3/17/20 Dear BHUMC friends, Grace and peace to you as we face unprecedented changes in our world and our lives. We are hearing some of the stress that folks are experiencing, with worries about health and finances, and also the effect of so much disruption to our routines. Please keep reaching out to each other, and please hold each other in prayer. In particular, please remember to pray for medical professionals and their families, and families whose wages are disappearing. In the midst of it all, we are also hearing and seeing signs of Christ’s love all around us: - Volunteers are eager to help with food deliveries and other needs; - The Community Lunch team is working to provide take-out food to neighbors; - Members are checking in with those at risk of isolation. - A team is dreaming ways to create “virtual” spiritual connection with online worship and other resources. Where are you seeing Love brought to life in these days? *****
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Do you know someone who needs: - Emergency food or grocery gift cards? - Emergency assistance of another sort that we may be able to help them find? - A conversation with a church friend or pastor? - Other assistance we may not yet have thought of? Please do not hesitate to text, call, or email your pastors with any of these concerns. Call the office and we will provide you with their phone numbers. Email address are: Pastor Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org and Pastor Doug at email@example.com
HERE IS ANOTHER WAY YOU CAN HELP: If you know someone who is not connected by e-mail and/or Facebook (our current daily modes of communication from BHUMC), can you do one or more of these: - Get us their email address so we can add them to our list? - Loan them a tablet or laptop if they lack “hardware?” - Provide a quick lesson in how to use the needed technology? - Print out the emails and share them? - Make a commitment to call someone who is “out of this loop” and update them on news? Let us know if we can help with that. ****
AND ONE MORE WAY: If you are able, your giving is still very important to the life of this church. Staff is continuing to serve, keeping us connected, reaching out to help, and keeping the facility safe and clean. We understand that for some, continued giving will be difficult for a time. If you are able, however, please do find a way to honor your pledge. A few of us may be even be able to give a little “ahead of schedule” to help us through this time. Please know that church leaders are actively engaged in setting priorities about spending, eliminating unnecessary expense while prioritizing: 1. our commitments to our outstanding, mostly-part-time staff; 2. Helping and serving our congregation and community in the ways that we can.
EVENTS: We pray, with great anticipation, for the day when we can sing and pray and study and serve and fellowship, all together. But, for now, please know that your church community is with you, even though connected by phone and internet. We do need to limit the traffic into and out of the building, to do our part to slow the progression of COVID-19. If you need something of your pastors or the church office, please CALL, EMAIL, or TEXT, and kindly do not come by the office, much as we normally love to see you. If you need us to pick up something (food donation, pledge envelopes, etc), we can arrange to send someone to your door (no handshakes or invite-ins needed!). And again, if you or someone you know needs delivery of groceries or supplies, please contact the office or a pastor. The Young Families Fellowship is ready to help! Peace. I hold you all in my heart, and in my prayers, Holly, With and for, Doug
BHUMC Update for the week of March 30th
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change…. – Psalm 46 What prayers and scriptures are helping you to stay grounded in these days?
We are taking seriously the advice and urging of our District Superintendent, our Governor, and the federal government in cancelling gatherings and limiting social contact. We pray for your health, and for calm and peace of mind for all in the midst of anxious times. We also pray that God will show us ways to pray, worship, and serve others while keeping ourselves, and others, safe.
There will be no on-site Worship Services for the month of April. All other on-site meetings/gatherings have been cancelled. Your pastors are making “live” worship available to tune into online, on Sunday at 10:30 AM. Watch for updates and links.
If you wish to view last Sunday’s Worship, here is the link for the stream of the full service: https://youtu.be/V8HiYoeks0Q You can find Sunday’s sermon on the “Worship” page of this website. https://www.nybhumc.com/sermons.html
We wanted you to “hear” the words to the last song, as it poignantly speaks to the situation of our world, the faithfulness of those whose loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals, and the hope that we might heal each other by our care…” Wounded world that cries for healing – here we hold each other’s pain, wounded systems, bruised and bleeding bear the load, the scars of strain; dollars ration out compassion, hard decisions rule the day. Jesus of the healing Spirit, free us to another way. Honor those whose loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals, towel and basin used in service like the Christ who comes and kneels; in the tending, in the mending may we see the right and fair, in our common quest for wholeness, heal each other by our care. -Words, Shirley Erena Murray, music Hal H. Hopson; c. 1996 Hope Publishing Co. Used in worship by permission via OneLicense #A-728041
And here are the scriptures from this past Sunday’s service:
Matthew 9:36-38 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Zoom Meetings and Virtual Coffee Hour As we live into the current reality of being physically apart, we seek new ways to be together. BHUMC has an online meeting tool called: ZOOM. Zoom allows us to hear one another, and (if your phone or computer is camera-equipped) to see one another. Explorers, Seekers, Pub Explorations, Confirmation, Sr. High Sunday School, staff and others are already meeting by Zoom.
So… now we would like to offer informal “coffee time” to “see” one another and your pastors. For this week, we have set up a first time: Tuesday, 3/31 at 3 PM. (We’d like to set up a second later in the week; please let Pastor Holly or Cindy know whether you would prefer a morning time, such as Friday morning, or an evening time, if, for instance, your days are full with kids’ online schooling).
For all other Zoom meetings, contact the leader of your group or Cindy in the office if you would like to receive the link information so that you can participate. (You will be asked by Zoom to enable your camera and your audio)
Wednesday Bible Study via Zoom Just this week, the Wed. Morning (9:30-10:30 am) Explorers Study group has begun to meet via Zoom. They begin a new study next week (April 8th) on Biblical Wisdom Literature. Any interested person is welcome to join via ZOOM. Each Explorers session includes a bit of fellowship, a video of an educational session led by a biblical scholar, and time to discuss what we hear in the video, what we may have learned, how it might apply in our lives or understanding of Scripture and/or Biblical context. Each Explorers session is a stand alone unit, so feel free to attend whenever you can, but do not worry about missing other sessions.
Join Explorers each Wednesday at 9:30am via Zoom. Meeting ID # is 158 512 871. If you have not used Zoom before you can load the program to your Smart Phone or Tablet by clicking on https://us04web.zoom.us/j/158512871 (be sure to do this before class time so that you are set when we begin). If you do not have a device, but are interested on listening in, you may your phone to call +1(646) 558 -8656 and then enter the meeting ID when prompted. If you have questions about ZOOM or the class, please contact Pastor Doug.
Palm Sunday Your worship team plans to pre-record Palm Sunday worship to avoid any internet issues on this special holiday. We will send a link out before 10:30 AM on Sunday so that you can tune into Palm Sunday worship. What “palms” will your family wave? Pine boughs, green paper, something even more creative?
We will offer a “Zoom” online coffee hour at 11:30 Sunday morning to catch up with one another and share our home-created palms. The Sunday coffee hour link will be sent out later in the week.
Community Lunch on Thursday, 4/16 has been cancelled. If you know of neighbors who need a meal, please contact the office and we will arrange to get a lunch to them.
Here’s a way to help medical personnel A member of our congregation who is a NICU nurse in Albany sent along an idea for a simple crafted gift that we could provide for medical staff: Rachele says: “… something that you may be able to pass along to the community that would be greatly appreciated by nurses/medical professionals. Because we are wearing masks for long hours, the loops that hold them on are causing the skin on our ears to break down. I wore a surgical mask for both of my 12 hour shifts and the skin is already itchy, sore and ready to break open…. I know many nurses and respiratory therapists at AMC who would appreciate something like this and have friends at Glens Falls, Saratoga, Ellis, and nursing homes who have said the same.” Find photos of headbands with buttons sewn on to them below. The buttons hold the mask elastic, so that the elastic does not sit on the ears. A package of headbands from the pharmacy (and even used, laundered ones) and some buttons… you have the makings of a priceless gift! If you create some, email a pastor or Cindy at church to arrange for us to get them to Rachele. (And, if you have been making cloth masks, we believe Baptist Health Center is still glad to receive them for non-clinical use).
And another special request from one of our medical people in the congregation:
If there are any construction friends with unopened N95 masks, who would be willing to donate them to Saratoga Hospital, it would be greatly appreciated. BHUMC has members working in the hospital who will get them directly to the ER. Thank you.
Volunteering at the Regional Food Bank A couple of church members volunteer at the Regional Foodbank in Latham. If you would like to find out about volunteering as an individual or as a family, please see the Volunteer page at: https://regionalfoodbank.net/volunteer/ The Regional Foodbank is located at 965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110. Terry Pranys, who has volunteered there for some time, reports: “They have reduced the number of volunteers per shift down to 10 but have also added afternoon shifts. …. Daytime volunteers need to be between 18 and 69. They are still taking children (families) as volunteers in evening shifts.” If you’d like to know more, visit the page linked above, or Terry Pranys (she’s in the church directory) would be glad to talk with you.
David Wadd, a United Methodist Lay Speaker in the BHUMC congregation, offers this scripture-based affirmation for this week. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. -2 Timothy 1:7 With the unfolding global coronavirus pandemic with us, life can be very stressful and quite scary. I do have times when I feel weak and scared. But because I am created in the image and likeness of God I am strengthened through my faith. When I hold on to my faith and allow it to help me, I can handle anything. Consider repeating this affirmation during your day: With God’s help, I am mentally, physically and spiritually strong. If you’d like to know more about Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries, David Wadd would be glad to share his experience (As would Renee Mesh, who has also been involved in the Lay Servant Ministries program).
-Community Luncheons are free and open to everyone! They are held on the third Thursday of every month from 12-1:30 pm in Knight Hall at the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church.