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Keeping faith on the journey..

I can't wait to be in worship with you this Sunday and leading the service after being on vacation the last 3 Sundays. Yes, I know some of you I won't get to see because you will be worshipping with us virtually BUT the Holy Spirit will connect us!!


So much is happening in the our church, the nation, and the world. I have to admit it is a bit overwhelming. Yet, I trust that God is in the midst of it all. We can not and must not give up on the belief that God is still active and bringing hope and healing. It is easy for us to think that God has abandoned us and the world. That is Satan trying to have us lose faith. And once we lose faith, all is lost.


The next couple of weeks in worship I will be preparing us for all we have before us. We are trying to reach the people around us that have no faith or have lost faith. Worship is our time to restore our faith that might have lagged in the midst of all that is happening around the world and in our lives. We can't help others find faith if we have completely lost ours. And as I wrote already, without faith we are lost.


This Sunday we will be looking at how God has been there in the past even when faithful people started to think God was not. How God is with us even when the journey we are on does not look the way we thought it should or how we wanted it to be. We will look at how God has been preparing us to be ready for the next faithful steps on our journey both in our church and in our individual lives.


Now onto a couple of items:

-The new sound system has been delayed due to COVID (microchip shortage). The company we are working with informed me that the equipment we need is backordered until at least the end of September. At the same time we have been working on some improvements and have been able to do some work on the screen issue. If you join us in the sanctuary you will see the projector we have had hanging from the ceiling (that we have not used in many years) is gone. New wiring was installed that connects the screen to the computer which we are hoping will solve the screen problems we have had!


- COVID numbers are on the rise around the nation and in our area. We try to avoid the politics and arguing of this at Tom's Creek. What is important is that we worship together (whether in person or online)! That means people should feel free to decide they need to stay home and worship with us virtually because the circumstances in their lives warrant that. That means people should feel free to come to church and wear a mask and we do not think any less of them. That means a person should feel free to come to church without a mask and we do not think any less of them. I will take a moment of personal privilege to say that I do encourage anyone who has not got vaccinated to do so. We also know that because of the Delta variant that the vaccine is not as effective as it was originally. That might mean people that have not been wearing masks begin to wear them again. We will now have face-shields available along with masks at the check-in table near the bulletins. My goal is to try to keep us all healthy because we have mighty work to do for Jesus and it will take all of us! Let us journey with one another with kindness and grace.


- We have lots of events planned for September and I will be encouraging everyone to help in any way their body allows.


Attached is the bulletin for this week. We are not passing offering plates so the wooden boxes are available to put your offering in. Of course you can also give online, use text to give (844-406-0358), or mail in the offering to church. In addition, we will be collecting prayers in the prayer box on the table in the parlor. Also, if you have announcement that you need to be shared please write them down and give them to me before the service. This will be an ongoing practice for prayers and announcements to help ensure that they are heard and understood by all (especially those worshipping with us virtually).


If people are not able to join us in the sanctuary for worship we continue to livestream at 8am (it will be available to view after too) services via Facebook ,(https://www.facebook.com/tomscreekumc) or YouTube(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6E7eCwH2ZGYspkSCF0CGw). If you join and follow our Facebook page or subscribe to our YouTube channel, they will let you know when we are live. You can always watch any videos we post later because we leave them up. Also Sunday afternoon a shortened version is available on our website and on YouTube.


God is leading us on a great journey. Let us come together in worship to strengthen our faith and rejuvenate our souls.


Blessings,

PH



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