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Worship - Fall 2020
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Message from Pastor Bob:

 

Fall is all about change. We’ve already seen a quick change from summer to winter in the last couple of weeks and then another quick return to more autumn-like weather. The calendar is changing from September to October, from school start-ups to pumpkin spice and Halloween.

 

Change is happening for us at TLUMC, too. We’ve had a great summer of outdoor drive-in worship services that we’ve been able to host in person and broadcast online. It’s been a great experience as we’ve had the chance to worship together in the beauty of God’s creation despite the limitations of the Covid pandemic. We’ve learned a lot from the experience and one of the things we’ve learned is that worshipping out at the crosses together will likely continue as a tradition for us in the future, too, as we imagine gatherings of our whole church family to worship and maybe even have a cookout together, hopefully as soon as next summer.

 

But the change in seasons and change in the weather mean that we have to move to a new phase of Sunday morning worship. The one thing that hasn’t changed just yet is our need to maintain social distancing and do our best to protect one another. I hope and pray that we will soon be back to worshipping together in the sanctuary as a whole church family, and I’m confident that day is not too far around the corner. As soon as we can be fully open on Sundays, with multiple worship services, crowds, coffee, and conversation, we will do so with great enthusiasm!

 

For now, however, we are still in a phase where we need to continue to follow the guidelines of our local, state, and Conference on reopening. The pandemic is still a serious thing, and given our first General Rule as Methodists is to “do no harm,” we are going to do our best to maintain our worship life while ensuring everyone’s safety. To do that, we’re going to offer three new opportunities for worship and connection, including an in-person opportunity, beginning on Sunday, October 4.

 

Our last Drive-In Worship service will be on Sunday, September 27, weather permitting. Again, these new opportunities are not ideal, but like Drive-In Worship, they may provide us with some new habits and practices that we can carry over even after the pandemic and come out an even stronger and more connected church family.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers, your support, your generosity, and your patience. We are getting through this together and I’m very proud of the ways in which we have continued to be the church in a difficult time. Blessings to you and we’ll continue to see you each Sunday online or in person!

 

 

Message from Pastor Bob:

 

Fall is all about change. We’ve already seen a quick change from summer to winter in the last couple of weeks and then another quick return to more autumn-like weather. The calendar is changing from September to October, from school start-ups to pumpkin spice and Halloween.

 

Change is happening for us at TLUMC, too. We’ve had a great summer of outdoor drive-in worship services that we’ve been able to host in person and broadcast online. It’s been a great experience as we’ve had the chance to worship together in the beauty of God’s creation despite the limitations of the Covid pandemic. We’ve learned a lot from the experience and one of the things we’ve learned is that worshipping out at the crosses together will likely continue as a tradition for us in the future, too, as we imagine gatherings of our whole church family to worship and maybe even have a cookout together, hopefully as soon as next summer.

 

But the change in seasons and change in the weather mean that we have to move to a new phase of Sunday morning worship. The one thing that hasn’t changed just yet is our need to maintain social distancing and do our best to protect one another. I hope and pray that we will soon be back to worshipping together in the sanctuary as a whole church family, and I’m confident that day is not too far around the corner. As soon as we can be fully open on Sundays, with multiple worship services, crowds, coffee, and conversation, we will do so with great enthusiasm!

 

For now, however, we are still in a phase where we need to continue to follow the guidelines of our local, state, and Conference on reopening. The pandemic is still a serious thing, and given our first General Rule as Methodists is to “do no harm,” we are going to do our best to maintain our worship life while ensuring everyone’s safety. To do that, we’re going to offer three new opportunities for worship and connection, including an in-person opportunity, beginning on Sunday, October 4.

 

Our last Drive-In Worship service will be on Sunday, September 27, weather permitting. Again, these new opportunities are not ideal, but like Drive-In Worship, they may provide us with some new habits and practices that we can carry over even after the pandemic and come out an even stronger and more connected church family.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers, your support, your generosity, and your patience. We are getting through this together and I’m very proud of the ways in which we have continued to be the church in a difficult time. Blessings to you and we’ll continue to see you each Sunday online or in person!

 

The Table

 

table slide 2The Table:

 

The first opportunity is a new online Sunday morning worship experience we’re calling “The Table.” In the early stages of the pandemic, we quickly pivoted to worshipping online, showing the basics of one of our normal Sunday worship services each week. What we found, however, is that while the elements of worship are important, what people seem to miss the most is connection with one another. “The Table” will offer an online experience that brings together video check-ins with church families, testimonies, a children’s message, and informative segments all designed to help us feel more connected as a congregation. Yes, there will be Scripture, a sermon, and time for prayer along with some music, but we want to make this an interactive experience that enables our church family to see and hear from one another in a new way each week. We’ll be preaching and teaching from this table, for example, and the green screen behind me enables us to be in any setting anywhere in the world! Kind of cool!

 

“The Table” is grounded in the idea that many of the most important events in the life of Jesus, in the life of the church, and in our daily lives at home take place at a table. We’re going to invite you to sit together at your table on Sunday mornings and join us for worship. Maybe you’ll join us over breakfast or brunch or even lunch. You can send us a video of your family eating together and maybe even send us your favorite breakfast recipe to share! Send us pictures of your family doing something fun. Send us a question you’ve always wanted to ask about the church or Christian faith and our pastors will answer it on the air. Got a testimony of what God is doing in your life? Send us a video of that, too! “The Table” will air every Sunday morning at 8:00am and 11:00am,  but will be available to watch anytime on our website. We’ll be pre-recording the service, but that gives us plenty of opportunity to include your video input! We’ll have more details coming soon on how to do that.

 

In-Person Communion

 

In-Person Communion Service:

 

communion slide 2The second opportunity is an in-person Sunday morning Communion Service. We have reset the sanctuary to follow the guidelines and allow for social distancing, which gives us a capacity of about 40 people. Starting October 4, we will have a short service of communion in the sanctuary at 9:30am. The service will feature liturgy, Scripture readings, a brief homily on one of the lectionary texts for the week (different from the main sermon you’ll hear during the broadcast of “The Table”) and the sacrament of communion. All those who attend this service will be asked to pre-register. Masks will be required at all times except for when consuming the communion elements. There will be no singing or responsive reading. Instead, this will be a quiet, reflective way for us to share in the sacrament. If you are still staying safe at home, let us know and we will be glad to extend the table and deliver consecrated communion elements to you after this service on Sunday morning.

 

We recognize that this isn’t the kind of sanctuary service we’ve been hoping for just yet, but it gives us an opportunity to move in that direction. Since space will be limited, we’re asking that you plan initially to attend one of these services per month so that everyone has a chance to attend. Maintaining our requirements for masks, cleaning, and social distancing will be essential for continuing this service week to week. We’ll send out more detailed guidelines via email soon.

 

Home Church

 

Home Church:

 

home church 2A third opportunity, if you’re up for it, is to gather together as home churches. Small groups of families may want to get together on Sunday or another day of the week to watch “The Table,” share a meal, and then use our weekly Devotional Guide for some discussion. Keep the group small and follow social distancing guidelines but consider this option if you’re longing for some additional connection and feel comfortable meeting with others in your circle of friends and acquaintances. We’ll invite you to set up these small home churches on your own at a time and place that’s convenient for all. 



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