by: Daryl WIlliams
As we enter into another week of living in a new way of life, I just wanted to let you know that you are on my heart and in my prayers. This time is challenging for all of us. For some, maybe this is not as busy of a season because you are retired, or work is coming to a halt. For others, because of what you do, you find yourself even busier than in more normative times. No matter how busy any of us are the uncertainty of this time can be harrowing. I just want you to know that we are praying for you and that God is still in control. I want to encourage you to rest and find peace in Him.
As many of you, Governor Hogan has issued a stay-at-home order. This means that we as a church will not be able to be open for our food pantry as we had hoped and that we will not be able to accept onsite offerings either. The church building will be closed as of 5 pm today and all operations will become virtual. You can call the church office between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. We will be answering the phones!
I wanted to share a few practical tips for navigating this season:
Read your Bible and pray. Staying connected to God in this season is crucial to making it to the other side. I want to encourage you to do the daily readings in 40 Days with Jesus as well as joining the St. Paul Prayer Call every morning. Staying connected to God through scripture and prayer will remind you that God is the God of this situation, and this too, shall pass. You can join the prayer call every Monday - Friday by dialing in at (605) 313-5874 with access code 390060.
Family matters. If you have kids, they may be bored or afraid, but it’s important to be available for them. That doesn’t just apply to small kids in the house. Remember, your adult children, who may have children as well, need to hear from you too. These are unprecedented times for them as well, and some words from Mom or Dad will do them well as they navigate this season. Remember: apart from God, the family is your most important ministry.
Put others before yourself. There are still people in your community that need you. St. Paul just finished a very successful Warm Nights program, but we are still needed in the community. It could be an emotional need; it could be practical. I hope that during this time, instead of moving in the direction of selfishness, we would move in the direction of selflessness and be sensitive to the needs of those around us. Ask yourself: How can I be a blessing to someone else at this time?
Invite people to church. There are people that are willing now more than ever to try the church. Maybe in the past, they’ve said no, but with all of the chaos in this world, people are open to hearing a message of hope. Inviting people to watch one of our online services from the comfort of their own homes is a low-pressure way to give them a chance to experience St. Paul for the first time. If you need to share this week’s sermon with someone, you can forward them this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnmbffLWHsQ
As we go through this time of not meeting together, we are still joined together as a church family. We also depend on your faithful and generous giving to meet the needs of the ministry. You can give online by clicking this link, or you can mail your tithes and offerings to:
St. Paul United Methodist Church of Oxon Hill
Attention Finance Committee
6634 St. Barnabas Road`
Oxon Hill, MD 20745.
Thank you in advance for your generous support.
Remember, stay inside as much as you can, wash your hands often, and know that we will make it through this. We will get through this together.
You are in our prayers. I Love you all!