January 5, 2021
Kairos Vol. 6, Issue #1
We Are A Thriving United Methodist Church
Friends,

We continue to live through a time of uncertainty and fear as another wave of infections and deaths follow the holidays. About the time we were getting our hopes up for re-opening for worship services we have been dealt another blow that says NO! NOT YET! But even in this uncertain time, there is hope as vaccines are beginning to be administered.

Since we closed our Sanctuary effective March 15 we have continued to worship via YouTube and are using ZOOM for meetings and classes. The office has been open on a limited basis and our staff continues to carry out their responsibilities. We are blessed to have a caring and efficient staff. During these months we have continued to take care of our buildings to make sure they remain in good shape and are ready when we reopen. Three air conditioners have been replaced in Lindsay Hall. Repainting the exterior of the buildings is scheduled for early February. Some necessary plumbing work has been done. Maintenance and upkeep of buildings have continued.

We received permission to have-in-person meetings of no more than 15 persons with face masks and social distancing. 

We will not be re-opening until the number of cases and deaths decreases and as the number of people being vaccinated increases. When we reopen, we will need volunteers to assist in the following ways: 

  • Greeters will allow for entry through one set of doors.
  • Pre-sanitize the sanctuary before and between services.
  • Ushers to seat and release people for each service.
  • Persons will need to register their attendance as they enter the sanctuary for contact tracing if needed.
  • Masks will be required for everyone even with vaccinating going on.
  • People will need to make reservations for the service they plan to attend as seating will be limited to no more than 120 people in each service.

Our task force in this process continues meeting on a regular basis. We are all anxious regarding when we will be able to re-open, all that will need to be done, and will we get enough volunteers to cover the necessary responsibilities?

I find myself hopeful as we continue to move forward through this time of caution and anticipation. 

Marvin 
Worship Services
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Snowy Woods
SWEET LIFE CAFE OPENS!
Sweet Life Cafe
Sweet Life Cafe opens with a video study called An invitation to the New Testament beginning Thursday, January 7, 12:00 pm via Zoom.

This study and discussion will use Matthew's Gospel as a starting point and examines how the New Testament writers and early Christian community wrestled with the implications of the story of Jesus in their lives and in their communities of faith.

Join this interesting study by calling the Church Office to reserve your space!
WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
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Do you have a hard time reading the Bible and staying with it? Think it jumps around in dates and times? Then "What is the Bible?" is for you! This study is an introduction and broad overview of the Bible, its books, the organization, archaeological support, and a viable approach to reading it.

Beginning Wednesday, January 13, 10:00 am, Pastor George Smoot will facilitate the class via Zoom using a study book. To reserve your book call the Church Office at (480) 895-8766.
SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUPS!
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We haven't had coffee hours, potluck dinners, or TNT for many months now. 

Mary Sievert, one of our SLUMC counselors, is coordinating Social Support Groups beginning Thursday, January 14, 9:00 am - 10:00 am via Zoom and an in-person group starts Monday, January 18, 10:00 am - 11:00 am in Room 1. You can choose from an in-person group or a Zoom group, whichever works best for you!
 
Zoom group: A link will be sent to your email the morning of the meeting, and you will log on from your computer/laptop or smartphone.

In-Person group: Limited to 10 people. (If interest is high, an additional time will be offered). CDC guidelines will be followed with mask-wearing, physical distancing, no food or drink
 
  • Cost is free, but a donation to the SLUMC Counseling Services is always appreciated.
  • What will we talk about? Mary will have a couple of questions to kick-start the conversation, but then it's open.
  • Groups will be on-going, and you can sign up for up to 3 weeks at a time.

To sign up, or ask questions, contact Mary the Church Office (480) 895-8766 or you may email her at marysievert24@gmail.com. 
UMW JANUARY 2021
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The UMW unit meeting will be held via ZOOM on January 20, 2021, at 1:00 PM.

Don't miss the presentation "Is God Wearing a Mask? Is He Out There?" by Mary Sievert, MA, LPC, LISAC, a member of Sun Lakes UMC. With all that's going on in our world, one thing we can do is beef up our coping skills!

Mary is a counselor with Sun Lakes UMC Counseling Services. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and specializes in helping people through life adjustments, family difficulties, and substance abuse issues.

Happy New Year!
GRIEFSHARE BEGINS JANUARY 20
GriefShare is a nationally recognized program designed to help people who have lost a loved one begin or continue their journey from mourning to joy. GriefShare includes three key elements that work together to help participants recover from the deep hurt of loss: a video, group discussion, and a personal workbook for use between classes.

Each week offers a new topic and the videos feature experts in the field of grief, healing, and recovery. As one person noted: “This program gives you hope and helps you cope with everything you are feeling.” If you want to move forward in your journey through grief, this program is for you. Join us beginning January 20, 1:30 pm in Room 1.

Call the Church Office at (480) 895-8766 to reserve your space and workbook ($15). Space is limited. CDC guidelines will be observed including masks for participants.
CHRISTMAS OFFERING UPDATE
Thank you Christmas Holly
Due to your generosity, $14,355.25 has been contributed so far. Half of this offering will be sent to the Justa Center to provide help for homeless men and women over 55. The other half will be sent to Matthew 25 prison ministry to support and help women when they are released from prison.

Thank you for your generous support of these two ministries.
PRAYERS
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You are encouraged to pray for the churches, centers, and pastors of the East District of the Desert Southwest Conference. You may even send a card or note to the pastor or churches for which you are praying. 

For the month of January:

  • Payson UMC
  • Journey UMF, Maricopa
  • Gold Canyon UMC
  • First UMC, Tempe
FRY'S V.I.P.
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Do you shop at Fry's food stores and have a Fry's VIP card? You can register to have your purchases count toward a donation from Fry's to SLUMC! Pick up an instruction flyer in the Church office.
 
Good News! You no longer have to re-enroll every year!
 
Through Fry's Community Rewards Program, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, with a total of 29 households, received $50.55 in donations resulting from activity between September 1 to November 30, 2020.
YOUR LIBRARY
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Start out the New Year with a book from your library! It has on hand over 30 devotional books. A few of the titles available are:

  • A Year With Jesus: Daily Readings and Meditations by Eugene H. Peterson
  • One Night My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth by Iyanla Vanzant
  • Their Mysterious Ways: Amazing Stories About God's Animals and Us compiled by Phyllis Hobe
  • Next Door Savior: Near Enough to Touch, Strong Enough to Trust by Max Lucado
  • How Can I Help? Stories and Reflections on Service by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman
  • Stories For a Better World edited by Jack Canfield
  • Diamonds in the Dust: 166 Sparkling Devotions by Joni Eareckson Tada
  • A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings From His Classic Works edited by Patricia S. Klein
  • The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg
  • Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul edited by Jack Canfield.

Also, there is a large number of free jigsaw puzzles; come in and pick out one or more to take home and enjoy.
HOLIDAY
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The Church Office will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Monday, January 18, 2021 re-opening on Tuesday, January 19 at 9:00 am.
LOVE AND SYMPATHY
...to the Ehrmantraut family and friends on the death of Ramona Ehrmantrust, Wednesday, December 16. A private, family, memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 14, 11:00 am, in The Garden.

...to the Hvidsten family and friends on the death of Vera Hvidsten, Wednesday, December 30. Memorial service information is pending.

...to Wilma Mirich, family, and friends on the death of her husband, Guy Mirich, Sunday, January 3. Memorial service information is pending.
9248 East Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-895-8766