Pastor Wayne here. If you’re like me, you find it difficult to believe that we are almost at the end of the year, yet, here we are. As of right now, we have been back together in worship since October 11. We continue with online and offline worship options as we continue to navigate the course of COVID-19.
Let me share with you that in the time of the COVID shutdown, we have maintained an online worship presence that met or exceeded the average attendance for our in-person worship in 2019. In addition, thanks to your continuing generosity, we have maintained our giving to the general operating fund at a level that is nearly equivalent to last year. Thank you for your continuing support. And thank you for working very hard to stay in contact with one another while keeping me informed about issues within the congregation. You have been the church during these challenging times.
Of course, there are some other areas of our ministry that have changed due to the pandemic. We have had to close our Free Store and Wednesday night Simple Supper ministries along with the Prime Timers, at least for the time being. We are looking to find ways to continue with some form of these ministries in the near future.
It is Fall and that means that we purchase coats for the kids at Mountain View Head Start. The need for coats this year is greater than it has ever been. If you can help us out, I invite you to visit this link (click here) where you will find the sizes that are needed and what sizes we need to collect to meet the need at the Head Start. This is a long standing need in our community that we have met in the past. If you can help, please visit the link, follow the directions to let us know what you can purchase and bring the coats to the church by Wednesday, October 28. October 28 is my 62nd birthday and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by meeting the needs at the Mountain View Head Start. Thanks for your support.
I want to thank you for your gracious welcome of the Reverend Paul Womack once again to substitute for me while I am on vacation. Paul tells me that he finds out one a delightful congregation… and I agree. 🙂
In worship this Sunday, October 25, we will celebrate Communion. If you are worshipping at home, I invite you to use what you have available. If you are planning to be with us in worship, we will celebrate the Communion liturgy together and as you leave worship, you will receive a ziplock bag containing the Communion elements along with a keepsake card with the words of John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer. You will take this to consume in the privacy of your one home.
On Sunday, November 1, 2020, we will celebrate All Saints Sunday. This is a day when we remember those of our congregation who have died since November 1, 2019 while we also celebrate the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us. During the service, we will remember those members of the church who have died with a candle, one for each name. There will also be another candle to remember those whom we hold dear who have moved to the Church Triumphant, but weren’t members at McFarland. We will also celebrate Holy Communion together as we remember these individuals. We hope that you will be able to join us for this special day of remembrance as we once again celebrate Holy Communion together.
I also want to make aware that we plan to collect the pledges toward the General Fund budget on November 22. We will plan to collect pledges in person on that date, but in this time of COVID-19, we want to provide every opportunity to participate in our pledge campaign to everyone. If you wish to submit your pledge online, please use this link. Otherwise, we anticipate that you will submit your pledge through the offering at church.
As we approach the time of voting in the 2020 election, I want to encourage each one of you to vote your conscience in the upcoming election. Our spiritual father, John Wesley, offered this diary entry considering voting in the election:
“October 6, 1774
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
I commend this thoughtful approach to you in the coming days.
I am so thankful to be able to worship with you in person. I invite you to pray for those who are harmed by COVID-19, for our leaders in the coming election, and for those who are in need of God’s grace in these crazy times.
I love y’all and I am proud to be your pastor. Please don’t hesitate to call upon me when you are in need.