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Posted on Sat, Mar 14, 2020

Click to read an open letter from Pastor Dave to all of us

Our Church building is closed due to the Covid-19 virus, Pastor Dave is recording a weekly sermon for us to use in our devotions at home.  Click the large picture of Pastor Dave on the HOME page to view his sermon for this week.  Continue scrolling to read an open letter from Pastor Dave to all of us.



Emanuel United Methodist Church
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Emanuel UMC,

As you are all very well aware, we are living in unprecedented times, dealing with circumstances many of us have never experienced. With the element of the world-wide pandemic that is upon us, almost everything that we know as “normal” has changed. From stores, workplaces and even places of recreation, what we have practiced in our normal daily routines has transitioned into new practices such as “social distancing” and secluding ourselves from virtually all gatherings and fellowships. As a result, our churches have had to also change the way that we do things. As of now, we will not be holding public fellowship in our buildings until at least April 5th, which is also Palm Sunday. Of course, we will continue to abide by the
recommendations and directives of the proper authorities, doing our
part to curb the spread of the COVID19 virus.

With all of the changes that we have and are experiencing, we can
have confidence in something that has not changed, and that is the
Word of God. Although our Worship practices may need to be
changed as in the way that we worship together, our worship of God,
through His Son Jesus Christ does not need to change at all. As
Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us, from
the day we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. We serve a God
that does not vacate the premises when things get difficult and
challenging. In the case of what is happening in the world today, the
Holy Spirit is still ever present within each of us and is our source of
strength when doubt and fear are all around us. Church doors may
be closed, but the Church is ever alive and present, and will remain
the guiding light for Christians throughout the world, and a beacon to
all those that seek comfort during these dark days.

Many of us are feeling fear, angst, anxiety, and maybe even anger
during this crisis. And to each of you, I confirm that your feelings are
valid. The unknown and changing elements of everything that we are
hearing and learning will naturally generate these emotional
responses in you. Emotions are a natural element of our body’s
healing capacities. I also suggest that the body of the Church, of
which we are all a part, is God’s way of helping us through these
emotional responses. Although we cannot meet face to face, we are
still available for discussion and outreach through other means. If
you are feeling discouraged or afraid, your church fellowship is only a
phone call away. We can continue to serve one another through our
prayers as well as assisting those around us who may not have the
ability or mobility to acquire the items they need at the stores. It is a
time for the church to open our ears, eyes and hearts to those around
us and listen for concerns and challenges that others are facing; then
for us to find ways to help through our love for one another.

So, how can you and our church help? Are you aware of a family
member who is struggling financially due to their employment being
eliminated for the time being? Do you know people who serve in
restaurants or small businesses that are unable to keep their doors
open who are worried and concerned about paying their bills, or
meeting other important financial obligations? Our leadership team
met last night and decided we would like to learn about these
situations so that we can consider assistance to these people either
financially, in kind, or both. We are so blessed to have a church
fellowship that is generous in its love for others and willing to do
whatever possible to help those that are less fortunate than
ourselves. Now may be a time that we can extend that spirit of giving
to areas that we have not had the opportunity to do so. As you
become aware of such circumstances and opportunities, please let
me or anyone on the church leadership team know, and we will
immediately look at how we can support the situation.

At this time, we know that our situation will take us up to Palm
Sunday at a minimum, but with the way this is developing each and
every day, we must also be prepared in the case that it extends
beyond April 5th. As a church, it is our goal to continue to support all
of those that count on our church and continue to meet all of our
financial obligations. I would ask each of you to consider continuing
with your weekly tithing and giving, which can be done by mailing
your gifts and offerings to the church, through the US Postal Service.
We don’t know what needs lie ahead for those within the reach of our
ministry, but we want to remain prepared to be in a position to help
any and all of those that may reach out to us.

I will continue to provide a weekly message which will be available on
our church website each Sunday morning through a video link, as
well as text. For those that do not have computers or access to the
internet, I will provide the same message and text to you through the
mail, with my goal in having it to you with Saturday’s mail delivery.
During these challenging times, I just reiterate to each of you to
ensure that you continue to communicate with each other as often as
possible through whatever means are safe and appropriate for you.
Phone calls are valuable and they provide opportunities to discuss
and rationalize our fears and concerns with one another which may
be very important in helping us maintain our positive outlooks, if not
our sanity, as well!

Most of all, remember that God’s Word is unchanged through all of
this. He continues to seek an intimate relationship with each of us,
and maybe, we can take this opportunity to grow in our efforts to seek

May “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine
on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and
give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)
Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Dave.


If you have any difficulty viewing his message, call me at 717-779-5092 for assistance.

If you would rather read his weekly sermon, click on the PASTOR'S CORNER link in the menu at the top of the HOME page to view his sermon in text.


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