Posted: March 25, 2020 @ 9:30PM
Friends in the Indiana Conference,
The executive order of Governor Eric J. Holcomb to stay home goes into effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. I strongly encourage all United Methodists to read the directive and abide by it.
A public health emergency has been declared as a result of the global pandemic and the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Indiana. In response to this health crisis, social distancing and the prohibition of normal Sunday worship gatherings and other group gatherings has been implemented.
Holcomb’s order does allow churches and charitable organizations to continue essential business that would allow us to extend ministry to those in need. And, if they adhere to CDC guidance on social gatherings (p.6 Executive Order 20-08; Section 14.e), it provides opportunity for church leaders to produce live (or recorded) worship broadcasts from the church. Our General Rules will help us at this time: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.”
Day cares, feeding programs, support services are still permitted. As many who can work from home should; however, essential services for caring for people are still allowed. Essential banking services, funeral services, public transportation, and mail delivery continues.
It has been said “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so we need to practice the best ways to care for people without putting more people at risk. Love God and love neighbor and fear not for God will see us through.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Posted: March 30, 2020 @ 11:30PM
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church
Message: A COVID-19 Update: Worship in Churches Suspended
Friends in Ministry,
We continue to face the hard truth that lives are at great risk by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Even as people of faith, we are all too aware that this crisis is real. It is very real. And our call to be the Church to bring hope has never been needed more. At the same time, in responding to that reality, please be reminded that the first of our General Rules as United Methodists is to “Do no harm.” We are asked by the state and federal government to “stay at home,” which is a very necessary way to do no harm and to slow the spread of this pandemic.
To that end, while the essential work of worship continues in many different ways, Bishop Trimble is expecting that in-person worship for ALL CONGREGATIONS IS SUSPENDED in our churches through the end of April. (There is a possibility for public gatherings in the church in May, but that will be evaluated at a later date.)
As has been shared previously, alternative worship (Facebook, ZOOM, etc.) may be produced in compliance with the governor’s executive order (Executive Order 20-08, 14e – page 6), provided that it is done in compliance with current CDC and local guidance on social gatherings. Simply put, it is not responsible nor safe for ANY public worship to be held in ANY of our church buildings, even on Easter Sunday.
We continue to be amazed by the creative ways so many of you are finding to be in ministry in this critical time. Please know that the Bishop and Extended Cabinet are in prayer for all of our pastors and congregations as together we share the message and hope of Jesus Christ in different and powerful ways in the days ahead.
Rev. Larry Whitehead
Executive Assistant to the Bishop & Director of Connectional Ministries
Posted: March 13, 2020 @ 12PM
Members and Friends of EMUMC,
I have made the difficult decision to cancel Sunday Worship for both March 15th and 22nd. Also, any and all meetings and activities scheduled to take place within the church building are hereby cancelled, to include but not limited to Administrative Board, Worship Committee, A Better Life: Brianna’s Hope, and Edwards Memorial Nursery School classes.
The response to Covid 19 is ongoing and constantly changing. According, decisions regarding future worship services will be forthcoming.
I realize this decision will not be met with total agreement. Still, having drawn upon the opinions of the medical community, education professionals, and church leadership, I am convinced that it is the correct moral, medical, and theological conclusion.
One Physician I trust and admire explained it this way. “Many people are treating this virus as if were a blizzard…here for a few days and then gone. This is more than a blizzard. This is Winter.”
And so, what are we to do? Here is what I am going to do. I will strive to act responsibly, faithfully, and with eyes wide open. I will continue supporting my community of faith by reaching out to the least, the last and the lost. I will visit the sick, bless the children, preach the Gospel, and financially support my church. I will support my governments efforts to contain this virus, and I will do my best to be a responsible citizen. I will continue to employ common sense based upon information gleaned from modern science, and hope based on truth that comes from God’s great love for us made real in the life, death, and resurrection of His son, and our Savior, Jesus. And perhaps most importantly, I am going to pray…
Pastor Scott Bell
…He’s Coming Back
Posted: March 25, 2020 @ 9:30PM
Bishop Trimble Reminds United Methodists to Self-Care and Keep Faith
Did you know that you can sing the Doxology to help you thoroughly wash your hands for the required 20-second count? Bishop Trimble gives United Methodists a demonstration and offers prayer and encouragement.
An easy & secure way to contribute your offerings to God
Posted: March 21, 2020 @ 6PM
Friends and Family of EMUMC,
By now, most of you know that we will not be gathering for worship as usual at EMUMC through and including Easter Sunday, 2020. Though this decision wasn’t easy, it is clearly necessary. Scenes from around the globe remind us that, perhaps for the first time since creation all of humanity stands united in one common cause…developing a vaccine and possible cure for this virus, Covid 19.
Likewise, since the life, death, and resurrection of the Godman, Jesus, people have gathered in worship of their Savior. War, famine…even pestilence hasn’t changed this assembly of Christians. We pass the peace of Christ, we embrace in the love God, we share the sacraments, and we wait for his Holy Return.
Until that day, and until it is once again safe for us to enjoy such gatherings, it is my plan to share a gospel message in the form of a video, posted to our Facebook and webpage. Though I admit I’m no techie, I’m doing my best to assemble the equipment and expertise (that’s stretching it) in efforts to allow us to gather if not in person, in spirit and love for each other and love for Christ.
So, tomorrow morning begins a new kind of Worship Experience for EMUMC. I ask that you be kind, forgiving, and understanding when one of our dogs bark or the camera hits the floor. And I especially covet your prayers for my director, sound technician, wardrobe designer, and angel on earth. If you don’t know who that is by now, you have probably bumped your head somewhere along the way.
Lights, action, camera!
Pastor Scott Bell
Posted: March 17, 2020 @ 6PM
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
All of you know as much, if not more, of what I know about Covid 19. You too, have heard directions coming from the CDC, our President, Governor, and other State and World Leaders. Finally, I have received the following video explaining directives from Bishop Trimble, Bishop of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, and even as I write this directive, from our local Union County Health Department.
Accordingly, I have cancelled any and ALL meetings, gatherings, Pre- School Classes, and Worship Services until Monday, April 13th. Sadly, this includes but is not limited to ABLBH, our Good Friday Cantata, Sunday School Classes, Palm Sunday, our annual Easter Egg Hunt, and Easter Sunday Worship, both Sunrise and 10:00. As the Senior Pastor of EMUMC I am accepting sole responsibility for these decisions, but rest assured I have gathered information and opinions from more sources that I can remember, let alone count. I know many will not agree with these decisions. Feel free to direct your disagreements, anger, arguments to me...and me alone.
The eighth decade of the 1800's...until now. A very long time, indeed And each and every Easter Sunday since has found the citizens of Union County, Indiana worshiping God, many at what is now known as Edwards Memorial UMC. But, Sunday, April 12th, 2020...will not be business as usual.
And it breaks my heart. Saddens my spirit. Burdens my soul.
In times such as these I often turn to our United Methodist Hymnal, and if you can believe it ( for those who know me know I can't sing...a lick!) to page 707...and begin to sing.
"In the bulb, there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree.
In cocoons, a hidden promise, butterflies will soon be free.
From the snow and cold of winter there's a spring that waits to be.
Unrevealed until it's season, Something God alone can see.
Every Sunday. Every Sunday. Every Sunday...is a Little Easter Sunday. And Brothers and sisters in Christ, this I promise.
There will come a Sunday, be it in April or in October...when we will join together in our Sanctuary, and the world will hear us sing...
CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY, ALLELUIA!
I say this day....the grave could not hold him, and neither can these troubling times. For Christ is alive...AND HE IS COMING BACK.
Pastor Scott Bell
The bishop requests that churches suspend their regular worship services over the next four weeks.
A Coronavirus Update from Bishop Trimble (Click here)
4 W Seminary St - Liberty, Indiana
Edwards Memorial United Methodist Church