Pastor’s Note – May 21, 2020

Schweitzer UMCCOVID-19, Pastor's Note

Friends,

There are some exciting things happening at Schweitzer right now.

If you missed Sunday, we announced a large gift the church made to the Mozambique Initiative. Because of the financial uncertainty facing many churches, the Missouri United Methodist Church Conference has suspended payments of our apportionments (denominational dues) for three months to aid in cash flow. For us, that represents about $66,000. God has been good to us and our church has been generous, so our board decided to use this money to bless others. Because of your generosity to the church, we’ve been able to provide assistance to United Methodist Churches in Mozambique.

If you are not aware of the Mozambique Initiative, this is a ministry that connects local United Methodist Churches in Missouri to United Methodist Churches in Mozambique, which is one of the fastest growing areas in United Methodism. Missouri United Methodists support local churches, pastoral training and pensions, and work to bring clean water to rural areas.

Thank you for your generosity to Schweitzer that has already provided this gift.

Also, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is fast approaching. This is one of our biggest ministries all year long and a key way we make disciples of our kids. VBS is usually one very intensive week with hundreds of kids and volunteers. This year, to keep people safe, we are making a big change to how we do VBS. Instead of one week all on-campus, we will be bringing VBS into neighborhoods. We’re calling it Block Party VBS! 

We are looking for folks who would be willing to host a VBS in their neighborhood. We will provide you the materials, the training, registrations and all the details. This is an incredible opportunity to reach our neighborhoods with the gospel. If you are interested in hosting, you can find more information here.

One more thing. We expect that very soon we will be announcing a reopening date for worship. There is some information we are waiting for the city to release before we announce the date. When we reopen for worship, we will be working hard to keep people safe by working within boundaries set by our health department. Extra safety means that when we come back, worship will look different than it did before all this happened.

Here are a few things we’re working on right now that you’re going to hear more and more about:

  • Touchless. We’ll be working to remove everything that multiple people might touch like bulletins, hymnals, connection cards, and offering bags.
  • Time for cleaning. We’ll have to arrange our worship times so we have plenty of time to clean between services, so don’t expect to have the same worship times we had on March 8 of 8:20, 9:40, and 11:00.
  • Flexibility. As we come back, we’ll be coming back in stages because we don’t expect that we will have our pre-Covid worship attendance on day one. We will be offering in-person services as needed. For a while, we may be changing things from week-to-week to make sure we are offering the right amount of services. Be thinking flexibility as we come back.

We’ll talk a lot more about this in the next few weeks.

I can’t wait to see you in person!

Spencer