it fill the whole screen and just watch it without any distractions. There is a way to chat on YouTube but it normally has a lot less people and is normally a lot less chatty than the our Facebook livestream. If you subscribe to our channel it will let you know when we go live in future weeks. Later in the day another shorter version of the service is posted but for this coming series I recommend taking in the entire worship experience.
You can go to our website here https://www.tomscreekumc.com/service-videosand by Monday morning there should be a version of our service. Sometimes the whole service is there instead of the shortened version depending on different factors.
You can also use a phone to listen to our service by calling 857-799-9465 from any phone starting at 8:50 am. This will only have sound coming through and you will not be able to see anything that is occurring. If you would like we can we make a DVD of the service for you to watch just let the church office or Pastor Heath know.
you can go to our website and hit the donate button on our webpage
you can mail your offering to:
Tom's Creek United Methodist Church
10926 Simmons Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
If you would like your giving books, devotionals, or anything else from church please reach out to me or the church office and we will make sure you get what you need. Please stay safe and please allow God to restore peace to your souls.