MALTA UMC IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO “SHELTER IN PLACE” ORDER TO FIGHT COVID-19 – UPDATE
OCTOBER 25, 2020 NO IN-CHURCH WORSHIP UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO INCREASE IN COVID 19 PER DEKALB HEALTH DEPT.
Dear Church Family,
I wanted to let everyone know about worship for the foreseeable future, as we start this month of November. We won’t be able to have any “ in person worship” until the latest restrictions for this part of Illinois are lifted. As you may know, we are in “Region 1” of the various regions here in Illinois created by the Illinois Department of Health for Covid-19 mitigation. Sadly our region is one of the worst in the state in terms of the severity of the pandemic. And though DeKalb County is doing better than some counties in our region, unless there is a significant decline in cases and hospitalizations for Covid, we will be under stricter measures for some time. So, since we can’t have in person worship, here is what we will be doing:
the scripture, message, and music will be
posted on our church Facebook Page, and
via YouTube, and we will send out an
email link to those each week.
9:00 AM on Sunday we will have Zoom
church, that you can join via your
computer or phone (including land line
we will mail out the sermon to those who
would like to receive it. If you are not
already receiving the sermon and would
like to, please let Pastor Jeremiah know
- I miss worshiping with all us together in one room. I know personally, I miss singing the songs of faith with each other. However, we are still family, united in Christ, able to love, support and build each other up in faith, and share the love of Christ with our world. So we hope to connect with you via worship each week as we continue on this journey through the time of pandemic.
PASTOR JEREMIAH’S JANUARY MESSAGE
I Corinthians 12:4: “There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.” One of my favorite podcasters has in recent months been doing shows about human prehistory. He’s been talking about how humans, after the last ice age, started finding new ways of living in settled communities all over the world, compared to the ways that most humans had been nomads for tens of thousands of years before that. What’s interesting is that people found ways to be able to settle in so many different ways. In some places they discovered better ways to fish for the bounty of the seas. In some places people learned to hunt, catch, forage, and pick a wide variety of foods. In some places humans learned that the nuts of the trees can provide stable year round food , if you learn to process and store them the right way. The result of all this was that humans from the Americas, to Africa, to every place in between started living in the same places more or less permanently, as many of us do today. What I find fascinating is that humans could achieve the same goal in so many ways. That got me thinking about how God works through people. In many ways, I believe in a pretty simple theology and purpose in life. I believe God loves us, wants us to be in relationship with God and wants us to love others. I believe Jesus shows us God’s love. The thing is, though the same loving God calls to us all and Christ teaches us all to love, the ways we live that out are so varied. I’ve seen people serving God with hammers and nails, the written word, with a syringe, in the cab of a tractor, and so many more. Some people live out God’s call by teaching children, some by encouraging and supporting others, some through an emphasis in prayer, and list goes on and on. The point is, if all these people can follow God’s calling, and they can bless other people. To go back to my initial paragraph, just as humans all over the world have learned what they can grow or gather in there part of the world to make a living, so God in a huge variety of ways, gifts us to know blessing and be a blessing to others. 2020 won’t go down in history as a joyful year for many people, there are a thousand reasons for that, that we all know. However, as we enter 2021 there are thousands of ways that God will be gifting people to bless others and to grow closer to God. This new year, like all new year’s, is a chance to dedicate our lives again or for the first time to loving God, deepening our relationship with God, and letting God’s Holy Spirit show us how we can be a gift and blessing to others. The question is not, will God gift each and every one of us, but the question is, will we follow God’s leading and use the gifts God gives us? It is my hope and prayer that as we start this new year, we keep our ears, eyes, heart, mind and more open to the ways the Holy Spirit of God is calling to us. In the pain of our world today, there are so many ways we can help someone else in Jesus’ Name. Whoever you are reading this, God is gifting you to help someone. Will you do it? I pray we all do, as we start this new year, and as we hopefully come towards the end of the pandemic. We can all, guided by God, help our society enter a new and better, and above all a more loving era. May we all use our gifts, diverse as they are, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Pastor Jeremiah MALTA UNITED Methodist Church.
Blessings & Peace, Pastor Jeremiah