Dear Monticello Family,
We are waking up each day with new announcements. We just heard yesterday all the schools in Kansas are going to be closed for the rest of the semester. It is very hard. It is hard not to live in fear. It is hard to live in such uncertainty. However, we know this. This is a short term crisis, a couple of months.
I know that communal worship, coming together to pray, praise, and listen to God on Sunday means a lot to us. However, honoring the new guidelines of no more than 10 people in a gathering, we will have a brief worship on Sundays solely online (HERE) from this coming Sunday, March 22nd until further notice. During this time, groups are not meeting - Monticello children and youth, adult Sunday School and Bible study groups, United Methodist Women events, music ministry rehearsals and any other groups on our church calendar including Boy/Cub Scouts and Alcoholics Anonymous. Committee meetings will be attended via video-conferencing.
It is not because we fear, but because we are hopeful. I am hopeful that when we sacrifice and help the community by social distancing, we will pass this time with less of an impact of the pandemic. This is our way to love our local and global community.
What will help us to get through this time is not watching the news three hours a day and hearing bad news. Instead, listen to the words of God and hear messages of hope. Let’s have daily personal worship, where you read the scripture and listen to the voice of God.
Here is what I suggest. Each day, start with reading one chapter in Exodus and learn how the people of Israel endured their time in the wilderness, how at times human tendency failed to trust in God’s guidance, yet how God led their steps each day. And then read one chapter in John. The gospel of John has been called the “spiritual Gospel” and the “Gospel of life.” Make a list of all the ways Jesus helped and served people. Think about a way to help others in a remote/ creative way. Lastly, read one chapter in Psalms and lift up the vulnerable, children, health care providers, and all in your hearts to God’s hands.
If you work from home with kids running around, you may just read the gospel book John, one chapter a day.
One of my mentors, a wise pastor has told me, “Crisis is opportunity.” Social isolation is the opportunity for spiritual intimacy. This is the time we truly meet God’s presence in our midst,
and teach our children how to wait in hope and peace.
All of us are called to be ministers to one another. Please feel free to be creative in your ministry. God created us to be creative. Wherever you are, continue to serve and love others in new ways. Church buildings may close, but the people of God, the living church do not close. We are called to be agile in ministry for our neighbors and family. If we know of someone that is in self-quarantine, we can do a little shopping for them or other short errands.
There will be a donation drop-off box placed outside Monticello’s brick building for Shawnee Community Services, as they are still serving clients with pantry boxes. They are in desperate need of protein foods such as peanut butter, beans, canned chicken and tuna but any items are welcome. Each of you becomes church to wherever the glimpse of love and hope is needed!
If you have not set up Electronic Funds Transfer for weekly giving or tithing, you may do this by printing off the EFT form HERE and mailing it to the church office; or give online (one-time or regularly) HERE. You may also mail your giving to the church office (23860 W. 75th St. Shawnee, KS 66227)
Submit your prayer requests HERE or by calling the church office at 913-441-1435.
My friends, you are not alone. You are not forgotten. I love you, and I am confident that with God’s help, we will get through this time together.