As this pandemic has lingered on affecting our time of worship and gathering as a community we can get frustrated. As many of us try to find a place where we can go to vaccinated and find out we have to wait it can draining. We look around and we can be so overwhelmed with everything happening that we start to question where is God in all of this. We come together this Sunday to proclaim that we will wait, that we will have hope, and we will stay in love with God. We all have moments where we are sick of waiting, we have started to give up hope, and we get frustrated with the way God is at work (or appears to not be at work). This Sunday in worship we will commit to waiting, to continue to hope, and to continue to love Jesus. We sometimes need to recommit ourselves to this when the world looks like it is out of control and we are overwhelmed. This Sunday we will also have a communion love feast. I call it a communion love feast because true communion is to be done in worship with people gathered together and receiving the blessed elements from the pastor. We can't do that but we can have a love feast where you bring a food item and beverage for us to gather together wherever we are and are reminded that God calls us to the table of grace and love. We can take a moment where we collectively partake in these elements and are reminded that we are connected to one another through God's grace and we will one day be gathered at God's heavenly table. But until then we wait, we hope, we stay in love with God.
Last week we let people know that we set up a way for people to give via text. All you do is text 844-406-0358 and put a dollar amount in the text. The first time it will have you set it up and then any time you want you put an amount into the text to the same number and your donation will go through to the church! With all we are doing we are also trying to make sure people have lots of ways to donate to support the ministries of Tom's Creek.
A reminder that we offer many ways to worship. We have been blessed with a lot less technical difficulties than other churches but there can always be problems with internet and other things. If you are having issues with the video feed on Facebook or YouTube, normally if you wait for it to buffer the problem will resolve itself. If the video does not come back or has issues you can come back later and we leave the videos up to watch later. We have invested a great deal so that the issue may not be on our side but with your internet provider. Also, we could send out even higher quality video BUT that would mean that those with slower internet would have more problems with the worship video playing. Since we have many people in more rural areas with slower internet we have chosen to send out the livestream at a lower rate to help those who are in those areas.
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 12-17 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-videos and 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 text 844-406-0358 with an amount as the text. It will set up to give over text and from then on you just put in the amount and your donation to the church will go right through
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
AND WE HAVE SOME AMAZING MUSIC PLANNED! Make sure to invite friends, families, neighbors. They can be local or they can be far away. If you know they don't have a church home, let them know they can come journey with us in worship!