Update on Cancelled Activities and Worship in Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak
Hello Church Family,
We have entered into a strange new reality. While we can draw parallels to other unsettling moments we’ve had to endure in the past, the COVID-19 outbreak is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. As we navigate this uncharted territory together, I want to keep you posted about some important updates:
WORSHIP HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
While we had a small, in-person worship service this past Sunday with many precautions taken to limit contact and potential spread of any virus, I understand that even our precautions may not be enough to keep all of our members safe. So, in following the direction of many other churches in our area, I have decided to cancel regular “in-person” worship this week, March 22. We will take this a week at a time. We will not resume regular “in-person” worship until it is safe to do so.
LENTEN SERVICE FOR MARCH 18 CANCELLED
We were to host the Mid-week Lenten Service and Luncheon this Wednesday. This has been cancelled.
RISE AGAINST HUNGER MEAL PACKING HAS BEEN POSTPONED
The Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing event scheduled for March 21 has been postponed. Once a later date has been set, we will contact all who signed up.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES/SUNDAY SCHOOL/BIBLE STUDY/MEETINGS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Our regularly scheduled small groups and bible study will be postponed until further notice. Groups or committees that wish to meet may do so in virtual meeting rooms. Contact Pastor Wil for more information. Be on the lookout for alternative forms of small groups.
WE CAN BRING CHURCH TO YOU
It is Lent, after all! Please join Pastor Wil in continuing to focus on our faith in this Lenten season. Be on the lookout for devotional email messages, videos, and more as we navigate this time of isolation and social distancing. We can still stay connected, even in isolation!
ONLINE GIVING AND OTHER OPTIONS
We also ask that you remember the church with your tithes and offerings. We depend on your generosity to continue in ministry. You can give electronically through the church app or by texting freeholdmethodist to 77977. You can also mail your check or envelope to the church. We understand that this might be a financially pressing time for you and your family and we understand you may not be able to give at the same level as before. For others who have the ability to work from home and potentially save some money, we ask that you prayerfully discern how you can help us as others struggle in this difficult time. Finally, if you have the ability to do so, we would welcome members to pre-pay towards their yearly pledge for the year. Together, we can continue to be the church, even in isolation!
STAY IN TOUCH
Please contact us at the church office if you have a prayer concern to share, a need that we can help you with, or if you wish to speak with the pastor for prayer or spiritual guidance. We are here for you in this time.
DON’T FORGET TO BE THE CHURCH
While we are isolating ourselves for the safety of all, we must not isolate ourselves from using our phones or computers to “check-in” on our neighbors, loved ones and church friends. If you discover a need that the church can help with, please forward your concern to the church office (732-462-1745). If you are in need of help with groceries, medications, or other vital items, please let us know!
Pastor Wil is also working to access the needs of our community during this difficult time. He will be in communication about ways we can reach out and help those in need, especially through local nonprofits like Open Door.
LET US CONTINUE TO BE IN PRAYER FOR ONE ANOTHER
Please forward your prayer concerns to the prayer chain or to the church office. If you would like your concern to be public, we will share the request with the congregation. If you wish for your prayer to remain private, it will only be shared with Pastor Wil. Let us continue to lean on our faith and lean on one another through this challenging time.
As we take these next steps into an unknown future, may we continue to lean on God. Our fear and anxiety may lead us to panic and we may become overwhelmed. Remember that God is with you and so is our beautiful community of faith. Let us pray:
Lord of all, you know our needs and our burdens. You know the struggles we face today and in the weeks ahead. Be present in our homes and with our loved ones, near and far. Keep us safe. At the same time, lead us to be the church and serve as your ambassadors of love and service. Give us the creativity and strength required to help our neighbors, even in unique and special ways. We can all do our part to help serve your kingdom. Continue to lead us to better days and help us to grow more in love and devotion to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Keep the faith,