You can now provide your tithes and gift offerings on-line using the button below or by scanning the QR code. You can click on the button; 1.) Enter the amount, 2.) Select on the drop-down Dimondale UMC, 3.) You can select to choose monthly if you would like. You can also elect to leave blank and enter each time you provide your gift, 4.) Select the choice to pay either with your Paypal account or select Debit or Credit Card.
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! We have held steady in this pandemic shut down and are now preparing some stages of reentry leading us to resume public worship.
This comes with a caution that extreme care needs to continue around possible transmission of this deadly virus. It means that we will have a protocol that will have to be observed by everyone in order to protect each one. If the State of Michigan infection numbers go back up, we will shut back down. We will strenuously do all we can to protect against the critical three Cs risks that are transmitters of Covid-19: closed environments, crowded places, and close contact settings. Coming back together also assumes people who are not feeling well or have underlying health issues stay home until we have an effective vaccine.
Our plan going forward is this. I will record the service for June 28 from my home this week to post by Friday evening. We will have a Zoom Sunday gathering at 10:00 hosted by Paul Howe. The next week we plan to film the service on Friday, July 3 at 9:30 in the church building. We are welcoming anyone who would like to be there to come for the 9:30 filming that Friday. Masks will be required. Seating will be designated. There will be no coffee hour, and any socialization will have to be done outdoors following the service. This is hardly ideal. Even preachers know the highlight of the church-going experience isn’t the sermon but seeing everybody else and having coffee and a treat! I get that! I also know we are missing being in our church building, and so we will gather for a shorter service with plenty of social distancing and hand sanitizer and see how we are able to navigate that bit of increased risk. If we can’t we will have to go back to worship at home.
If all the above goes well we plan to fully open for worship on Sunday, July 12 at 9:30, with all the above protocols in place, and go forward from there as long as the numbers of new infections stay very low. We have learned that online worship will continue to be important regardless, and we are working on upgrading our video capacity to create a better online experience as many people connect with us online. We will also continue reaching out to our people who are not plugged into the internet. You have been so patient with our amateur attempts and awkward forays into broadcasting. Thank you. At the same time, we have learned that our bonds are resilient, and our faith has stood by us as we have hung together – apart. We are so indebted to Judy Entenman for her creative leadership on a number of fronts. Tonie Lokker has diligently cleaned the church in preparation for our first steps back in the building. Don Krepps, Dan Creyts, and our Trustees have kept the grounds looking fabulous, and Gloria Gambill has planted beautiful flowers. Thank you all. Our small group gatherings for people without internet have been heartwarming and the faithfulness of our people continues to humble me.
Yet the larger world whirls around us. These strange times demand more from us than caution around a pandemic. Social unrest and a reckoning with history, long overdue, is on our national plate. A gearing up election cycle will bring with it tremendous divisiveness and ugly rhetoric.
It is our job as Christians to continue to live our gospel good news of justice and love, inclusion and hope, community and peace. We will be called to examine our collective soul as a nation and ask if we can’t do better for all our people especially the poor and those oppressed by the legacy of racism. We can act and answer, care and connect, love and learn, and together bring a new world yearning to be born. May God bless and make it so.
Rev. Linda Farmer-Lewis