June 10, 2020
The Weekly Wind
News and Updates from Polk City United Methodist Church
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This week, I am yielding this space to share with you a call from the United Methodist Council of Bishops to stand against racism. As your pastor, I join their call and ask that each of us prayerfully read through and commit to do the work (actions in bold) to help end racism and white supremacy.
June 8, 2020

Council of Bishops statement on the Scourge of Racism

The past few weeks have left many hurt, angry and outraged as we have witnessed the deaths of unarmed Black persons at the hands of police and racism; Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the countless others whose names are known only to mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends.

Many bishops have worked to amplify and magnify one another’s voices. The words of Bishop Bruce Ough, resident Bishop of Minneapolis area, were a clarion call to the crisis before us, “There is more than one pandemic ravaging Minnesota and our country at this time. In addition to fighting COVID-19, we are besieged by a pandemic of racism, white supremacy, and white on black or brown violence.”

The voice of Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, resident Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington area, gave power to the realities, “Being Black is not a pre-existing condition; being Black is not justification for probable cause; being Black is not to be inherently suspicious nor suspect. Being Black is a gift from Almighty God and a manifestation of an aspect of God.”

These prophetic voices and those of others have provided words when we had none.

As bishops of the United Methodist Church, we ask every United Methodist to reclaim their baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

We ask every United Methodist to name the egregious sin of racism and white supremacy and join together to take a stand against the oppression and injustice that is killing persons of color.

As bishops of the whole church we affirm the peaceful protests as a means of giving voice where it is needed most.

We are clear that it is beyond time for all United Methodists to act. It is time to use our voices, our pens, our feet and our heart for change.

We join with other church leaders and boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church to add strength to the message that we will no longer remain silent nor complicit but must act now !

*As a next faithful step we ask United Methodists to read all they can on the subject of anti-racism and engage in conversations with children, youth and adults . Have conversations with coworkers and friends. These will not be easy but they will help us gain a greater appreciation for one another. In a recent podcast, “Unlocking Us,” lecturer, author and podcast host, Brene Brown, hosted author, historian and American University professor, Ibram X. Kendi who said, “By not running from the books that pain us, we can allow them to transform us. I ran from antiracist books most of my life. But now I can’t stop running after them – scrutinizing myself and my society, and in the process changing both.” May we listen not only with our ears but with our hearts and run after books, podcasts and conversations that transform entire communities.

For at least the next 30 days, we ask every United Methodist everywhere to join in prayer at 8:46 a.m. and p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time the officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Do this for at least the next 30 days. Pray for all persons of color who suffer at the hands of injustice and oppression. Pray for our church as we take a stand against racism. Imagine the power of a concert of prayer heard around the world.

And finally, to borrow from Bishop Easterling once again, “The time is now. Dismantle the architecture of whiteness and white supremacy; stop creating, implementing and supporting policies that perpetuate economic injustice; stop the dog-whistle political maneuverings which incite violence against people of color; commit to being an anti-racist; stop over-policing Black and brown bodies; stop using deadly force in ordinary police interactions with Black and brown people. Stop killing us.”

May the God of Grace and Peace be with you.

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
President - Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

*I (Pastor Melody) am reading the book How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi during the month of June. There are a few other adults in Polk City who are reading this book this month, and I’d be happy to connect us all in a discussion group – email Pastor Melody if interested. ( melody.webb@polkcityumc.org )

Find more resources for the work of ending racism at www.umc.org/endracism


Pastor Melody
Updates From Re-Entry Team

Our congregation’s Reentry Team met again this week. We believe we have moved into the YELLOW phase of reentry and have made the following decisions:

We do not feel we are ready to resume indoor worship at this time (effective through at least July 31). During the summer months, we will continue offering online worship each week, and will be planning some opportunities for outdoor worship beginning mid-July. (NOTE: online worship will continue each week, even when we offer opportunities for in-person worship)

We are also encouraging folks to consider small group outdoor gatherings for viewing worship together. Last week, a group of friends held Kayak Church – choosing to livestream worship as they paddled. Perhaps you would like to gather around a smartphone, tablet or laptop with some of your friends on Sunday – consider socially-distanced Lawn Chair church, or Hiking Church, or Beach Church or Kayak Church! Get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature and the beauty of community while you worship! (The outdoor spaces at the church are also available!)

We have agreed that the outdoor green spaces can reopen for use by our sports and recreation partners, who will be limiting practices to smaller groups and promoting physical distancing. Outdoor space is also available for small group gatherings for things like book clubs, bible study, life groups, and worship.

We have decided to prioritize our building use for community outreach in the time that we are not meeting for indoor worship. The following groups and ministries have been approved to use the building in the following ways:
·          NP Comet Cupboard food pantry ministry : Designated volunteers will limit building use to the entryway and front office, and will use the main entrance only. (frequency: daily)
·          St. Luke’s Free Clinic : Clinic staff and volunteers will limit building use to the clinic area and single restroom, and will use the East Hallway entrance only. Patients will be asked to remain in the parking lot until they have been cleared to enter. (frequency: twice a month)
·          Alcoholics Anonymous : group attendees will limit building use to the Wing in the Woods, using the North Wing entrance. (frequency: weekly)

In accordance with the reentry guidelines from the Iowa UMC, our indoor spaces may NOT be used for personal gatherings, i.e. graduation parties, baby showers, family reunions, crafting, etc. until we have reached the GREEN phase.

In addition, office use will be limited to Staff, Church Council Leaders and Comet Cupboard designated volunteers only – and each person in the building will be following a set of sanitizing protocols every time they are in the building.
For the safety of our staff and volunteers – especially those and/or their family members with underlying health concerns – we are asking that church members refrain from entering the building during this time. If you would like to drop off food donations for the Comet Cupboard, please use the designated bins outdoors. If you need access to the building for any other reason, please contact Christine Perry, administrative assistant: office@polkcityumc.org or 515-984-6274.

The Iowa UMC Plan for Reentry is guided by John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules , which provides a message and methodology of how to approach our strategic and compassionate plan to care for our churches and communities through COVID-19.

Wesley’s rules have been placed within a stoplight framework to guide us as we move through a graduated 3-Level reentry process from red to yellow to green status in an intentional and careful model of care and mutual accountability.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. ~Psalm 27:4

Make plans to join us online for a 6-week worship series, June 7 - July 12, which explores the beauty of the Earth, the beauty of God's goodness, and the beauty of God's beloved children. With a focus on spiritual practices that help us see the world as God sees it, we'll be invited to return to the heart of worship.

We want to include members of our faith community during this series, so that we can see more of each other and feel better connected. Here are some ways you can participate:

  1. Readers of all ages can read the worship leader script (fully-scripted Words of Welcome & Opening Prayer) OR read the scripture (also fully written out). Sign up here: WORSHIP READERS
  2. Families can take turns leading a fully-scripted Children's Moment! Sign up here: CHILDREN'S MOMENT VOLUNTEERS
  3. Individuals, Groups & Families can lead one of our congregational Hymns or Praise Songs - OR share a piece of special music or a dance! If interested, email Pastor Melody.

Even if you haven't been tuning in for online worship regularly, or have felt like online worship wasn't nourishing your soul.... we invite you to try it again.

Watch on Facebook Live at 10:30am : www.Facebook.com/polkcityumc

Watch on our website anytime after Noon on Sundays: www.polkcityumc.org/online-worship
Beginning this week, we’re sending out a weekly GPS (Grow-Pray-Study) Guide with devotional resources that go with the sermon series. Look for those to come to your inbox on Mondays. These contain a link to the previous Sunday’s worship service, video interviews with Spiritual Director Dr. Wendy Farley, reflection questions, and a spiritual practice to try throughout the week.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to this week’s GPS Guide.

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it?

Sacred Rhythms is a curriculum designed to help you arrange your life around a regular pattern of spiritual practices that God can use to nourish your soul and transform your life.

To participate in the study, you will need to purchase a copy of the Sacred Rhythms Participant Guide .

Note: the participants guide is different than the original book, and is all you will need for this study; the videos will be provided.

We will use the Zoom platform to share the video sessions together, then engage in discussion.

Dial in by phone: 1-646-558-8656 or 1-301-715-8592 (audio only)
OR Join with smartphone, tablet or computer: CLICK THIS LINK (audio, video or both)
When prompted, enter the following:
Meeting ID:  885 5344 8949
Password:  934161
Launching Life Groups at Polk City UMC
We believe that God created us for relationship - relationship with God, and with each other! Simply stated, life is better together.

During the time when it is not safe to gather for in-person worship, we want to find a way to help each adult to connect to a small group of spiritual friends so that everyone is connected to community in a way that nourishes our need for connection and belonging.

To do this, we're encouraging ALL ADULTS to join a Life Group - a smaller group of people with whom you can share the ups and downs of life.

All we're asking these groups to do is touch base with each other every other week or so, either through calls, text messages, emails, Facebook, zoom or whatever is easiest for you and your group. Once people have signed up, Pastor Melody will give each group a QuickStart Guide to help you get going.

To get connected, fill out the form below and choose your preference for a group type.

If you're willing to be a leader for a group, let us know that in the form, as well.
Children's Ministry at Polk City UMC
Our online Sunday School has ended for the season. We appreciate the Young Family for each week's video lesson!

For the Summer, we're inviting families to take turns sharing the fully-scripted Children's Moment for online worship! The Young family will take the lead this Sunday, June 7, then they'll be tagging another family to take their turn the next week!

To volunteer your family to be tagged, make sure to SIGN UP HERE : Children's Moment Volunteers

The Summer of 2020 is just around the corner and with it comes opportunities to connect in different ways than ever before. Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to announce “Backyard Camp”, a one-of-a-kind summer program offering from the combined staff at Wesley Woods and Okoboji United Methodist Camps. 
Registration for Backyard Camp can be found at  www.iaumc.org/camps .
NP Comet Cupboard Tiny Food Pantry
On Saturday, July 11th, the NP Comet Cupboard will offer another Bag of Food.
Because of the generosity of so many, we are able to add items beyond the basic bag.
Individuals can choose from an extra table of food to better supplement their family needs . The impact of both
programs (mini food pantry and the bag of groceries) rounds out our church motto of "Feeding Hungry Souls in
Every Season" in a much different level of commitment to our neighbors.

If you can donate food items, there are plastic bins outside the front
doors of the church. (Each basic bag is valued at $25.) 

For the Comet Cupboard mini-pantry kids items are very popular. SpaghettOs, drink packs, Nutella snack packs,
Mac-n- cheese microwavable single packs and snacks (that don't melt in the heat)

Thank you for your continued support! For information please contact Dixie Bequeaith  dbequeai967@msn.com .
In the memo line of your check, or from the online giving menu, use "NP Comet Cupboard"
If you or someone you know would like to request a bag of food,
please fill out the request form below.
Updates from the DMARC Food Pantry
Farm Food is Helping the Hungry (from Des Moines Register article May 27th, 2020)

Farmers had no choice, with closures of schools and restaurants, abruptly, and the demand for their produce drastically dropping, but to look to the future to see that they could be throwing their hard work away.
Milk was being dumped. With the coronavirus pandemic sickening workers in packing plants causing closings, farmers were contemplating euthanizing pigs.
This coincided with increases in demands at food banks and food warehouses. 39 million people were suddenly out of work. US Census Bureau survey found that more than 10% of US households were food challenged. 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in April.
In Iowa, state officials and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have raised more that $130,000 to hep pay for processing of pigs to supply the food banks and food warehouses. Farmers are donating their produce. The last thing farmers want is for their hard work not to follow through to the end result. The Des Moines Area Religious Council(DMARC) Food Pantry Warehouse is benefitting by handing out packages of the ground pork.
I am so proud of our congregation to continue to donate, generously, during this challenging time. If you wish to help out, please write a check out to Polk City United Methodist Church and in the memo put DMARC food pantry or use the church's electronic site  polkcityunc.org .
Thank you!!  Any Questions please contact   Linda Pennington DMARC Delegate    penningtonl@q.com
The Polk City Kiwanis Club &
Lakeside Fellowship Church
Saturday, June 20, 7am-11am
AT Lakeside Fellowship Church, 1121 W Bridge Rd.
Enter and Exit at Tyler St. Access Road (ReMax) 
Breakfast Sponsored by Luana Savings Bank – Like FB: Kiwanis Club of Polk City    
In the midst of pandemic and economic slowdown, we are not alone.
God is with us.

Here are some resources to help you create and maintain spiritual wellness during these anxious times.
The Upper Room May/June Issue Available Free as Downloadable PDF

Since churches are unable to meet and gather safely in their buildings during the pandemic, The Upper Room is offering the May/June 2020 issue, both in English and Spanish, as a free downloadable PDF.
Pray with the Upper Room each morning on Facebook Live

The Upper Room is committed to praying with you during this season of uncertainty and isolation. They will be hosting Morning Prayer on Facebook Live daily at 11:00 AM Central Time.
Pandemic Prayer Practices for Children, Youth, and Families

If you are a parent with children or youth, try this list of simple prayer practices you can do as a family during these times of social distancing.

Seven Suggestions for Healing and Renewal in the Midst of Stress and Anxiety

God longs to heal us and renew us in these difficult times. Here are some suggested ways by which we can be fed by God at a deep level.
Contact Us
Christine Perry
Administrative Assistant
Lauren Wilken
Director of Children/Youth Ministry
Melody Webb
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