This morning, March 13th, I received an email from Bishop Mike McKee, Bishop of the North Texas Conference, requesting that churches in the North Central District cancel the next two Sunday services. Therefore we will not have in person worship services for the next two Sundays (March 15th and March 22nd). We will, however, have live streams of our services available on our YouTube channel.
As a result of this email we will be also cancelling all other church activities for the remainder of the month of March. I understand that this might be a disturbing and frightening response to the current situation, but please note that this response is not out of fear but out of a desire to contain and limit exposure.
We will need your help in this time. If you are not high risk (60+, lung disease, immune disorder, etc.) you may want to consider reaching out to our high risk members to see what needs they have. Also please consider giving online for the next two weeks. Our church relies heavily on the Sunday offerings to pay our bills, salaries, and mortgage. Online giving is available at: https://onrealm.org/CUMCgarland/-/give/now
At this time, I would like to offer you this prayer:
Almighty God, there is much to be fearful of at this moment, but instead of fear let us respond with faith. Instead of panic, let us respond with peace. Please be with our healers. Please be with all of the emergency responders, doctors and nurses who are exposing their own health to save others. Protect them from exposure, both physical and emotional. Guide their hands and give them wisdom. Protect their families as they spend extended time away from home. Please be with our communities. Protect us from the fear and isolation we will face as places that are familiar to us begin shutting down in an effort to protect us from this disease. It is often in moments like this that we find comfort in being with one another and, yet, many of those options are being temporarily removed. In their place, Lord, help us to seek your face. Help us to model Christ, who often retreated to quiet spaces to seek solace and intercede on behalf of others. Give us insight into ways we can celebrate community from a distance. Help us to pray for our neighbors, co-workers—and even our enemies. Show us how to best make use of these unexpected “time outs.” Amen.
In God’s grip,
Rev. Chuck Church
Lead Pastor of Cornerstone