Church Updates

COVID-19 Church Updates

(Thursday, March 26, 2020 – 12:37 pm)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

“Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 6:23)

Yes, peace and love and faith to all of you – the community of John Wesley United Methodist Church! As we continue to try to stay connected and in touch with each other, I want to share a few updates with you.

⦁ I am filled with joy that so many of you were willing to sign up for our Prayer Vigil. The response has been so tremendous that we will be able to make it a 48 hour Prayer Vigil if only 7 more people sign up. The link to sign up is: Our Youth Group has taken an hour, and committed to praying, so I am grateful they also understand the need for and power of prayer. For those who want to come to the chapel, the front door closest to the chapel will be open, and we will have sanitizer, wipes and gloves available for you. Prayer guides will also be on a table as you enter. For those praying at home, click here to read the guide, it has thoughts and tips and some specific things to pray for. I truly feel that you will find the time you spend with God to be very meaningful. And if you were not able to sign up, I encourage you to pause over the next couple of days and spend a few minutes praying for our country, our world and for each other.

⦁ As I mentioned last Sunday, one of the most important things that feed our soul is Holy Communion. And while it is preferable that we are all together as a Body of Christ to take this Sacrament, this is an unusual time, and one in which I believe we need to find creative ways to keep spiritually nourished. I would like for us to be able to share in Communion this Sunday, March 29th during the live stream of the 10:30 am service. I have located individually wrapped communion elements which contain a small wafer and a vial of grape juice. I will be in the church parking lot this Saturday, March 28th between 10:00 to 11:00 am, and you can drive up and I will pass you the elements. I will have on gloves, and will pass them through the passenger side window and drop them into the seat or into your hand. I will also have a table outside, you can park and pick them up yourself if you prefer. In addition, they will be available in the narthex today and tomorrow until 4:30 pm, and you are welcome to stop by and pick them up. Please keep them unwrapped until Sunday morning, when I will go through the liturgy, and direct us as we take Communion together in our new virtual existence.

⦁ One of the ways John Wesley is helping the community during this time is by participating in the Falmouth School Kid’s Meal program, and delivering food to kids in need the past two weeks. Thank you to Karyn and Larry Briggs and Amy and Russ Brown who dropped off 11 bags to homes provided to us by the school. We will continue to help, as the school system is committed to this program for foreseeable future.

⦁ There are those in our church family and friends in need of prayer. In order to maintain their privacy, we will not be posting their names on our website. You however can reference the email that was sent out in order to be praying for them.

⦁ Also, just a reminder that our church still has expenses and bills to pay, so please consider putting your pledge envelope in the mail or drop it off at the church. You can also give online by clicking here.

Again, please know I hold you all in prayer, and I am in the office and willing to meet with you (at a distance!) or speak with you on the phone any time.

Take care of yourselves, be healthy, and God bless you,
Pastor Rebecca

(Monday, March 23, 2020 – 4:40 pm)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Starting this Friday, March 27th at 12:00 am, our church will be conducting an-going Prayer Vigil. We will have members from our church praying for 1 hour around the clock. Anyone is welcome to participate whether it be from home, or in our chapel. This is your individual decision.

The reason I am opening the chapel for this vigil is because some feel strongly about wanting to be in God’s house during this time of crisis. I know Governor Baker issued a “stay at home advisory,” (not a “shelter-in-place order”) through April 7th. However, he also said: “We will always allow all grocery stores, pharmacies, and other types of businesses that provide essential goods and services to Massachusetts residents to continue to operate.” Some of the other businesses the Governor listed as “essential” were package stores and medical marijuana stores.

It is my firm belief that the church provides an essential service. Prayer and worship are vital to our spiritual health and well-being, as well as the nation’s. Keep in mind that if you do come to the church to pray, you will be alone so you will meet all the social distancing criteria. Furthermore, we will have wipes and hand sanitizer available.

The bottom line is that I want us to remain in prayer. Max Lucado says, “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” So join us in praying and sign up today by clicking here.

Pastor Rebecca

(Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 1:00 pm)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

“You who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I trust him.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Yes, friends, in these times of uncertainty, where we hear about dangers, risks, threats and more, we must remember that our refuge and place of safety is found in our trust in Almighty God. While we must be attentive to the voices that give us sage advice on what we should do to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, we must not listen to the voices that instill fear and panic. We must not listen to the voices which cause us anxious moments and sleepless nights. We must listen to the voice of God who says, “I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

As we move forward, I will continue to update you and share any news that affects our beloved church family:

⦁  Gov. Baker has prohibited gatherings of over 25 people through April 5th. This means that for the next three Sundays – March 22nd, 29th and April 5th, we will cancel both the 8:30 and 10:30 am services at the church, unless he lifts the ban. However, we will live stream our 10:30 service on our website at 10:30 am Sunday mornings. You can worship with us live by clicking here. If you can’t livestream on Sunday mornings, you can visit our website later and view the service by going to the “Watch Past Services.”

 ⦁ You can also watch the service on FCTV Channel 13 on Monday at 4:00 pm, Wednesday at 6:00 pm and Sunday at 10:00 am (previous Sunday service)

⦁ Our Lenten Study, “Entering the Passion of Jesus,” will resume when we are able to gather together again. We will resume with Chapter 3.

⦁ Please pray for those affected by the coronavirus, our health care workers, first responders and decision makers. Pray that we would all remain calm and patient during this difficult time.

⦁ For now, the church remains open for you to use the chapel or sanctuary for prayer and meditation. We have sanitizer bottles in the narthex and sanctuary for you to use.

⦁ Our church still has expenses and bills to pay, so please consider putting your pledge envelope in the mail or drop it off at the church. If you are comfortable, you can conveniently give online. Click here to get started.

⦁ I know that some of you, particularly our elderly folk, may wish for help in picking up something at the grocery or pharmacy, or even need a meal. We have a group of people willing to help, so if you are in need, please call me at 508-548-3050 and we will work with you.

And finally, I know we all have some extra time on our hands. Events have been cancelled, restaurants are closed, doctor’s appointments are postponed and more. So, in this season of Lent, when we are encouraged to set aside time to take stock of our lives, and examine ourselves, I encourage you to do just that. Unplug from the news for an hour or so, and do something that nourishes your soul. Spend some time with God – pick up your Bible, pray, read a religious book (we have several in the library if you want to come borrow one.) Take a walk and enjoy nature. Clean out something in your home and rid yourself of clutter and needless items. Talk to a friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time. Consider an area of your life you’d like to work on, and put together a plan. Do something you’ve been putting off. As St. Paul reminds us: “Be careful how you live, not as unwise people, but as wise, making the most of your time in these evil days.”

Please know I hold you all in prayer and anticipate the time when we can meet together again. Until then, I am in the office and willing to meet with you (at a distance!) or speak with you on the phone any time.

Take care of yourselves, be healthy, and God bless you,
Pastor Rebecca

(Saturday, March 14, 2020 – 12:17 pm)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Psalm 46:1-3: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.’

And, I might add, “though a viral pandemic sparks anxiety and alarm.”

Friends, I know that there are fears and worries over the outbreak of coronavirus, however, I would ask us to pause – breathe in and breathe out, and DO NOT PANIC! We are not at that stage yet. Currently, thankfully, there are no coronavirus cases on Cape Cod, the South Shore or the Islands. And we must remember that, as Christians, we are governed by faith, not fear. Our response should be to act with wisdom, prudence and awareness. God has told us, “Have I not commanded you – be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” And Jesus said, “My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

With that being said, after prayerfully considering guidance from health officials, state government and our New England Conference, I have decided to cancel worship services at the church tomorrow, and all activities scheduled for this week.

However, we will have a short, simple service that will be live-streamed tomorrow at 10:30 am. There will be music, prayers, scripture and a short meditation. I will address some of our concerns and fears during this service. You can watch by clicking here.

We will not have the Afternoon Tea, Men’s Breakfast, Sunday or Tuesday Lenten Studies, Soup for the Soul or Family Game Night. These will all be rescheduled at a later date.

This has been a difficult decision, as I know we all cherish our time and fellowship together. But I believe it is the prudent and wise thing to do, since loving each other means we want everyone to be safe and healthy.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions on future events. But for now, let us echo the Psalmist: “When anxiety was great within me, your comfort brought me joy.”

Pastor Rebecca