A Message from Your Senior Pastor
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Terrible things happen. You don’t need me to tell you this.

The pandemic we are living through is terrible.

Accidents, and heart attacks, and cancer are terrible.

Terrible things happen every day. The question is, how can we help people who are reeling from something terrible?

Yesterday, I shared with you a list of things never to say to people who are suffering.

The list is from Kate Bowler who was diagnosed at age 35 with stage IV colon cancer and knows the pain both of cancer and careless words.

Below is her list of things that are good to say when loved ones, friends, and neighbors are suffering.

1. “I’d love to bring you a meal this week. Can I email you about it?”
Oh, thank goodness. I am starving, but mostly I can never figure out something to tell people that I need, even if I need it. But really, bring me anything. Chocolate. A potted plant, A set of weird erasers. I remember the first gift I got that wasn’t about cancer and I was so happy I cried. Send me funny emails filled with YouTube clips to watch during chemotherapy. Do something that suits your gifts. But most important, bring me presents!

2. “You are a beautiful person.”
Unless you are of the opposite gender and used to speaking in a creepy windowless-van kind of voice, comments like these go a long way. Everyone wants to know they are doing a good job without feeling like they are learning a lesson. So tell your friend something about his life that you admire without making it feel like a eulogy.

3. “I am so grateful to hear about how you’re doing and just know that I’m on your team.”
You mean I don’t have to give you an update? You asked someone else for all the gory details? Whew. Great! Now I get to feel like you are both informed and concerned. So don’t gild the lily. What you have said is amazing, so don’t screw it up now by being a Nosy Nellie. Ask a question about any other aspect of my life.

4. "Can I give you a hug?"
Some of my best moments with people have come with a hug or a hand on the arm. People who are suffering often—not always—feel isolated and want to be touched. Hospitals and big institutions in general tend to treat people like cyborgs or throwaways. So ask if your friend feels up for a hug and give her some sugar.

5. “Oh, my friend, that sounds hard.”
Perhaps the weirdest thing about having something awful happen is the fact that no one wants to hear about it. People tend to want to hear the summary but they don’t usually want to hear it from you. And that it was awful. So simmer down and let them talk for a bit. Be willing to stare down the ugliness and sadness. Life is absurdly hard, and pretending it isn’t is exhausting.

6. *****Silence*****
The truth is that no one knows what to say. It’s awkward. Pain is awkward. Tragedy is awkward. People’s weird, suffering bodies are awkward. But take the advice of one man who wrote to me with his policy: Show up and shut up.

from Everything Happens for A Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler

I want to add one more from a member of our congregation. In response to yesterdays email, Gail shared with me what she encouraged people to do when she was going through treatment: Say something from the heart like “I love you and I’m so sorry” or just hold my hand and say a prayer.

Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” Some day soon you will have a conversation with someone who is suffering. When that time comes do no harm and do good by letting your words speak life.

Grace & Peace,

Rev. Donnie Wilkinson
Help Us Continue Our Ministry
Even though our campus is closed, the ministry of Broadmoor United Methodist is still moving forward.

We are worshiping on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. via livestream , caring for our congregation through prayers and phone calls, feeding those in need at Red Stick Together, and helping parents minister to their children in this unprecedented time.

During this time, we ask that you please continue to give your tithes and offerings as an expression of love and gratitude to God for his many gifts and to support the ministries of your church. While this is a time of adjustment for us all, the church still needs your financial support, which makes our ministry possible.

There are three ways you can give safely at this time :

1. Text to give

2. Give online

3. Mail your gift to the church, 10230 Mollylea Dr.,
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

Please check out our new, updated GIVING page here for more information on how to support the ministries of Broadmoor .


You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11)
How We Can Best Love Each Other
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
If you or a family member is sick, may have been directly exposed to the virus, or have traveled to a high-alert area (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan), please follow the CDC guidelines and refrain from attending public events during the 14-day incubation period.

WORSHIP
While meetings on campus are suspended, you can worship from the comfort of your home via our livestream on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES AND SMALL GROUPS
Adult Sunday School classes and small groups are invited to continue the church-wide study of The Covenant: A Lenten Journey . The self-guided curriculum can be found here . You can do this study with your family from the comfort of your kitchen table.

CONGREGATIONAL CARE
Our congregational care team remains committed to offering excellent care to our congregation but is suspending in-person visits to hospitals and nursing homes. If you get sick, have a death in the family, or have another emergency, please call the church office at 225-924-6269 and follow the prompts to leave a message for the pastor on call.

Please use this form if you have additional questions about Broadmoor United Methodist’s response to the coronavirus. You can also call Mary Saltzman at 225-924-6269.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
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