NOVEMBER 2020 - WEEK FOUR
ANOTHER
Given the rise of COVID-19 in our area and keeping with our plan for congregational health and safety, the board met (via Zoom) Thursday evening and made the decision to close the Aldersgate church facility (except for essential personnel) and move to online worship services from now (11-20-2020) to the end of the year.

In January, the board will re-evaluate COVID-19 trends to better determine when to reopen.
 
In addition to this newsletter, look for announcements related to church activities on the home page of the church website. You'll quickly find them on the banners at the top of the page. Information will also be sent by email.
PATTERNS OF CHANGE: Coping in an Unpredictable Season
By Pastor Donna
 
Predictability is comfortable. I think we can all agree that change can be unsettling. From my nursing education, I remember learning about neuropathways that develop in our brains from doing things over and over. With enough repetition, behaviors become automatic. This is good when riding a bike or driving a car, but not so good if we’re stuck in a rut and faced with change.
 
Patterns emerge. We know exactly where we sit in church, or at least where we used to sit before COVID-19. We know exactly how we like our coffee, and we have preferred routes to get our groceries. We answer the phone with a tone different from our talking voice. Someone said, “We are creatures of habit,” and I agree. Planned predictability helps bring a sense of calm and certainty to our over-stimulated world.
 
Patterned predictability allows our brains to rest. We are eleven months into 2020, and it feels like my habits and predictable comfort patterns have a slightly altered version now. Our church pews have been replaced by our recliners or couches.  We’re used to shopping at the supermarket 6 feet from the next person. State and county regulations have shifted, but yet the wearing mask mandate has stayed consistent. There are enough similarities and predictability our brains can rest and cope.
 
Our usual pathways are remapping. What we once thought required an office environment can now be done remotely. Students in some locations who were once scolded for playing hooky are told to stay away from class indefinitely. Masks used to be worn in health care facilities, and now masks are a hot fashion trend. You can even get them to match your suit or your dress.
 
Paul’s letter has hope for the overwhelmed. How do we care for those among us with so many needs when we can’t even be with them? How do we hit pause or focus on our morning devotions while trying to navigate and negotiate a global pandemic? The Apostle Paul wrote some pretty good stuff.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday Ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around Life – and place it before God as an offering…God brings the best out of you.”
Romans 12:2 (The Message)
What might it look like to take all that 2020 has thrown at us – and present them to our never-surprised and all-knowing God-Creator as an offering? You know, those Thursdays that seem to be endless Mondays because it feels like we are stuck in a repeating video loop? Or the sleepless nights because we have sleep-filled days?
 
What if we gave our new patterns to the God who can refine, renew, and restore us? I am serious! What if we put everything on the line – at the feet of the One who knows us best? Paul was reminding us that good can come when we offer our messy lives and humanity to God. Here’s why: I believe the action of opening our hands to take what is messy, unpredictable, mundane, and chaotic and giving it to the Lord as an offering opens our heart to a deep movement of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who can bring out what has been there all the while: The stamp of God in our innermost self. The image that remains unchanged when the world seems like it’s crooked on its axis. The image that will point us to the place - that is not a place at all – where we can find an abundant, overflowing, life-giving fountain of comfort and joy that we are craving.
 
Remember, no matter how crazy it gets, His plans never change, and aren’t we all, as believers, on His plan anyway? His promises are not challenged or canceled. He is not surprised by COVID-19 or pandemics. He was not caught off guard when those retirement plans changed, or you were asked to work from home. He is the only thing that does not change.

And that is the one predictable thing we can count on.
Click here for Aldersgate's Advent Series Zoom Link.
Pastor Emily is preparing Advent boxes to help individuals and families focus on Jesus this Christmas season. If you'd like to participate in this activity, please complete this form and a personalized box will be delivered to your door in the next week or two.
9:00 ZOOM SUNDAY SCHOOL
To download the lesson - click here!

Meeting ID: 306 335 236
Password: 633671

To call in to Zoom, the phone number is
646-558-8656.
10:30 FACEBOOK CHURCH
To watch go to
Facebook Live: Aldersgate Free Methodist Church
Please let our greeters know you've joined the service by submitting a comment or clicking on an emoji. Our greeters want you to feel welcome and make sure you know you're a valuable part of our church community.
7 PM WEDNESDAY PRAYER GROUP
Now meeting via conference call!
Contact lauraacabrera@gmail.com for more information
STAYING CONNECTED
10 am - 2 pm Tuesday through Friday
from home for Pastoral Staff and Administration

Phone: 317-898-6456

The phone line is always monitored.

Pastoral Staff
Rev. Donna Miller - donnamiller8125@gmail.com
Emily Wagler (Children) - emily@aldersgatefmc.org
ONLINE GIVING LINK



Checks can also be mailed to the church office.
9035 E. 21st Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229