Greetings on this St. Patrick’s Day. May the fellowship of the Holy Trinity surround you with protection and grace. I would like to provide you with regular updates about Pender United Methodist Church, more than our standard weekly email. Indeed, these are not standard times.

In these unprecedented times we are following the direction of our bishop, Sharma Lewis. She is following the direction of the CDC and state government. Within those directives, we have many decisions to make. Because the church has not faced these challenges before, we are in uncharted waters. But the wisdom of God, the grace of Christ, and the unity of the Spirit is with us in more ways than we can imagine.

This week Pender is hosting Hypothermia. For the past two nights area homeless folks have come to our church building to seek shelter. They have found even more than shelter. They have found friendly faces, great food from local restaurants, clean clothes, hot showers, and Christian hospitality. I’ve had the privilege of conversing with them and praying for them. Many thanks to Jim Scheurer for his tireless effort in making this happen against incredible odds. The ministry of Christ continues regardless of the challenges.

Our hypothermia guests will leave Sunday morning. Lilianna and her incredible crew will deep clean and sanitize the parts of the building used by hypothermia beginning Monday morning. By Monday evening our building will be open for use again. Following the CDC guidelines, groups should be 10 or less in number. This will allow many more ministries to continue, both our own and in the community at large.

Currently we are planning worship services to be shared on-line. Hats off to our amazing, highly gifted and committed technology crew for all their work. If you have not yet viewed the service from this past Sunday, just click here to watch it now .

We may be able to return to the sanctuary April 5 but just in case we are planning alternatives for April 5 (Palm Sunday), Holy Thursday and Holy Friday, as well as Easter. More details on this as events unfold.

The current plan is for confirmation to meet this Sunday, March 22, from 3-5 and for Disciple Bible study to meet next Wednesday, March 25 at 10:30 am and 7:00 pm.  These groups are 10 or less in attendance.

We have several members who could really use a pick-me-up. Please consider sending a card to Julian Cole to 44735 Audubon Square, Apt. #426, Ashburn, VA 20147 or Beryl Marin at Fairfax Nursing Center, 10701 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Thank you for your prayers and patience during this time. Let us all work toward little and even great acts of kindness. Our victory has already been won in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Marg