3/13 Worship is Canceled at First German UMC for the next two weeks

Dear Friends and Families of First German United Methodist Church,
This is a follow-up email to the email sent last night, Thursday March 12th, regarding First German United Methodist Church’s response to Coronavirus.

This email contains a change of plans from what was previously announced.

As of Friday, March 13th our plan is:

  1. Public worship at First German United Methodist Church is postponed for the next two weeks: Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 12. That means no public worship in the church building. Check the website going forward, however, for an optional home worship opportunity.
  1. The First German United Methodist Church Heritage School will be closed the week of Monday, March 16 – Friday, March 20. More information about the following week will come
  1. In order to maintain connection and community in this time we are requesting volunteers to be part of a telephone tree. If interested please email Pastor Kurt at [email protected]
  1. We will start an online bible study this coming Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 P.M. The text will be John 4:5-42, and the topic will be trusting Jesus to show up. Keep an eye out for further information regarding this on our website and via email.
  1. As the need arises, additional information will be sent out via email over the coming days and weeks. You can also visit the Public Health page of our website for up to date information.

After much consultation with other United Methodist and local Glendale leaders, I have decided that holding worship these next two Sundays puts our community at unnecessary risk. I did not come to this decision lightly. I am aware that many in our community look forward to Sunday morning all week, and that postponing worship distances us from vital community.

I want to encourage our church community to be in prayerful conversation over phone and text about how we can band together to be the church in this unprecedented time.

The church of Jesus Christ has been in the wilderness before. Times like these remind us that there is much in the world that is outside human control. We do not know what the future will hold, but as the 13th chapter of Hebrews reminds us, Jesus Christ has promised to neither leave us, nor forsake us. Because of this promise we can step boldly into the unknown and expect God to lead us into expressions of life, love, and community that we would not have experienced otherwise. We may indeed look back on this time as precisely the instigating moment to a renewed sense of our common calling and mission.

If you would like to be part of the team actively discerning how we might continue to be the church to each other and to our community in this time I invite you to email me at [email protected], and to be on the lookout for upcoming plans and announcements.

As I wrote in my previous email, it is tempting to react to this moment with either indifference or fear. But as John 16:13 reminds us, God has given us the Spirit of Truth, and this Spirit moves us out of a place of mere reaction and into a place discernment and response, out of a spirit of indifference or fear, and into a Spirit of prudence and faith.

As the body of Christ empowered by the Spirit of Truth we will walk through this wilderness together. We are not alone, and we are not forsaken.

If you have any ideas, concerns, or questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with me at [email protected].

The prudence and faith of Jesus Christ be with you,

Yours in Spirit and in Truth,

Kurt Poland
Pastor, First German UMC