Tuesday, March 24, 2020
A Note from Your Pastors
In a time of anxiousness and fear, I greet you in the strong name of Jesus Christ… the one who holds each of us and all of the world through this moment and into a future where hope and love remain.
The word I’ve been speaking out loud often since the arrival of this pandemic is “paradox.” A paradox is when two seemingly contradictory statements or conditions are simultaneously both true. While each of us has experienced this moment in different ways, many of us are finding the moment both devastating and life-giving. We are experiencing deep connections with one another at the same time that we are separating from each other. Our moments of joy are woven with sadness for the larger world. I have heard those who are still working speak their depth of gratitude for a job, woven with their fear for what this will mean for their families. We are holding a lot of things together into one space, and so my prayer for all of us during this time is that we would be extraordinarily gentle with ourselves. None of us has been here before.
We encourage you to take at least a few moments every day to check in with yourself, whether through your practice of prayer, meditation, walking, yoga, or journaling, or even just a quiet moment over a cup of coffee. Breathe slowly. Check in with your body. Be attentive to the emotions you are carrying in your heart. Give yourself permission to let the racing thoughts release, without judgment but with compassion. And as you do this, know that the God of the universe, who is holding each of us, is as close to each of you as the air that you breathe. God is near. To you. In this moment. Breathe.
No one knew more about paradox than Jesus the Christ… who was both God and human, who served and was served, and who died and yet is alive forever. Jesus embodied the paradox of both/and, and he invited the church to be the kind of place that could hold this kind of complexity — in its body — for the sake of the world.
The leadership of this church is seeking to do our best to embrace the paradox of this moment, as we create both distance from one another AND connection.
Starting today, our OFFICE will be closed until the governor’s “Stay at Home” order is lifted.
At the same time, our Church remains OPEN. Ministry will continue. Staff will continue to be available by phone, email, and Zoom. The work of the church will be needed now more than ever!
We will continue to worship on sundays via Facebook Livestream!
- 9am Traditional
- 11am Contemporary, with ASL Interpretation
Our online Sunday worship will continue on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/hilliardumc) at 9am (traditional) and 11am (contemporary, with ASL interpretation). (You don’t NOT have to have a Facebook account to watch.) The services will remain accessible throughout the week so you can listen in. In the weeks to come, in honoring the governor’s order, we will operate with minimal staffing and musicians and continue to maintain good social distancing.
As always you can also download and listen to the messages HERE.
We will continue to gather for spiritual formation and growth!
Several of our small groups have moved to meeting online through Zoom (zoom.us). (Check with your group leader about this possibility.) If you are interested in starting a new group, please let us know. Reach out to Beth Palmer with questions and for help getting your group set up to Zoom together (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Be on the lookout for more online offerings for learning and prayer.
We will continue to feed our community!
Wednesday night meals will continue from 5:30-6:30pm in takeout fashion. You can pick up a hot meal, a bag of groceries, and probably some toilet paper!
Friday evenings we will also have a grocery giveaway for those in need, from 5:30-6:30pm. We encourage you to think of your neighbors who might be in need, and to come to the Warehouse 839 garage door (north side of the building) pick up any number of bags of food and deliver them to their doorsteps. No questions asked.
We will continue to serve!
Every Thursday and Friday, we will have small shifts of folks come bag groceries and prepare to share with our community. While shifts are filled up for this week, email Pastor Jon to be on the list for serving next week (email@example.com).
We will continue to provide pastoral care!
As your pastors, we are committed to being present with you through this crisis.
We are both available by email:
You may also leave a voicemail at the church: Call 614.876.2403 and select #4 (for “urgent pastoral need”); messages left there will be automatically forwarded to a pastor. Staff will periodically check voicemails left on their individual office phones.
We recognize the strain this is placing on individuals, families, and on marriages. We are available to provide pastoral counseling via Zoom or phone call to individuals and couples as you navigate these strange days.
We will continue to be generous!
The consistent giving that has continued through this pandemic is one of the main reasons we are still able to remain open, pay our staff, and do the work of ministry. Click HERE for information about all of the following forms of giving:
- You can give online HERE.
- You can also download the free GivePlus+ App on your smartphone, search for Hilliard UMC, and make a one-time gift.
- You can setup Online Bill Pay through your bank.
- Or you can mail your checks to the church at 5445 Scioto Darby Rd, Hilliard OH 43026 (we will be checking mail once a week).
We will continue to pray and trust in God!
Every day, you remain in our hearts and our prayers. As we pray our Prayer of Courage, we are mindful of the many ways we are being invited to live this out in these unprecedented days. May we be reminded as we pray that we continue to belong to God, and that God will walk with us into the challenges before us one step at a time.
May you remain in God’s grace as we journey into these deeper waters…
Pastors April & Jon