Message From The Pastor 3-18-2020
Last evening, I held a conference call meeting with our church Leadership Team to plan our way forward during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Our priority is the safety and health of everyone who uses our church facility. We also want to comply with any Federal, State, and Local ordinances that have been implemented that deal with public gatherings. Specifically, our state of Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency limiting public gatherings to 25 people. With this in mind, we carefully discussed our Sunday worship service, meetings, and outreach ministries so that we can remain connected to God, each other, and the community and still be in compliance with the state’s ruling.
Sunday Worship Service: The CSUMC Leadership Team and I have agreed to allow the church to continue it’s Sunday Worship Services. Beginning on Sunday, March 22, 2020, CSUMC will continue to hold its Sunday Worship at the regular hours -from 10 am – 11 am. We have a large sanctuary. We will use social distancing and take advantage of our space and our excellent sound system. Last Sunday, March 15, twenty-two people gathered to worship. We expect the attendance to be within compliance.
CSUMC Thrift’s Shop/Food Pantry: Our Thrift Store manager will continue to operate the thrift shop at its regular hours: Wednesday from 9 am – 2 pm, Saturday 9 am – 12 pm.
Free Community Dinner: We decided to cancel the March monthly dinner but are exploring other ways to serve and feed the people of God. Stay tuned.
Small Groups: The Bible Study Group decided to continue its weekly Bible Study on Wednesday at 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm in the Diamond Room.
Outside groups: Several outside groups who are using God’s, and people’s space at CSUMC will independently make their own decisions on their gatherings. The Leadership Team members will contact these groups to take preventative measures to safeguard their members as well as ours.
The Leadership Team will continue to watch for additional medical alerts and declarations from the Federal, State, and Local officials. We will post appropriate alerts and announcements on our church website: https:\\gardnerumc.org. If you would like to be on our email list, kindly send us an email by using our church email at the bottom of this letter.
CSUMC will use email and our church website to share news and communications from the following:
- New England Conference UMC, District Superintendent, Rev. Megan Stowe, Pastor Sela Rousseau, CSUMC Leadership Team/Church Council, Federal, State, local government, and the Medical Community.
We will send emails and post weekly updates on our website with worship bulletins, news, and others. We encourage you to check our website, post questions, suggestions, prayers, scriptures, faith stories, and inspirational quotes, and devotions.
I appreciate your faithfulness, wisdom, cooperation, and prayers. Let us remain prayerful, hopeful, and trust God, our medical experts, and our collaboration. By doing so, we will get through this challenge.
With a heart of gratitude and love, I thank God for each of you and our Leadership Team for always being the evidence of God’s presence in the world.
“Be prayerful, be wise, be compassionate, and be still.”
Despite this time of gloom and anxiety, I know that we still enjoy the presence of a loving and healing God. I invite you to join me in praising God along with the Psalmist – King David.
Enjoy! I am praying for God’s grace, peace, and healing for you and your loved ones.
Pastor Sela Rousseau
“We are the evidence of God’s presence in the world.”