Our responsibility is not to react with fear but to act with wisdom as we care for the well-being of our community. When the disciples experienced difficult times, they did not stockpile goods. They worked together to share their resources with one another; taking care of the least of these was the disciples' top priority.
You can participate in being a witness of God's love in the world in three ways in the coming days:
- Worship online instead of in person on Sunday at 11:00 am on Facebook Live. You can access Facebook Live through our Arapaho UMC facebook page or website: www.arapahoumc.org/watch. Worship is a means of grace, a way through which we experience God's presence. In worship, we give thanks for God's steadfast love at all times, speak honestly with God in prayer, listen for God's guidance and remember who we are and whose we are. We will proclaim though our worship the good news of Jesus Christ and breathe in the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us peace that passes all understanding.
- Network of Community Ministries CEO Cindy Shafer and I have been in communication. Network needs help delivering groceries to seniors. Reply to this email if you can help deliver food in the coming weeks. If you can't help with Network delivery, consider checking on the seniors in your neighborhood and see if they need food or medicine delivery and offer to help, using appropriate and recommended CDC precautions to avoid potential spread of the virus.
- Re-present Christ to your family and in the circles you are a part of by being a calm, considerate, and compassionate presence. As 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." We must use our sound minds to do our part to slow the spread of the virus and ensure that the most vulnerable are cared for and protected.
We are currently monitoring reports from city and county authorities, and will make decisions about subsequent Sundays in the coming days. Pastor Maggie, Pastor Cathy, and I are here for you and committed to any pastoral needs you have.
The prayer below, written by my colleague Rev. Tom Pace, has been particularly meaningful to me in recent days. I hope you and your family will pray it together and I hope to *see* you
via Facebook Live on Sunday at 11:00 am.
Grace and Peace,
It seems like lots of uncertainty around us. So many people who need prayers. Today, I pray...
- For those whose health is compromised by the coronavirus, or so many other issues that affect their health.
- For those who suffer from the economic impact of the virus, in travel or manufacturing or hospitality or energy or so many other industries.
- For healthcare workers and first responders and other public servants who put themselves in harm's way for us.
- For our leaders of the world, our country, our state, our city, as they seek to help manage this challenge.
And beyond all of that, so many others all around the world who are struggling. I pray...
- For those who live in places of conflict and war.
- For those where hunger and drought are ever-present.
- For those who lack medical care at all.
- For our Christian sisters and brothers who are persecuted for their faith.
- For those of other faiths who are persecuted.
- For those who live with mental illness.
- For those who are homeless.
- For those who face domestic abuse.
- For those who live with food insecurity right here in our city.
God, it can be overwhelming. But I know that you tell us over and over again not to be afraid, that you hold us securely in the palm of your hand. Show me how to trust in you. My own problems and concerns seem so small when I open my eyes to those of others. As I examine my heart this Lenten season, help me to repent and turn away from my concern with self, and turn my heart, hands, and prayers toward the concerns of others.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.