Healthy Plate Goes Digital

By March 27, 2020

In response to the restrictions brought about by Covid-19, First Church steps up to provide a new world of access to our church and its ministries. Following our Healthy Plate Discipleship categories of WORSHIP, LEARN, PLAY, SERVE, PRAY, and GIVE, just take at all the new ways you can fill your (digital) Healthy Plate in this time of slowing down, staying home, and remembering what is truly important. You can now join us online for:

Worship


Yes, we just celebrate the 45th anniversary of our TV Ministry — now called Media Ministries — and four and a half decades of bringing worship to people beyond our walls. Week in and week out, worshippers can join online us for The Gathering at 9:30 am, Sanctuary Worship at 11:00 am, and eleven;eleven at 11:11 am. And, if they miss a service, want to view it or hear it again, or even to check out what the other service styles are like, people can go to our FUMCFW Media Archives for videos, podcasts, and even playlists of our music performances.

None of that has changed . . . however, this quiet little ministry has suddenly garnered the limelight and has become church for our entire congregation. With a touch of extra explanation from The Mikester, online worshippers have now learned houw to find the service they’re looking for (and even how to download the worship bulleting including a special one for the kids), how to register their attendance, how to make their offering online during worship, how to make a prayer request, and even how to make notes during the service and email them to themselves when its over!

And our church family has responded.

Attendance numbers have soared with sign-ins—and those are the people who actually registered their attendance; many of course did not! Many of these single sign-ins had multiple viewers, and even so, we recorded 1400 total in our online worship services last Sunday. “Both Sundays, Lance and I have just looked at each other and said, ‘this is amazing!’” relates Dr. Tim Bruster, Senior Pastor, “Even though this is new technology for lots of people, our attendance is really strong.”

“The first Sunday after the closure was the first Sunday after the 45th anniversary of our TV ministry,” he adds. “What a way to celebrate that! I’m just so grateful for these volunteers and this ministry, now led by Barry Hudson, that has done so much for our church over the past 45 years.”

Worship Events

  • Dementia Friendly Chapel Service Online

    Wednesday, June 29 | 10:00 am10:45 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Wednesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 2:00 pm on Sunday, repeating indefinitely

  • DiscipleChurch

    Sunday, July 3 | 8:30 am9:30 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 8:30 am on Sunday, repeating indefinitely

  • The Gathering

    Sunday, July 3 | 9:30 am10:30 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Sunday, repeating indefinitely

  • Traditional Worship

    Sunday, July 3 | 11:00 am12:00 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 11:00 am on Sunday, repeating indefinitely


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Worship Blogs

Serve

Join the FSMM Scavenger Hunt

We as a First Church family support and uplift many ministries, one of which is our beloved First Street Methodist Mission, which has a reinvigorated spirit of giving during this trying time.

Our First Street Methodist Mission has not closed its doors, and our Mission team led by FSMM Director Linda Murphy is working harder than ever to support people living with homelessness and hunger every day in our own backyard. Linda expresses her  heartfelt thanks to the FUMCFW staffers who stepped up to fill the roles of our regular mission volunteers, many of whom are in the high-risk population for contracting COVID-19: “Thanks to all the church staff members who helped us at the Mission  during the past two weeks,” she elaborates, “we provided 301 families with groceries and 324 sack lunches to our unsheltered friends.”

And now there’s a new wrinkle. With the new restrictions on what we can buy and how many of each item we are allowed to buy, the FSMM infant formula program is dwindling. Linda now asks that anyone who wants to help join in this strangely engaging FSMM Scavenger Hunt: “If in the normal course of going to the grocery store for your own family, please remember to help us look for infant formula, baby wipes, and baby cereal,” Linda implores, “and please purchase your allotted amount and donate it to the Mission. Do not put yourself at risk,” she quickly adds, “but if you see some while you are out it would make a world of difference.”

So be sure to keep the FSMM’s weekly Scavenger Hunt Items on your grocery list and when you are able to find any quantity of these items, purchase them and then come and drop them off at the Mission, Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Just ring the bell at the double doors facing Henderson Street, leave your donation, and know that you are doing your part to help care for one of our city’s hungry babies.

But How Can I Help?

This is a question most of us are asking in one form or another during this time of feeling especially helpless. When events and circumstances are reeling out of control, sometimes the best solace is found in reaching out to one another. Sometimes it is when we begin focusing on the needs of others that we ourselves find comfort and strength — and a feeling of “well, at least I’m doing something.”

But what? Comes the question most closely on the heels of this realization. When needs of the world are so big and complex, what can one person do?

Rev. Phyllis Barren, Associate Pastor of Congregational Care and Lisa Helm, Director of Welcoming Ministries, are here with some help and guidance that will support your desire to reach out to others with some concrete steps, tasks, and opportunities.

It began with compiling lists of people who want to help with calling and checking on those members of our church who may feel especially isolated and lonely during this time. Then, in talking to many different church members during this time of constantly changing rules, restrictions, and precautions, they realized another need.

So here’s where you come in. If you would be willing to help make calls to church members during this time of quarantine—just to be a friendly voice reaching out with a quick hello and to check on how they’re doing — or leave a message on their voicemail, please contact Lisa or Phyllis and they will supply you with a list of people to check on during this time.

And, in addition to calling, if you would be willing to go to the store for one of our high-risk members or help someone learn to Zoom or worship online, or join in any of our many online offerings, Phyllis and Lisa will help connect you with members of our church who are in need of these things.

Saying that she hopes that people who are “Zoom savvy” will step up and volunteer, Lisa adds, “I just got off the phone with a member who normally worships online, but she had no idea about all of the other online things we’re now doing. She was so excited to hear about them; she wants to try a Zoom Bible Study and Lance’s daily devotional.”

If you would like to have this experience of “doing something” in this time of uncertainty, by becoming part of this timely, needed, and caring ministry, please contact either Lisa (lhelm@myfumc.org ) or Phyllis (pbarren@myfumc.org) and let them know, and they’ll be happy to include you in this meaningful work.

Rehoming Vintage Hymnals

To help people worship more fully at home by being able to join in the singing of hymns — at worship and other times — Worship Assistant Elaine Johnson repurposed some old, well used hymnals she discovered that were sitting in storage to send, with a short note of encouragement, to our church members at The Stayton and Trinity Terrace.

“I got the idea from Epworth UMC, the church I grew up in,” Elaine relates. “They loaned hymnals to their members. I knew we had a bunch in storage that choral union used to use, so we decided to give them to our Trinity Terrace and Stayton church members. We also gave them to seven families in the 76019 zip code. We have 19 more!” If you would like to have one of the remaining used hymnals (first-come, first-served!), please email Elaine (ejohnson@myfumc.org).

Serve Events

  • High School Mission Trip

    Sunday, June 26Saturday, July 2
  • Project Transformation Volunteer Opportunities

    Tuesday, June 28 | 10:00 am12:00 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until June 30, 2022

    One event on July 5, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 6, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 7, 2022 at 10:00 am

  • Project Transformation Volunteer Opportunities

    Wednesday, June 29 | 10:00 am12:00 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until June 30, 2022

    One event on July 5, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 6, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 7, 2022 at 10:00 am

  • Project Transformation Volunteer Opportunities

    Thursday, June 30 | 10:00 am12:00 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, repeating until June 30, 2022

    One event on July 5, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 6, 2022 at 10:00 am

    One event on July 7, 2022 at 10:00 am


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Serve Blogs

3 Selfish Reasons I’m Grateful for First Street Methodist Mission

By | Jul-16-2020 | First Street Methodist Mission, Serve, Youth Ministries, Z - Front Page

Over these past 4 months, I have been unbelievably grateful for First Street Methodist Mission for a variety of selfish reasons. I wanted to offer this love letter to the ministry that has ministered to me in these past 4 months. So to Linda, Bernie, Kathryn, the volunteers, the board, and all of you have donated: thank you.

More

Is Mother’s Day Hard For You?

By | May-07-2020 | DiscipleChurch, Serve, Z - Front Page

Wherever we are on the spectrum of emotion around Mother’s Day, giving ourselves and others space for authenticity can be a gift. Jesus said, “Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those that weep” – it’s a flow kind of thing that has rhythm and balance and warmth, like the womb of a good mother.

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Give

New Gifts, New Givers!

A hearty First Church shout-out to all who have begun using our online giving button during worship to make your offering just as if you were here. According to Nancy Fisher, Director of Stewardship, this past week we actually had more than 40 new givers make their offering that way. “Because of you, our ministries can keep going, and even growing in this time as more and more people are finding their way to our church online!”

Steve Fagan, FUMCFW Director of Finance agrees that this online giving mechanism has been a nice surprise in this time of “social distancing.”  Saying that online offerings for the past two Sundays has been much better than expected, Steve adds, “Online giving is perfect for this time of Social Distancing because no human hand has to touch the contributions” Steve adds.

“The Business Office is still having a small crew come in to handle mail deposits once a week because our back-office support of our ministries is deemed essential.” Steve says that our business office team will know more once they finish processing these new gifts and givers, but for now this is a bright spot in the gloomy forecasts some would offer.

“We’re having a lot of people make online gifts on weekdays,” he adds, “That’s gratifying because it means people are thinking about their church during the week and responding to new online things like Lance’s daily devotional and the installments of Mister Mark’s Together Time.”

Of course, he adds, “This does not mean we’re getting the Sunday offerings we’d normally get, but I am encouraged by the rapid increase in offerings coming in online and from new online worshipers and online givers each week.”

“I think people are really aware of this need and are doing a little extra to help,” reflects Nancy Fisher, Director of Stewardship.” Recognizing that although the in-person offerings such as our “dollar bill collection” and Easter Offering are suffering a little bit, she says that we’re continuing to keep these ministries supported by these specific offerings lifted up and encouraging people to remember to make those gifts as well.”
give online now

Give Blogs

Learn

As of this past week, we’ve gotten all of our Sunday school classes who want to be up and running and reasonably comfortable with Zoom technology for their meetings. By adding a “virtual wing” of Zoom classrooms (just like the physical rooms in the church) we now have the ability to assign spaces for meetings and social gatherings in nine rooms, seven days a week due to the wizardry of Hans Grim, Choral Union Section Leader and now FUMCFW Webmaster.

In addition to Sunday School classes, we have Grace groups, Bible Studies, Discussion groups and even Yoga scheduled in our virtual classrooms, and after some initial growing pains (the need kept outpacing the solutions!) we have at last arrived at a system that is flexible, simple, and easy to access.  “It’s all working very well,” Dr. Bruster comments. “We’re very fortunate as a church to have the tools and staff and volunteers ready and willing to do these things so quickly.”

Family Sunday School: Jesus is The Way

This week we’re offering this guide to help families process and consider their online worship experience together — and to distill the concepts and ideas and messages that speak to them most profoundly. So, give it a go and let us hear from you about how this guided discussion works for your family!

Introduction:

Today, after worship, take a walk with your family. For families with older children, maybe this is a walk through the neighborhood, and for younger children, maybe just through the yard. Pets are more than welcome.

In John 14, Jesus explains to his disciples that they will have to follow him to his Father’s house. They are confused and ask how they can follow him if they don’t know the way. Jesus responds, “I am the way…”

Take some time as a family to talk about how Jesus leads us, and what it means to follow the way, with these questions. Have this document, and these questions, pulled up on your phone to talk about while you walk.

Questions:

For the Adults (ask each other or have an older child ask):

  • When was a time you felt lost? Where did you look for guidance?
  • When do you feel like God has led you somewhere? How did you know?

For the Teenagers (have a younger child ask if possible):

  • What’s a time when you felt like you knew what God wanted you to do? What happened?
  • Where do you feel God is leading you next?

For Children:

  • What do you do when you feel lost?
  • How do you think Jesus can help us when we’re lost?

For Everyone:

  • What’s one question in your life that you wish God would lead you to an answer to?
  • Rest of the family, how would you answer that question?
  • Rest of the family, how do you think God might answer that question?

Learn Events

  • Crafting Difficult Conversations

    Monday, June 27 | 7:00 pm7:45 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Monday, repeating indefinitely

  • Men’s In-Depth Bible Study

    Tuesday, June 28 | 7:00 am8:00 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 7:00 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

  • Ephesians Bible Study

    Wednesday, June 29 | 6:00 pm7:00 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, repeating until July 13, 2022

  • Young Professionals Bible Study

    Wednesday, June 29 | 6:30 pm8:30 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    One event on July 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on July 27, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on August 10, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on August 24, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on September 14, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on September 28, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on October 12, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    One event on October 26, 2022 at 6:30 pm


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Play

Although much if not most of what we do in our Children’s and Youth ministries is rooted in depth and meaning, a lot of it is also experienced by these young church members as just plain fun.

Thinking outside the proverbial box is what these two ministries do best, and these challenging times are no different as they continue to find ways to engage the minds, hearts, and spirits of our children and youth — and their families.

Thanks to our hardworking Youth ministry leaders Kat Bair and Matt Britt, our church offers Fort Worth teens all kinds of boredom-busting ways to stay connected, using technology as the means for study, games, meaningful conversation, service projects and all kinds other ways to keep our teens and tweens thoughtfully engaged with our church and one another.

And for the children, our good old friend, Mister Mark Burrows, former Director of Children’s Ministries, has stepped up to offer his own unique brand of help with a series of made-for-children videos. Released once a day, these short but impactful messages combine familiar songs with a story, a brief message, and a prayer to help children not only giggle and wiggle and sing, but also to listen and learn — and especially to process and cope with the feelings and events going on around them they may not understand. “Children are concrete thinkers,” Mister Mark observes, “and what’s going on right now is anything but concrete — for any of us!”

So to address this gap, Mister Mark has written and is still in the process of recording “Together Time with Mister Mark” with his daughter, Grace, bringing to children and their families a daily message of hope, encouragement, love, compassion, and joy each weekday at 10:00 am; in addition to our children and families, via Facebook this message will reach out to every family in Tarrant County with children, with love, from Mister Mark and First Church.

“Each Together Time video,” Mister Mark explains, “will focus on something to help our children (and us, too!) as we do our best to remember that no matter how big our worries, God’s love is bigger.”

First Yoga — online — this coming week!

Linda Blanchard, FUMCFW Yoga Instructor, has agreed to teach her regular FUMCFW yoga classes via Zoom starting this Tuesday. Class times will be the same; and these Zoom classes will be free for all participants as Linda’s generous gift to our church during this highly stressful time.

Linda says that these are basically the same classes, she teaches at the church, with three important differences: first, you’ll be in your own home and she’ll be on the screen of your smartphone, tablet, or computer; second, you can have your video camera on or off (so you can see her but she can’t see you); and finally, you can mute your microphone (and she can’t hear your smart remarks).

Classes will be Hatha Flow Yoga  | Tuesday-Friday at 9:30 am

Adaptive/Chair Yoga |  Wednesdays at 10:45 am.

“Join us!” Linda urges. “Wear some comfy clothes and I’ll see you (or not!) in your living room! “ And, she adds, “If you’re one of those who has always kind of wanted to try yoga but didn’t want to go to a class — and yet need the help and interaction with an instructor to help you get started, this is a way you can enjoy the best of both opportunities in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to Zoom.com on the device you are going to use for this class. You don’t need to set up an account — you just need to download the app from the App Store.
  2. Click https://zoom.us/j/8173367278
  3. When it asks for Meeting ID, enter : 8173367278

You’ll be asked to join with or without video (with means we can see you), and you may be asked to grant access to your video camera; and with or without audio (with means we can hear you — unless you mute your microphone.) It is recommended on most Zoom meetings that you keep your microphone on mute unless you’re talking to minimize background noise. When you want to unmute, you can either click or tap on the microphone or use your space bar like a walkie-talkie button (hold it down to talk, let it back up to mute)

If you have questions or need help learning to Zoom, please feel free to reach out to our communications team for a guided tutorial and a practice session!

Happy Zooming, Yogis and Yoginis!

Play Events

  • First Yoga

    Monday, June 27 | 5:00 pm5:45 pm
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Monday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Thursday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

  • First Yoga

    Tuesday, June 28 | 9:30 am10:30 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Monday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Thursday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

  • Activities for People Living With Dementia

    Tuesday, June 28 | 10:30 am11:00 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:30 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 1:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating indefinitely

  • First Yoga

    Tuesday, June 28 | 10:45 am11:30 am
    |Recurring Events (See all)

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Monday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Tuesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Thursday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

    An event every week that begins at 10:45 am on Friday, repeating indefinitely

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Pray

Handle with Prayer

Morning and night and at all points in between, your church is here for you — and with you — in prayer. Choose from a variety of options and styles of prayer during this uncertain time with options including making a prayer request any time of the day or night, or join our pastors in any or all of the three prayer options:

 Daily Devotional with Re. Lance Marshall

Every morning Rev. Lance Marshall hosts a prayer group and daily devotional from 9:00-9:15 via Zoom, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live. Learn more at https://fumcfw.org/event/107515/2020-03-26/

Evening Prayer Room with Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez

To actively respond — and to invite others to do the same — to the prayer requests that come in throughout the day — along with your personal prayer requests you bring to the room each evening,  Zhenya will host a special come and go (or come and stay!) Zoom Prayer Room 9:00 – 9:30 pm each evening. This will be a sacred space to which all are invited and welcome to bring any prayer concerns as well as to join Zhenya in prayer for all who have requested prayers that day.

Centering Prayer with Dr. Len Delony

Thomas Merton, writer, theologian, and scholar of comparative religion, described contemplative prayer as prayer “centered entirely on the presence of God.”  With practice, this ancient style of prayer is said by many to be helpful in becoming more present and open to God. People who love Centering Prayer will be quick to tell you what while it does not replace other prayer, it does beckon a calming silence and a deeper connection to God.

[Len, can you give me a quote here about why you think this practice is especially important now, in these times, why you like to lead this group at First Church, and what you think people get out of it, i.e. “What’s in it for me?” — and why it’s worth the effort]

What can you expect when you first try Centering Prayer?

Are there any pro tips you can offer?

Also,

How long have you been leading centering prayer?

How long at our church?

Where did you get your DMIN?

How do you do Centering Prayer?

  1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
  2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  3. When engaged with your thoughts — body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections — return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
  4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

A COVID Devotional by Linda Duncan

A short while ago, when the world was very different, I signed up to do the devotional for today, March 22, 2020. Somehow, I felt called to do the devotional today, even though we’re not meeting. It’s probably just guilt, but it feels more like a response to missing normalcy, but, really, I’m just missing y’all and wanting to reach out in whatever way possible. Your hardworking President, Karen Erickson was talking about that very thing last week—the need to stay connected. And, she has some ideas about how we might do that, so please check in with the Facebook page, check your email for messages, and check with one another during this unprecedented time of social distancing. Here’s my devotional.

Devotional on COVID-19

As you may remember, I told the class a short while ago that I had signed up for Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez’s Bible challenge. I made that announcement to the class in order to have some accountability, because I’d be embarrassed to admit if I didn’t follow through. I’m happy to report that I am reading the Bible faithfully every day, although not exactly like Zhenya’s plan. She schedules a daily reading from the Old Testament and then from the New Testament. It’s all done in chronological order, but still jumping from Old to New. Honestly, my head was spinning, trying to do that. My brain craves a more linear approach, I guess. Anyway, I decided to just read the Bible chronologically, so, I’m just reading the Old Testament right now. Please forgive me, Zhenya.

I’m now in First Samuel, the ninth book in the Old Testament. I’ve read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and then 1 Samuel. You may recall that, after the origin story of Genesis, these chapters ultimately deal with the Israelites’ exile in slavery in Egypt; their escape from that to wandering in the desert for 40 years, with Moses at the helm. They finally were led into the Promised land by Joshua, with the victory at Jericho. The book of Judges covers the time between that battle and the establishment of a kingdom in the Books of Samuel, I think. So, here we are, finally in the Promised Land, trying to build a kingdom. We’ve met all the Biblical heroes you’ve ever heard of, from Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, and now we’re meeting David, of David and Goliath fame. Through all these chapters there’s one lesson that stands out to me, more than any other, and here it is:

 People just don’t learn their lesson. They will not obey, even though their recent histories should tell them what will happen if they don’t obey the Lord. Time and time again, God becomes angry with his chosen people because they don’t listen to him or his appointed servant, whether that be Moses, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, etc.

“How do they disobey, Linda?”, you may ask. They disobey by worshiping other gods, is what appears to me to happen, repeatedly. They’ll come through some scrape, some battle, gain victory, then get comfortable and go back to their old ways. We’re not told exactly what else they did, or given any explanation for their disobedience, but, because I think we would probably be disobedient, too, I think I understand it a little.

 They disobey because they’re afraid. “What are they afraid of, Linda?,” you may ask. They’re afraid things won’t work out, basically. They feel insecure and they revert to worshiping other gods. I’m not sure they are really turning against God. Maybe they just wanted to buy a little insurance by worshiping other deities. “What can it hurt?” they may have asked themselves. So, how did they disobey, or fail God?

 Their main failing was they lost faith. I see a corollary with the loss of faith back then in the way we respond to the challenges of COVID-19, in Questioning. As I pay attention to my own internal responses to all that is going on, I find myself asking questions like these:

What’s going to happen?

Am I going to be okay?

Are people I love going to be okay?

What’s going to happen to our country?

In other words, I’m expressing doubt, not faith. It’s completely normal to worry. We’d be abnormal not to be asking some of those questions. I’ll try to explain what to do about that in a minute.

Another way we express doubt, not faith:

Hoarding. I’m not sure how many people have hoarded anything. There just may be serious shortages of everything. I just don’t know. But, hoarding would be a lack of faith in that it says “I want to have stuff. I want to be sure I have stuff, a lot of stuff. I don’t trust that I will have enough, so I’m making sure, even if I’m taking away from others.”

So, maybe the best thing we can do right now is to have faith. We must take a deep breath and find our power and hope in faith. A statement of faith would look something like:

I, or we, will get through this. There may be consequences that we don’t like, but, ultimately, we will get through it.

And, we will get through it,

  • First, by keeping the faith with God. By believing that God stands with us in the fight.
  • Second, we will get through it together, which is ultimately one of the ways God helps us. We have one another because of God’s intervention in our lives. I have the friends I have because of the spirit of God working in my life. Our togetherness is vital right now. We need one another for support, for connection, for reassurance, to laugh sometimes, and, yes, to cry, too.
  • Third, we will get through it by acting. The right action right now is to do nothing, to stay at home and try to thwart the spread of this disease.

In closing, I’ll share a version of the prayer I’ve shared with you before. Please think of yourself with your head bowed as you read:

Gracious God, we come to you with humble hearts, ever mindful of all we’ve been given. We ask that you help us through this troubled time, in whatever way you deem best, but we need you right now. Because I need you, I further ask these things for all of us.

I ask for wisdom so that I might understand.

I ask for faith so that I might hope.

I ask for strength so that I might endure.

I ask for the empathy that bestows upon me the grace of kindness and compassion for others.

Bestir our hearts with the power of your all-encompassing love so that we may follow your example in all that we do.

Be with us now as we meet uncertain times with the faith that gives us peace. In Christ’s name. Amen.

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