Church at a Distance

Dear Saints,

I pray that teach of you are safe and well. We continue to be in a holding pattern as we learn new rhythms of work and worship and of school and family. The church worships together, prays together, encourages and serves, and breaks bread together. For now, we are learning what together looks like apart. Certainly, we are not the first saints to have worked through this challenge, and we are blessed to connect through email, phone, Internet and other ways, but this is still not face to face.

I believe there are ways we can learn how to pray together, serve one another, and worship. As I try to think of ways to connect, I invite your ideas as well. As we prepare for Holy Week, we might share helpful resources. To help, I’ve created a page on our website called Resources. It is listed on the main menu at top of the page. Not everyone uses Facebook, so this gives access to everyone who can connect online. I will start posting my emails there as well since not everyone sees this email. I will also post upcoming lectionary readings, videos (right now they are only me, but I would love to post videos from other people; Facebook videos can easily be inserted on page), links that are inspiring, and other helpful information. If you have anything to share or post, I’ll be happy to put it here.

Here are a few ideas for connecting:

Children – I think we could try a Zoom meeting with the children. They could at least see each other and say hi. Maybe someone could read a story. I may send out another note before the end of week with a Zoom invite for this.

Prayer – Jason sent a link and suggested that we could do a prayer meeting using Zoom for the Healthcare workers. He found a liturgy, and we could add any specifics like on Sunday mornings. This could maybe an early evening Zoom around 7:30 pm. I don’t want to get in the way of children’s bedtimes, so parents would have to let me know.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week – This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and I have a box of palms (because I had to order early in the year). This guy had an interesting suggestion for Palm Sunday. I’m not sure the best way to distribute them before Sunday. Any ideas? I could run them by people’s houses on Friday or Saturday.

Stations of the Cross – This is one of my favorite Lenten practices, and I think we can all participate together through Zoom. I’ve posted the Stations of the Cross liturgy on the site with a link to download the PDF. I’ve also posted a folder on Dropbox with coloring sheets of every individual station and one large document of all stations combined. If each family colored an individual station, then we would have an image for each station. Then we could read the liturgy together, have each family share their image at their specific station and read the proper portion for that station. If you are willing to help, let me know, and I’ll assign you a station that way we won’t have overlap.

Good Friday – We will also post a Good Friday homily from Isaac on Facebook, and I will repost it on the video page.

Giving – This is not to overwhelm you with notes about giving, but some people have asked me to include info on giving again. You can through the PayPal link on the website or mail to Eric Williamson, 116 Barnes Av., Maryville TN 37803.

Also, if you know anyone with needs or would like to help our local services that are helping with food and other services, Chase sent this geat link that will keep being updated with new info. Blount County Social Service Agency Needs and Resources.

Those are a few ideas for now. I pray the Lord will refresh and renew you as we learn to wait and watch and rest in God’s faithful care.

Doug+

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