Hey McFarland! Pastor Wayne here!
What a joyous time of worship this morning as we celebrated Pentecost and the birth of the church. I hope that you experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit as our Sustainer in life during the worship service.
I’m looking forward to whatever our “new normal” will be in the days and weeks ahead. Eventually, that means that masks will become optional for those who have been vaccinated. We will continue to ask that folks who have not been vaccinated continue to mask. Of course, we will continue to welcome everyone no matter how you feel about masking.
Darlene is on vacation this week and will return to the office on June 2. Therefore, office coverage will be spotty during the published office hours. However, I will be monitoring the messages if you call the church office and will respond as I am able, so don’t hesitate to leave a detailed message.
David will be on vacation following next Sunday’s worship service. In the meantime, he plans to communicate with the choir members about plans to restart our choir. Initially, this group will provide support for congregational singing and we expect that the group will be smaller than what we had in the past due to some deaths and attrition. If you have been in the choir, be looking for a communication from David. If you might be interested in joining the choir, let us know here at the church. We’re looking at resuming choir in some format in late June or early July.
As I write this note, I am excited to share that we have exceeded the collection necessary to support our 36 bucket challenge. In fact, we have enough funds to support 40 buckets. However, because we are purchasing the items in bulk and need lead time to order and receive the items, we may have more funds than we need. If so, funds contributed beyond the needs of the 36 bucket challenge will be funneled to the Free Store. Thank you for your generosity!
As we celebrated Pentecost today, I challenged us to be fully open to God’s call in our lives as individuals and as the church. One of the ways that we live into being the church here at McFarland is through the Free Store. As you know, the Free Store has changed to a new model of operation in response to the pandemic. In this new model, we ask people to make appointments on a given Thursday so that we can control the number of people in the building at a given time.
The Free Store for the month of May was held on May 20th. Ann Russell reports that there were 42 appointments made. Out of those 42 appointments, 33 showed up. However, there were new people among the appointments and the folks that showed up shopped for 97 people. Even in the pandemic, our ministry continues AND it continues to serve people that we have never served before! Thanks be to God! Ann also wanted me to thank all of the new volunteers who helped out this month. Without you, this ministry would not be able to continue to bless the needy people in our community. Thank you!
As we move toward re-opening our Sunday school and other activities in the coming weeks, I ask that you keep us in prayer. We will be purchasing some equipment to continue streaming our worship services to a wider audience that includes our shut-ins (we have been using Pastor Wayne’s laptop and microphone so far) and we will need to train some folks to operate the audio and video equipment and post the results to Vimeo, Facebook, our website, and the Sermon By Phone service.
Thank you all for you support in the last 16 months. I know that we are all looking forward to things “getting back to normal,” whatever “normal” will be going forward. My love to y’all.