Are you looking for a place to belong? You’ll receive a warm welcome at Richmond United Methodist Church.
We are a church dedicated to Jesus Christ. We are committed to outreach and to minister in His name.
There is an array of family-oriented ministries providing opportunities for children, youth, and adults to grow in faith, to enjoy Christian friendship, and to serve Christ.
There is a place for you at Richmond United Methodist Church.
Generally speaking, I like using my newsletter article space for a theological treatise or introspective meditation. This tendency reflects my personality as well as my general approach to ministry, but this time I think it would be more appropriate to have a “fireside chat” in newsletter form. Many pandemic-related issues are before us as we approach the fall and the beginning of the school year.
First of all, please keep our schools in prayer. We are still not sure if the students will be required to wear masks throughout the day as they did last year. In addition to the masks, the social distancing forced on the students – as well as the myriad of restrictions they had to observe – created struggles for many of our young people, their teachers, and the staff of the schools. These struggles went beyond “being uncomfortable” for the students most in need of special attention and assistance.
On a bit of a personal, related note, please continue to pray for the students engaged in extra-curricular activities. We always pray for their safety and enjoyment, but there is definitely a sense of unease about the uncertainty of the upcoming school year.
Here at the church, we are maintaining as many of the COVID protocols as we can. Such protocols include the offering boxes by the doors of the sanctuary (and subsequently no longer needing to pass offering plates), as well as keeping sanitizer near every entrance. I have no doubt that if we needed to return to certain restrictions – namely no hand-shaking, wearing masks or face-shields, and social distancing – that we could do so quickly and with relative ease. Of course, I recognize that we don’t want to endure those restrictions, but we want to keep meeting for worship as much as possible. If the bishop requests that we shut down again per the guidance of the state and the CDC, we will obey our authorities even if we disagree. (This upholds Peter’s instructions from his letters.) We intend to continue having worship services even if a member of the church comes down with COVID, although our policy is to release a One-Call to the congregation to let everyone know this has happened.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, please have gentle hearts as we approach the fall. Some people are deeply concerned about the novel coronavirus and the affects it has on respiratory function, sometimes concerned to the point of being afraid. I would encourage each of us to remember that God’s perfect love drives out fear. Therefore, if our frustration grows – and I believe that for many of us, the re-institution of COVID restrictions would be deeply frustrating – let us stay rooted in the love of our Savior. Please have open hearts and an abiding faith that Christ will see us through this trial, even as He has guided us through difficulties in the past. And please have a willingness to reach out in love to those who are most concerned and most affected by these restrictions. By God’s grace we do not need to fear anything in this world! (Okay, except for maybe running out of donuts…)
In Christ, Byron