From the Pastor’s Study…
According to the calendar, Lent this year begins Feb. 17.
At least that is what the calendar says. In my heart and soul, it feels like we’ve been in a continuous Lent since last March. We couldn’t meet to celebrate Easter or Pentecost. When we did restart in-person worship, it was confined and restricted. And then we lost even that for Christmas. It feels like we’ve been in Lent for 11 months; do we need more?
But I’m wondering if I’m missing something. One of the ideas of Lent is to give up something for a time so that we may redirect our hearts and spirits. What we give up can either be something we know we need to curb (desserts, sweets, etc.); or something which, although good in itself, may be taking too much of our time and attention (that television show that you are obsessed with). This will work, if we embrace the giving it up; but if we’re constantly fussing about when will we get it back, the time away will do us little good.
Certainly when it comes to pandemic restrictions a LOT of us continue to chafe, continue to whine, ‘Is it over yet?’ And, of course, that only makes the situation feel harsher, and stunts the possibility of reflection and new growth in our spiritual lives. Plus it encourages us to be grumpy and short-tempered with family and friends, which is the opposite of what the Spirit wants to create in our lives.
I’m proposing that we declare a mental ‘truce’ with the restrictions. No, we don’t have to love them; but emotionally struggling against them will not help us. An attitude of a ‘truce’ allows us the space and peace to invite the Spirt in, to read and reflect on his Word, to do his work in this time. May we know our Good Shepherd’s leading and help in this long, long trek.
– Pastor Ron Troup
WORSHIP SERVICE PLANS – STARTING February 7, 2021
If you are sick, please stay home! This covers both symptoms of COVID19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, etc.) and any other illness (you don’t want to risk catching COVID19 if you are already ill).
We will make sure that our entryways, hallways, bathroom and sanctuary are clean before our services.
If you are using the elevator, please do not crowd yourselves in; just one household at a time. Consider using the Second Street entrance if you are able. You are asked not to socialize with other households while arriving and entering the church or when leaving after the service.
Everyone will be required to wear masks as you enter and move around the building, and if you are speaking or singing. (The exception to this will be worship leaders on the platform.) We will have masks available if you forget yours. (You may remove your mask if you are sitting with your household group and are quiet.)
We will have hand sanitizer available. Bulletins will be ‘self-serve’ in the pews; offering plates will be set out for your giving as you leave.
Every third pew will be available for seating; we will ‘rope off’ a safety space of two pews between them. You are asked to sit only with members of your house-hold.
We will not have ‘Greeting One Another’; and other parts of the service may be shortened or eliminated. When we share communion, we will use prepackaged elements.
<>< Pastor Ron Troup
Faith UMC, Sunbury, PA – http://www.faithumcsunbury.org/
203 Arch Street (corner of 2nd St.)
PO Box 387, Sunbury, PA 17801
(570) 286-6301 – ‘Like’ us on Facebook
Faith United Methodist Church • 203 Arch Street Sunbury, PA 17801 • (570) 286-6301