Dear Church Family,
I miss seeing everyone on Sunday mornings, and look forward to the day we can worship together again. I am grateful for the phone calls and conversations that I have had with many of you, and am grateful for all of you. Thank you for staying connected during this time of social distancing. It has been hard for all of us, but I am grateful for your willingness to keep everyone safe.
As you may know our Governor has begun the process of reopening the Arkansas Economy. This process has allowed for church gatherings to be restarted with numerous restrictions and safety measures in place as recommended by the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health. As United Methodists we must also consider the advice of our Bishop and Cabinet who have asked us to wait before reopening our churches until sometime after May. It is very likely that our reopening may be several weeks away, as at this time we have been asked to not have gatherings over 10 people, until phase two of the process of reopening.
To help us to consider all of the information before us, we have put together a Re-Opening Team that is considering the precautions and practices we must put in place to keep our worshippers safe. Thank you to all who completed the recent survey for our Re-Opening team. We will be considering information from the Governor, CDC, Health Department, the Bishop, and the recommended procedures for in person gatherings. The Bishop and cabinet will give us guidance at the end of May as to when we can reopen. At this moment they are considering reopening in mid-June.
As much as we all want to be back together in worship, we know that it is our responsibility to keep everyone safe. The first rule of the Methodists is to "Do no harm." As always if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
What can you do to help?
Rev. John Embrey
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7
Dear GUMC Family,
I know that we are all dealing with uncertainties due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), and many of us find ourselves questioning the events around us. For some of us this uncertainty looks like fear or anxiety. Fear of the virus, fear of the unknown, fear of isolation, or fear for a family member or friend who may be in the group that is more compromised than others due to an already existing health concern. Others of us may be trying to discern how we are going to manage our work and family at a time of social distancing. It is also likely that many are concerned about the financial strain this may take on all of us, especially on those who struggle to provide for their families.
It is at a time like this that we need to draw heavily upon our relationship with Jesus Christ, for the peace that we can find only in him. For as we draw closer in relationship with Jesus Christ, we find our anxiety and fear to be replaced with a peace that surpasses human understanding as well as a deeper sense of purpose, and of stronger love and compassion for all those around you. It is also at a time like this that we are called to be the church for others, even if that looks different than what we are used to experiencing.
Currently GUMC is suspending all our scheduled on-campus activities through Sunday, May 17. This includes all small groups including Sunday school, Wednesday dinner, Team Christ, Youth meetings, practices and rehearsals, and all in-person Worship services. We will continue to monitor the recommendations of the CDC, our Bishop and Cabinet, and other officials to determine the need to suspend our activities past this date and will keep you informed as decisions are made. Until then the ministries of the church will continue in the following ways, and we will continue to address other needs as they also arise.
Mission & Outreach: We will continue being the church of Jesus Christ in different ways. We want to continue to provide the mission support to our community that we offer on a weekly and monthly basis. We are working with the schools to continue offering the Backpack program to the students who depend on the help we provide on a weekly basis. We are also planning to carry on with our monthly Food Bank and will be modifying the program to provide the needed food in a way that protects against the spread of COVID-19.
Compassion & Connection: We also want to continue our compassion and connection ministries to the members of the church, and our pastors and staff are working to stay in contact with our members to guarantee that your spiritual needs are being met during this time of uncertainty.
Worship: While we cannot gather for worship for the next several weeks, we will continue to provide an opportunity on our Facebook page on days that we cannot gather in-person.
Our church office will be running on a limited schedule during this time. If you need to contact the office or one of our pastors with questions, concerns, or needs please leave a message and we will do what we can to help find the support you need. The office number is 479-996-6397. You can also reach out to us if you would be willing to help to provide support or ministry to others as well.
We also continue to be grateful for your financial support of the ministries and mission of GUMC. Since we are unable to meet in person, please know that you may still make a gift to GUMC through online giving (by using the "Giving" tab at the top of this page). You may also choose to text your gift to 479-777-0968, by texting the amount you would like to give and then following the prompts. Or you may mail a gift to: Greenwood UMC, PO Box 548, Greenwood, AR 72936.
In this time of uncertainty, know that your pastors and staff are praying for you! Please let us know if you or someone you know has a need, so we can continue to be in ministry with one another. Contact us at (479) 996-6397, or email@example.com.
Praying for you, our church, and our community in this uncertain and anxious time,
Rev. John Embrey