Church Updates

COVID-19 Church Updates

(Thursday, May 28, 2020 – 1:25 pm)

Dear John Wesleyans,

I have had several people inquire about when we will begin to gather again in person for worship. And, as I have said many times, I want nothing more than to be able to see you, be with you, and worship with you. However, I feel strongly that right now, with all the restrictions, it would not be the worship experience we would want or expect. Let’s wait just a little longer and see what Governor Baker says about the Phase 2 strategy for re-opening. After that has been announced, we will come up with a plan for our summer worship. There are various options we are considering that will allow us to offer both a safe and meaningful time of worship. Thank you for your patience as we continue to chart new waters.

Here is what’s happening at JWUMC:

⦁ Thank you to everyone who volunteered to work, or who purchased plants at our plant sale! As you heard on Sunday, we made a record $7,000 for our operating budget! Praise God! It was a wonderful weekend, and not only because we made money for our church, but also because there was a joyful atmosphere throughout the sale. Even though people had to wait, wear masks, stay separate, there was a sense of camaraderie and willingness to be patient and work together. Surely, the Spirit of the Lord was there! Thank you especially to Tom Hoke for organizing this event, and for making sure we followed all the proper protocols!

⦁ This Sunday, May 31st is Pentecost. This is when we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming with “wind and tongues of fire,” upon the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. Pentecost is considered to be the birthday of the Church, because from that day on, people began to meet together, to worship together and to spread the good news about Christ.

In honor of Pentecost, our children have colored special pictures that will adorn our altar on Sunday. It is good to have our children “participate” in our services! Allison will deliver a Children’s Message, so you may want to encourage your children and youth to watch this Sunday. Also, I encourage all of you to wear red that morning, even your John Wesley t-shirts, as a way of being connected in Spirit!

⦁ Thanks to everyone who has brought or sent in your pledges and contributions. Because so many of you are keeping your financial commitment to John Wesley, we have been able to continue to pay staff, continue the ministries of the church, continue to keep our building in good repair and our grounds looking beautiful, anticipating the time when we will all be back together. In this way we stand as a testament of faith and hope to our community.

⦁ We will celebrate Holy Communion on Sunday, June 7th. Beginning next Monday, June 1st, there will be a table in the narthex with the individual communion elements we have been using. And I will be in the parking lot on Saturday, June 6th from 9:00 to 10:00 am to pass them to you in your cars. Like last time, if you are unable to come and pick up the elements, you are invited to have a cracker or piece of bread and juice or water, and I will ask God to bless all our elements.

⦁ Our wonderful ladies continue to make facemasks which are available for people in our congregation, including children and youth, so feel free to stop by and see Ruth in the office.

Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

Good news:

– Thank you for the plant sale – both the money and the fellowship

Prayers for:

– Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future

⦁ Our drive-by hymn singers had such a good time last week making visits to sing favorite hymns to people in our congregation, and they received such wonderful responses, that one of the groups will be going out a second time today. Thank you for making a joyful noise to Lord and spreading love!

My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, May 21, 2020 – 2:35 pm)

Dear John Wesleyans,

“Jesus said to his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and Falmouth, and Mashpee, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:8-11)

Today is Ascension Day in the calendar of the church. It celebrates the day Jesus ascended into heaven, to take his rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. As St. Paul said, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” So today, I encourage you to say a prayer of praise to Jesus Christ, acknowledging him as Lord of your life.

Here is what’s happening at JWUMC:

⦁ Thank you to everyone who participated in our “Drive By Hymn Sing” yesterday! We had thirteen people go around and share the joyful gift of music with some of our parishioners. God blessed us with a beautiful day, and we heard so many wonderful comments – both from the singers and those being sung to! Thank you especially to Diane Huban for coordinating this event.

⦁ Our Plant Sale is here! Tomorrow, Friday, May 22nd from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday, May 23rd from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. It’s perfect planting weather, and we have several varieties of plants, vegetables and herbs to choose from. Everyone will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing. We hope to see you there – and tell your friends. All proceeds go to the missions and ministries of our church.

⦁ One of the popular activities during this pandemic is doing crossword puzzles. Aline Ward has put several items, including puzzles, for sale in the fellowship hall, and several of the puzzles have gone. If you have any you would like to donate, please bring them in and put in the spirit closet or give them to Ruth in the office.

⦁ We still have some facemasks available for people in our congregation, including children and youth, so feel free to stop by and see Ruth in the office.

⦁ Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

– Plant Sale this weekend
– Continued prayers for our Staff Parish Relations Ministry – Team, in the process of interviewing for Children & Youth Director
– Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! The office will be closed on Monday.

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, May 14, 2020 – 1:50 pm)

Dear John Wesleyans,

“Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

This verse speaks to what so many of you are doing right now – speaking words of encouragement to one another, sending uplifting notes, emails, phone calls, and planning and participating in activities designed to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ to others. And I give thanks, both to God and to you! Just look at all that is going on at our church, even as we maneuver our way through guidelines and restrictions.

⦁ Our Plant Sale is only a week away – next Friday, May 22nd from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday, May 23rd from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. As I mentioned last week, we consulted with Police Chief Dunne and Falmouth Health Agent Scott McGann, and they gave us approval, as long as we comply with all of the preventative measures, which, of course, we will. We will have face masks, marked lines for people to stand as they check out, gloves, sanitizer, etc. The weather is getting nice, and what a great way to lift our spirits by planting vegetables and flowers!

Announcement from Allison:

⦁ We are hoping all children, youth and families will help decorate our church altar for Pentecost, Sunday, May 31st by coloring a Pentecost Coloring sheet (click here to print the coloring sheet or pick up at the church). Color on your own or join us for a ZOOM Coloring Party next Wednesday, May 20th from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Click here to join the zoom or enter in the ID # 856-7734-9980. Once your coloring sheet is complete, drop it off at the church or mail it to us (270 Gifford Street, Falmouth, MA 02540). We do ask that we receive the coloring sheets by Wednesday, May 27th so we can make sure the church is decorated for her “Birthday!” Thank you!

Two announcements from Diane Huban, our Worship Ministry Team Leader:

⦁ Now that we have been sheltering at home for longer than we ever expected, most likely our houses are clean, basements and garages are organized, and all the books we have been hoping to read have been read. So…now what? If you have some time and have missed talking with others at coffee hour, why not join the John Wesley Cares Team? We are hoping to connect those of you who love picking up the phone and chatting, with those of you that would love to be on the receiving end of a phone call. After doing some investigation, we have determined that this amazing congregation has managed, for the most part, to stay connected. However, it appears that while things are looking up, in all likelihood, services will not look or feel exactly like they did way back in February at least for a while. So we want to make sure we continue to stay connected as a church family. If you would like to join our JW Cares Team, and make a few calls or send a card or email to other folks in the congregation, please contact Pastor Rebecca or me at dhuban@comcast.net. Or, if you would enjoy hearing from other members of the congregation, or know of anyone that would benefit from a call, please reach out to Pastor Rebecca or me as well.

⦁ Drive By Hymn Sing: as another way to show that John Wesley Cares we are planning a Drive-By Hymn Sing on Wednesday, May 20th at 1:00 pm. Here’s how it will work. We will all gather at church at 1:00 pm then divide into groups of 4 -6 people. You will be provided with a hymnal, a list of suggested hymns and a route to follow. You will drive caravan style to your destination, get out (someone will have to ring the doorbell), stand an acceptable distance apart, sing a few hymns, maybe take a request, then end with a prayer and move onto your next destination. Just like you would if you went Christmas Caroling but we will be Hymnoling! If you are interested in coming, it would be helpful if you could let Pastor Rebecca or Diane Huban know in advance. In fact, the ideal scenario would be for you to form your own groups of 4 to 6 people and then let us know who will be in your group.

We are working with Atria, JML and Dillingham to see if we will be able to sing there – perhaps at people’s windows. We will also try to visit people who do not have access to the live-stream services and others who we have determined could use a pick-me-up. If you have suggestions for someone who might benefit from a visit, please do let us know.

No auditions are necessary to participate! Nor does your group have to be a quartet with a soprano, alto, tenor and a bass. We just need people who want to share the love of God and music with others. The more the merrier!  Please join us!

⦁ Now, in addition to live-streaming our worship service on our website, we are also streaming on Facebook and YouTube. If you have a smart TV that has applications, you can watch on your TV’s bigger screen. If you don’t already have the YouTube app on your TV, download it for free. Then open the app by clicking on the icon. Go to the search icon and type in “John Wesley Falmouth.” Videos we’ve uploaded will appear as well as our account/channel. Click on our logo and the live-stream service will appear. It’s as easy as that!

⦁ Looking for something to do? Aline Ward, Marti Jeglinski and Tamra Roark have been working hard going through the donations we’ve received for our various sales. There are several items to help keep you busy: puzzles, CD’s, Xbox 360 games, PlayStation games, VHS tapes, books, DVD’s, and exercise DVD’s. They are displayed in the Fellowship Hall, and you are welcome to come take a look, and purchase.

⦁ We still have some facemasks available for people in our congregation, so feel free to stop by and see Ruth in the office.

Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

Prayers for:

– Good weather for our plant sale
– Continued prayers for our Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team, in the process of interviewing for Children & Youth Director
– Continued prayers for all affected by covid-19 and the future

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, May 7, 2020 – 12:35 pm)
Dear John Wesleyans,
 
“This is the day that the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)
Yes, this is a new day we been given! Let us make the most of it!
 
Here’s what’s going on with our church:
 
⦁ Thank you to everyone who participated in our “Make a Joyful Noise” program yesterday! Especially to our Director of Music Ministries, Linda Brodeur, and to Eileen and Ted Burt, Karen Camp, Mirela Chisbora, Danna Dimock, Tom Hoke, Diane Huban, Betty Smith and Joy Stosz. It was uplifting, inspirational and fun! Click here to watch it on our website or watch it on Facebook.
 
⦁ This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and Allison has a special Mother’s Day children’s sermon she is going to give during our 10:30 service this Sunday. So have your kids come watch Allison as she shares her message!
 
⦁ Our Plant Sale is scheduled for Friday, May 22nd and Saturday, May 23rd. Because of the current situation, we wanted to confirm with local authorities that we were allowed to hold the sale. I spoke with Police Chief Dunne, who consulted with Falmouth Health Agent Scott McGann, and they gave us approval, as long as we comply with all of the preventative measures, which, of course, we will. We will have face masks, marked lines for people to stand as they check out, gloves, sanitizer, etc. Whether people want to volunteer and shop during this time is an individual decision we will honor and respect. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Tom Hoke at 617-834-8124 or tomhoke@att.net.
 
⦁ Linda Duane, Jan Dahl and Ruth Moulton have been working hard and have replenished the facemask supply. They are on a table in the narthex if you would like to come pick one up. Again, there is no cost – this is a ministry of our church and these ladies who have generously given of their time.
 
⦁ Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:
 
Good news:
Congratulations to Eileen and Ted Burt on the purchase of their new home!
 
Prayers for:
– Continued prayers for our Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team, in the process of interviewing for Children & Youth Director
– Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future
 
⦁ I want to personally thank all of you who have been so faithful to bring or send in your pledges, or who have set up your on-line giving. Thankfully, we are in a good financial position due to your willingness to fulfill your commitment to our church.
 
⦁ Even though these are different times, there is still work and ministry happening:
 
– Allison is keeping up with the youth through Zoom meetings, with their parents through weekly emails, and is now reading a bedtime story to the young children once a week.
– Sharon Mulchay and Milt King have gotten the Community Garden up and running and looking good. Which, by the way, there is one plot left for $20. If you would like it, please contact Sharon at 508-274-9127.
– Diane Huban has been working hard, landscaping around the property, weeding, trimming, and planting beautiful flowers.
– We are now putting our Sunday livestream worship service on Facebook live during the service, which has expanded the number of people we are reaching.
– Our playground fence now makes a statement to the community. It’s designed with white cups that spell out the words: faith, hope and love.
 
Enjoy the sunshine, and please know I keep you all in my daily prayers!
 
Love,

Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, April 30, 2020 – 1:20 pm)

Dear John Wesleyans,

Well, this has certainly been an April for the books, hasn’t it! The Bible tells us, “There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens.” And this has been a new season for us. A season that will continue for a while longer. And so we persevere with trust and hope and a commitment to live out our Christian faith as fully as we can. Both as individuals and as a church.

Here are our latest updates this week:

⦁ Please keep our treasurer, George Cary and his family in your prayers. His wife Ida entered God’s kingdom on Tuesday. A service will be held at a later date.

⦁ We will share together in Holy Communion this Sunday at the 10:30 am live stream service, using the individual Communion elements we used last time. I will be in the church parking lot on Saturday, May 3rd, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am if you would like to come by and I will pass them to you in your car. Or, they are also on a table in the narthex where you can pick them up either today or tomorrow until 4:30 pm. You can find more information in the newsletter.

⦁ Make a Joyful Noise! Livestream on Wednesday, May 6th from 4:00 to 5:15 pm. We have 10 people signed up to bring us much needed inspiration during this period of isolation and separation, with songs, music, poems, and readings. And more are welcome to join! If you would like to volunteer for a 5-7 minute time slot, please contact our Music Director, Linda Brouder by tomorrow, Friday, May 1st at lindabrouder5@gmail.com or 781-385-0084. And don’t forget to join us next Wednesday on the website or Facebook Live!

⦁ We are still planning to have our annual Plant Sale on Friday, May 22nd and Saturday, May 23rd.  We will, of course, adhere to all the guidelines for safety and social distancing, and will monitor the situation as we go forward.  I’m sure we will all be ready to plant flowers and gardens and be ready to welcome summer! More information is in the newsletter.

⦁ Are you in need of a face mask? Linda Duane, Marie Syverson, Eileen Burt and Ruth Moulton are spread out in the Fitzgerald Room today wearing masks and gloves, making face masks for those who need one. The masks are made of quilting fabric and special mask elastic and a bendable nose piece. It is recommended to wash the mask once a week. The masks are being placed in individual bags and put in the narthex for you to pick up. There is no cost – this is a ministry of our church and these ladies who have generously given their time.

⦁ Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

Continued prayers for our Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team, in the process of interviewing for Children & Youth Director
Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future

⦁ As you probably know, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen have cancelled all special events through August 31st. Some of you have asked about our beach services, and certainly we want to hold them. However, we will have to wait a few more weeks to see what the town decides about beaches, social distancing, and more. We need to be both flexible and hopeful during this time, and I will keep you informed.

As we go forward, let us heed the words of the Apostle Paul: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, April 23, 2020 – 2:14 pm)

Dear John Wesleyans,

“God didn’t give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Paul wrote these words to his protégé, Timothy, from a prison cell in Rome. He knew that his time of death was approaching, and that Timothy would have to carry on where Paul left off. Paul had suffered much persecution during his ministry – floggings, imprisonment, stoning, shipwreck and more, and he had been able to remain strong and faithful, trusting in God through it all. And he knew that Timothy would likely experience the same. So he encourages Timothy by reminding him that God’s Spirit is not one of fear or anxiousness, but one of strength and love and fortitude. And we need to be reminded of this too during these times of uncertainty. So pray that God’s Holy Spirit will fill you, leading you to be strong and faithful, trusting in God through it all.

Here are our latest updates this week:

⦁ Holy Communion

On Sunday, May 3rd, we will once again celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Jesus said, “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.” Communion is a spiritual meal that we share together. And although we cannot be together at a common table, we can be together in a common spirit – of fellowship, love, mercy and in remembrance of all that Christ has taught us and done for us.

In the narthex I have put out the same individual Communion packets we used last time, which I have handled with gloves and mask. You are welcome to come pick them up any time Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Or, I will be in the church parking lot on Saturday, May 2nd from 10:00 to 11:00 am, and will happily drop them in your car. During our live stream service on May 3rd, we will share in this holy meal.

The Communion elements are consecrated during the liturgy, when I ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit on the gifts of bread and fruit of the vine, and on us, that we might be one as the Body of Christ.

These are unusual times, which I believe call for unusual measures. Because I know some of you are unable to come pick up your Communion elements, I would like to offer this option. Have a cracker or piece of bread, and juice or water available. And as I say the Communion liturgy we will trust that the grace and presence of Jesus Christ’s Spirit will bless your elements at home so that you also can partake of this special meal. This is not ideal, nor will I want to continue this practice when we are able to worship together again. Because I do believe it is important for us to be a gathered community, acknowledging our sins, and sharing in the one bread and cup of forgiveness together as the Body of Christ. However, our separation right now is unavoidable and I believe that God honors our intention and the spirit in which we seek his grace and forgiveness and our desire to heed our call to be the Body of Christ for the world.

⦁ Make a Joyful Noise! Live-stream on Wednesday, May 6th from 4:00 to 5:15 pm

Every Sunday we continue to be inspired, uplifted and comforted by joining together online for our worship services with Pastor Rebecca. But there are times when 7 days just seems too long to go without that spiritual boost we all need. We all appreciated the Prayer Vigil, so the Music Ministry Team would like to organize a mid-week vigil of words, songs and music on Wednesday, May 6th. We are looking for volunteers to participate in 5-10 minute increments, by singing, playing an instrument, sharing poems or inspirational readings, or in any other way that will bring joy and hope to each other during this time.

Each person (or persons, if duet or accompanist) would have a set time slot to come into the sanctuary and share their gift. This will allow us to maintain social distancing. And of course, there is plenty of hand sanitizer and the sanctuary will be deep cleaned that day. If you are interested in sharing an artistic expression of hope on May 6th, please contact Linda Brouder, at lindabrouder5@gmail.com or 781-385-0084.

⦁ Many of you commented about the pictures in the pews on Sunday, and indeed – wasn’t that fun! So we wanted to share a link to pictures from past events at John Wesley for you to enjoy.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/jwumcfalmouth/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal

⦁ Here is our updated prayer list for this week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

Continued prayers for our Staff Parish Relations Ministry Team and interviews for Children & Youth Director
Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future

⦁ Linda Duane and some of our “crafty” ladies are putting together a plan to make face masks. You will hear more about this next week, but this is just another way our church is working to be the Body of Christ to the world.

⦁ There is one plot left in the Community Garden. If you would like it, please contact Sharon Mulcahy at 508-457-0950 or smulcahy1@comcast.net

To end, I’ll quote Paul once more: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, April 16, 2020 – 1:52 pm)

Dear Friends,

“This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)

Yes, this day is another gift from God! And it is up to each one of us to decide what we will do with this gift. Will you rejoice and be thankful? What will you do to bring a smile to someone else today? How might you say “thank you” to God for this gift of a new day. As St. Paul says, “Be careful how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are difficult.”

Here are some updates for you:

⦁ I want to thank Mirela, Linda, Diane, Betty and Tom for making our Easter service so special with their music! I heard many wonderful comments, and we had 556 viewers watching just our live stream on Easter morning. In addition, people watched us on Facebook Live and on FCTV. Hallelujah!

⦁ We had 75 cars, and over 150 children come get our Easter Goody Bags this past Saturday!  Plus Allison delivered another 30 to families who couldn’t make it, as well as to some of our youth group students. There were lots of smiles (though hidden behind masks), John Wesleyan’s holding signs and waving, and the Easter Bunny came to spread joy! You can click here to see the photos.

⦁ Also, Allison is staying in contact with our families and youth groups. Each week she sends out a “Resources for Families” email with ideas for families to play, learn and work together during this time. If you know of a family that might like to receive this, please contact Allison at allison.jwumc@gmail.com or 508-566-2000. They are also posted on our Facebook page and can be shared easily. She also has a Zoom Bible Study on Tuesday afternoons, a Middle School Youth Group Zoom meeting on Wednesdays and a High School Youth Group Zoom meeting on Thursdays. So ministry to our families continue!

⦁ I want to say thank you to all our staff! Ruth comes in every day to work on special projects, send out my emails, stay in touch with people, work on our newsletter and more. Mirela and Linda are working to make sure our Sunday morning worship is joyful, and looking ahead for the future when we are able to worship together again. John Loewen is faithfully keeping our building clean and sanitized, and George Cary is keeping our finances in order. We are blessed to have our staff, and I ask that you keep them in your prayers!

⦁ I hope you have kept the list of people to pray for each week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

The family of Brenda Rodenhizer – Brenda entered God’s kingdom today, and her family knows that she is “thrilled to be with her Lord” (a memorial service will be held at a later date)
Those affected by the deadly tornadoes in the south last weekend
Continued prayers for all affected by COVID-19 and the future
New Director of Children and Youth Ministries – we are beginning to interview candidates

⦁  Tom Hoke is planning our plant sale, scheduled to be May 22nd and 23rd. Obviously, we will be attentive to what the authorities tell us, but for now, it’s outside, we could maintain distances, and so we will keep it on the calendar and will keep you informed. I know everyone will be ready to beautify their yards by then!

⦁ Ruth is planning to put out another “mini” newsletter, so if you have information you would like to share, please email her at jwumcfalmouth@comcast.net by next Monday.

Remember – this is the day the Lord has made!  Rejoice and be glad in it!

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, April 9, 2020 – 11:33 am)

Dear Friends,

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Today is Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy is from the Latin, mandatum (mandate), meaning a command. On the Thursday night, before he was to be crucified on Friday, Jesus gave his disciples this new commandment – to love one another. As Jesus loves us – unconditionally and sacrificially, that is how we are to love others. And we are in a time when it is even more important to show our love to as many people as we can. And I have been filled with such love and joy because in talking and emailing with you, I’ve heard how so many of you are making phone calls to people in our church, writing letters, sending cards, video chatting with one another, sharing funny emails, offering to run errands, chatting from a distance and even picking up sticks in a neighbor’s yard. These are all ways of showing love and supporting one another through this crisis! “By this, everyone will know that you are disciples of Jesus Christ!”

Here are some updates for you:

⦁ Tonight,  I encourage you to turn off the news for a little while, and tune in to our Maundy Thursday Service beginning at 7:00 pm. This will be a shortened service with hymns, scripture, and some thoughts I’ll share as we consider the sins that put Christ on the cross. Click here to join us for this meaningful service.

⦁ On Friday, we will offer an ecumenical Good Friday Service, where different pastors will offer a short meditation on each of the Seven Last Words of Jesus. It will begin at 12:00 pm noon on our website and will include music as well as the spoken word.

⦁ On Saturday, we will offer an Easter Goody Bag Drive-Thru from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Families can pull up to our front parking lot and receive one goody bag per child (toddler – 4th grade). Inside the goody bag will be individually-wrapped pieces of candy, activities, craft items and more! All the bags have been filled by Allison only, wearing gloves and a face mask, in a separate, appropriately sanitized room. Please share this information with any family you know. For some who may be worrying about spending extra money, this could serve as a Sunday morning Easter Bag.

⦁ I hope you have kept the list of people to pray for each week. Due to individuals’ confidentiality, we will not be posting them online here. Please refer to the email sent out today to pray for those. Here are non-confidential additions for this week:

Prayers for:

  • Our Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services – that they go well and will touch many lives with the love of God.
  • Pray for the families who will be receiving Easter Goody Bags and for the people helping Allison, that joy and love would abound.
  • New Director of Children and Youth Ministries – we’ve put out ads for the position, reviewing candidates

⦁ I want to say thank you to everyone who has mailed or brought in your pledge and donations. Several came in the mail today, and this is so important for us to be able to pay the staff, and continue to provide the ministries we can during this time. Just a reminder, you can donate online by clicking here. Thank you for your stewardship!

⦁ Also, we continue to deliver food bags to the children of our community through the school’s “Cape Kids Meal” program. We’ve delivered the past four weeks, and we thank Karyn and Larry Briggs, Amy and Russ Brown, Ted and Eileen Burt, and Bobye Anderson for their participation. Deliveries are made on Thursday, and we have six families, one of which has two children. People drop the bag at the door, ring the doorbell and leave, since the families know they are coming. This program will continue for the foreseeable future, so if you would like to help, please let me know.

⦁ Our online services are going well, and we are blessed to have had it in place prior to this pandemic. This past week, statistics showed we had 446 viewers on Sunday morning! From all over the country. So praise God as we try to spread the Good News!

⦁ And of course, I wish we could all be together on Easter morning! But I trust that God will bind us together in spirit and in love as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ! And so may the rest of your Holy Week be blessed, and may you be filled with joy on Sunday morning, as together we rejoice that “Christ has risen. Christ has risen indeed!!”

Love,
Pastor Rebecca


(Thursday, April 2, 2020 – 2:10 pm)

Dear Friends,

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

As we face not only another day, but at least another month, of social distancing and curtailed activities, it can be easy to feel downcast. But as the Psalmist says, we must put our hope in God, and praise him. And we do that when we worship. So we have put together a plan for Holy Week, which will give you the opportunity to worship, to praise God, and to remember and reflect on what our Lord Jesus Christ went through for our salvation.

⦁ This Sunday, April 5th is Palm Sunday. While we will not be able to wave our palms together, you will have the opportunity to pick up a palm to have with you on Sunday. I will have them in the narthex on Friday, April 3rd from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for you to pick up. Also, there will be a table with palms on it outside in the front parking lot near the entryway on Saturday, and you are welcome to come by any time to pick some up for you and your family.

⦁ Next Thursday, April 9th, we will live stream a shortened Maundy Thursday service beginning at 7:00 pm. There will be hymns, scripture, and some thoughts I’ll share as we consider the sins that put Christ on the cross. I encourage you to go to the website and join us for this meaningful service by clicking here.

⦁ I know many of you have felt moved by our ecumenical Good Friday service, and we will live stream this shortened service as well, on Friday, April 10th. We have seven pastors, including myself who have agreed to be socially distant, yet present to offer a short meditation on the Seven Last Words of Jesus. It will again, be on our website beginning at noon, and will include music as well as the spoken word.

⦁ Although we are unable to have our regular Easter Egg Hunt, Allison has come up with a wonderful alternative – an Easter Goody Bag Drive-Thru. So on Saturday, April 11th from 10:00 to 11:00 am, families can pull up to our front parking lot and receive one goody bag per child (toddler – 4th grade). Inside the goody bag will be individually wrapped pieces of candy, activities, craft items and more! All the bags will be filled by Allison only, wearing gloves, face mask and being put together in the youth room which has been appropriately sanitized. We will get the word out via Facebook, our website and Constant Contact, but please share this with any family you know.  For some who may be worrying about spending extra money, this could serve as a Sunday morning Easter Bag. And, if you feel comfortable doing so, Allison could use a few more bags of individually wrapped candy. Please put in the bin in the narthex by this coming Monday, April 6th.

⦁ In order to protect individuals’ privacy we are not publicizing our Prayer List. Please refer to Pastor Rebecca’s email (4/2/20) to pray for those who are needing our intercession.

⦁ Continue to use your prayer guide to pray for COVID-19 and all the people/issues affected. This is a time we must remain diligent in bringing all things to God.

⦁ Even though things have changed, there are still wonderful happenings at John Wesley.  Attached is a mini version of our newsletter. Enjoy!

I also want to say thank you for all the emails of support and encouragement you have given me during this time. I am blessed to be your pastor!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Rebecca


(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: https://ttsu.me/thgj4j 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.

Blessings,
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:

“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.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

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.”

Blessings,
Pastor Rebecca