March  24, 2020
Daily Update

We have a counter on our website that lets us know how many people listen to the videos we provide.  Over 450 people watched the videos of last Sunday's worship.  In addition to many comments from our own congregation, I have gotten reports from people all over the state, and even a viewer in the Philippines.  Please spread the word that these worship experiences are available to your friends.  Jie's churches in Sidell and Chrisman sent word back that some of the folks there were able to worship through our video production.

The governor has clarified what churches are allowed to do during this time of "Shelter in Place."  We cannot have open office hours, but staff can go in and get things and perform some duties.  We are also allowed to go and tape worship programs to put online... as long as there are no more than 10 people in the room... and everyone stays at least six feet apart from each other.

Our next two taping times will be tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. when Val Gibson will be playing the piano to record some old hymns.  If you would like to be one of three or four people to help sing for those hymns, let me know. On Thursday morning, Jiafeng will be present to tape some organ music and some classical piano and some hymns for Holy Week.  Again, if you would like to be one of three or four voices to sing along on the hymns, let me know.  We only need 3-5 voices to make a great recording.  Later on Thursday, Jordan and I will be taping the other elements for next Sunday's worship.  It takes about two days after taping for us to edit the tapes and prepare them for uploading on our website.

Tammy Young reports that she is feeling much better and she held her first "online" counseling sessions today.  Her only drawback:  Dan hasn't been feeling so well.  Lots of people are coming down with problems that are NOT the coronavirus... especially in this time of stress.  Stay healthy.  Stay smart.  And keep praying for all who are struggling with health problems of any sort.

A light day today:  Tuberculosis Day, Flatmate's Day, and Chocolate Covered Raisins Day.  Our medical advancements in the area of tuberculosis give us great cause for hope as we continue to tackle new diseases... and diseases that have so far resisted cures and containments.  The precise definition of a "flatmate" is someone who shares an apartment with you.  Whether an apartment or a huge house, we are definitely more mindful these days of who else is in the house.  For Flatmates Day, it is recommended that we be extra considerate... and clean up better after ourselves. And be sure and share the chocolate covered raisins.

We've had plenty of cold and cloudy weather this past week.  But even so, the robins and cardinals are acting like it is early summer and full of sunshine.  The first daffodils are blooming in the flower patch in front of the parsonage.  And I got a chance to see Ron Dickinson out on his walk.  We stayed six feet apart, but enjoyed a face to face conversation.  

In these times of disruption and change, each of us is finding both new joys and new challenges.  And we are each different.  

The apostle Paul writes that we should share each other's joys, without judgment or comment, and stand in solidarity with another's sufferings, again, without judgment or comment.  

For all who have written, called, texted, Facebooked me, (is that a word?) thank you for sharing your joys and your humor... as well as the things you would like me to include in my prayers on your behalf.  

We continue to grow closers and stronger in these days.  

My motto:
Practice curiosity, community, creativity
Treasure humor, hope, health