Correction:
Please excuse our error: National Day of Pray is May 7, 2020. Please see the correction below.

Please also be in prayer for Ethel Pacley (M), on the loss of her brother
Rev. Mickey McGuire (R)
A Word from Pastor Thomas
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I greet you once again in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that you are safe and doing well as we continue to navigate the unique challenges we continue to face as a result of the worldwide pandemic.

I want to make sure that you are kept abreast of any new information regarding the re-opening of Ben Hill for in-person worship. Below you will find a statement issued this past week by Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and her cabinet regarding the “potential” reopening of churches in North Georgia for in-person worship:

“We, your bishop and cabinet, greatly appreciate how you have followed the guidance we have shared regarding in-person worship. We know how much you miss each other and long to be together. After talking with medical experts and reviewing data today, we are asking you not to gather before June 22, 2020. This is the date current models predict that we in Georgia can begin safely relaxing our shelter-at-home strategies.”

This is not a firm date, rather it is a “prediction” based upon current models. As this date approaches, we will evaluate and determine the feasibility of Ben Hill gathering for in-person worship. There is so much that we still do not know about COVID-19 and therefore should proceed with caution. What I do know is that more testing needs to take place so that we can gain a better understanding of how widespread the infection has become. I believe this is critical. As such I wanted to provide you with a link to the Georgia Department of Public Health where you will be able to find a list of sites that are providing testing:

The nearest testing location to Ben Hill is Greenbriar Mall. For our members who do not live near the church, please find a location nearest you and schedule an appointment. Knowledge, not ignorance, is power. Please get tested.

In the meantime, I look forward to joining you in worship this coming Sunday. It is the first Sunday and we will be observing Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper). Please be prepared for our virtual time together by having appropriate elements that represent the body and blood of Jesus (bread/cracker and juice). Let us continue to hold each other in prayer during this time of great challenge. May we be encouraged and strengthened by meditating and taking the sobering words of scripture to heart found in II Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Peace and blessings,

Pastor Thomas

What to do if you cannot view the stream
Here are some helpful tips if you should encounter any issues with accessing Ben Hill's Live Stream:
  1. Try a different Web browser. Most browsers should work but if your Web browser is not showing the stream, try a different one. Windows typically uses Internet Explorer or Edge. Macs typically use Safari. You can try to download and install either Firefox or Google Chrome.
  2. Try going to the Ben Hill UMC Facebook Page and view the Live Stream there.
  3. Try the phone app. If you do not have the Ben Hill app, download it from your app store and view the steam from there.
  4. Access StreamingFaith.com as another option to view the live stream.

On Sunday mornings, live chat is available on the Ben Hill website if you should encounter issues and need additional help.

How to Connect on Sunday Mornings:
The Food Bank is accepting donations of food on Wednesday & Saturday 10:30-12:30. Donations will be accepted at the kitchen door, located in the Senior Parking lot (please see the red parking lot signs). If no one is available please leave the donations at the door or on the wall. 
We are in need of the following items:
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned chicken
  • Beef stew
  • Chili
  • Baked beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Lima beans
  • Hamburger/Tuna Helper
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Canned soup
  • Cooking oil
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned collards/turnip
  • greens
  • Canned spinach
  • Canned candied yams
  • Cold cereal (sugary & non sugary)
  • Grits (instant & regular)
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Juice
  • Hygiene items
  • Household items (dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels)
Let's Stay Connected
Nothing can stop your accomplishments!  We want to honor not only our high school graduates but also our undergrads and postgraduates.  If you are in the class of 2020, please provide the following information: 1) your name , 2) the name of the school from which you are graduating , & 3) your degree to the Higher Education and Campus Ministry by May 6th to phendricks04291226@gmail.com . We look forward to celebrating your success!
Thank You to Our Volunteers
Do you want to recognize a special Ben Hill UMC volunteer or medical professional? We will feature those serving our communities on our social media pages each week. If you would like to highlight someone, please e-mail Kristan Jones-Scales at KJonesScales@benhillumc.org. Include a brief description of the volunteer and a photo.
National Day of Prayer
God is sovereign and nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Whether we face fluctuating economics, health threats, unrest at home, or other troubling circumstances, our Heavenly Father is not caught unaware. Through prayer, we are able to tap into His wisdom, strength, protection, and peace. National Day of Prayer is May 7, 2020. Join us as we pray for our country, communities, church and homes. Beginning today, follow us on social media to see a daily prayer focus to bring us together in prayer. You can also add your prayer requests to the the live prayer wall on the Ben Hill website. Pray God's glory across the earth.
Let's Pay Tribute to Mothers
We want to feature mothers on our Live Stream service on Sunday, May 10, 2020. Send photos of you, your mother, daughters, and mother figures in your life. We even encourage families to send video messages of their children wishing their mother a Happy Mother's Day. It's important that we celebrate and acknowledge all Moms- no matter their background or stage in life. Please submit your photos and videos to Kristan Jones-Scales at kjonesscales@benhillumc.org by Friday, May 8 at 5pm. We look forward to celebrating with you.
Sympathy
May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief.
Please accept our sincere condolences.

Greg Harris (R) on the loss of his mother
Alma Harris (M)

Ethel Pacley (M), on the loss of her brother
Rev. Mickey McGuire (R)


Health Resources and Community Events
The FDA is working to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and keep you and your family informed on the latest developments. In case you missed it, here is the latest information for consumers on this important topic:

Fraudulent COVID-19 products can come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods, as well as products claiming to be tests, drugs, medical devices, or vaccines. Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat COVID-19 approved by the FDA. The FDA is working with medical product developers to rapidly advance the development and availability of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. 

The FDA is working in many ways to help keep people safe while the nation is coping with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Food availability and food safety are vitally important to our well-being, and the FDA is working hard to help ensure the foods you, your family, and your pets eat are safe and available. 

Each of us can help stop the spread of COVID-19 disease by washing our hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds – especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that consumers use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol. 
 
To learn more about these and other coronavirus topics, visit:  FDA Consumer Updates

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Mayor Keisha Bottoms announced the implementation of the City of Atlanta Senior Food Assistance Program. This program will support city residents who are experiencing a food shortage due to COVID-19. Residents who qualify for assistance will receive grocery deliveries to their residence. 

If you or someone you know is interested, please call  404-546-0311,  choose the prompt for general inquiries, and provide the necessary information. After this initial step, your information will be sent to the COVID-19 Task Force for further review.

Please apply via phone or via the online application. For further information, you may also refer to the above flyer.
Lupus Awareness Month
May is Lupus Awareness Month. Please join me and the Hallelujah Walkers as we continue to help the search for a cure. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic: The Walk to End Lupus 2020 has been postponed with no specific date at this time. But, online donations can be made on my Lupus Page by using the link below. Our goal for this year is $3,000. This continued effort is in Memory of Curtis Edward Byther, my "Uncle Curtis".