Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Due to the updated recommendations from the CDC and the Minnesota Annual Conference, in-person worship and all Grace meetings, events, activities, and rehearsals are cancelled until further notice. Worship will be available online on Sunday mornings.

A message from Bishop Bruce R. Ough:
I believe those of us in the faith community should be the first responders when it comes to the spiritual, physical, and mental health of all of God’s people. Thus, I am asking all United Methodist congregations in the Minnesota Conference to suspend in-person worship through the end of March. Further, I urge the postponement or cancellation of all non-essential, in-person small group meetings or gatherings in our church buildings during this timeframe. Finally, I urge all pastors to exercise thoughtful discretion with regard to conducting funerals or other religious rites and pastoral visitations. Stricter recommendations are being announced almost daily, so I will revisit these recommendations by the end of March.

I do not take this action lightly. In more than 40 years of ministry, I have never recommended the suspension of worship, except in extremely bad weather. What might feel like overreaction today is likely the response needed to avoid a greater crisis tomorrow. For me, this is not an emotional, political, or economic response. This response is a matter of civic responsibility and spiritual leadership.

Click on these links to read in full:
Details about Grace’s plan: 

  • Grace Office: To protect the community and staff, the building will be closed but the office phone will be staffed 9 a.m. to noon on Monday - Friday.

  • Activities & Events: All events, including Coffee with Pastor Gary and Wednesday night activities, are cancelled until further notice.

  • Online Worship: We are currently planning for Sunday morning worship to be available online with prayers, a message, children's moment and music. Friday's normally scheduled e-grace will include the link for Sunday's video worship. Worship will be online until further notice.

  • Reaching Out: Please check in on those who may not regularly check email to share this message. Grace staff will also be making phone calls to check in on those without email.

  • Community Helpers & Needs: We want to best live out our call to love our neighbors. We've created a form to ask people for the following responses:
  1. A person can respond with their name and what kind of help they can provide, along with their contact information and availability. 
  2. A person can respond with their name, need/request for help, and their contact information.
  3. A person can respond with a prayer request and/or community need.
  • The goal of this form will be to connect folks with each other to provide support and create a place for people to ask for help. Please share with friends and neighbors! Here is the link to the form.

  • What Happens Next: As this situation continues to change and develop, we will review what additional steps Grace may need to take. We may need to use online tools for meetings, etc. Staff and leaders will continue to communicate to reevaluate our plan. 
Grace Contact Information: 
Pastor Gary Liker 
c: 651.280.0150
e: pastorgary@tds.net
Church Office
p: 218.568.5755
e: graceumc@tds.net 
Andrea Langhoff
c: 715.470.3131
e: andreaatgrace@tds.net