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Hello Church Family, November 18, 2020
Greetings from Pastor Bob Vale
I miss you all dearly as we continue to go through the Covid-19 pandemic and the constraints to be together as a church family. As you know, over the past several weeks, the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Indiana have almost doubled. This has caused our county officials to make changes and restrictions on public gatherings; which should affect all churches in the county. We have also had about 15 people in our own congregation who have tested positive or have a family member test positive and they are currently under the 14-day quarantine isolation process. I pray for them!
I also had a Zoom meeting with all Indiana pastors, and our Indiana United Methodist Church Bishop; (Julius Tremble), who has asked all Indiana United Methodist Churches to Not have in person worship for the rest of the year. His focus is that we follow the words of John Wesley, to “Do No Harm” as a church, by keeping our worship services open, with the possibility of infecting others with the potential deadly Covid-19 virus.
This past week I asked the 12 leaders of the church Ad Council to vote whether to stay open or close down for the rest of 2020. It was a quick and unanimous decision from all 12 members to stop in person worship until the 12th of January 2021. However, we will continue to pre-record our worship service each Sunday and send them out to you on both the church Facebook.com page as well as Youtube.com. Our church staff will also continue to present our daily devotion video clips to keep the gospel message alive in your hearts.
We will get through this as a church family and look forward to being together again as a loving congregation. I want to thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words to me. Please stay connected to each other via phone calls, cards, letters, emails, and safe distance meetings. I also want to thank you for financially keeping the church alive, by mailing in your tithe offerings to the church or sending them in through your bank electronically. Your gifts are much appreciated to the church ministry you love! If you would like to receive a book of offering envelopes from the church for your weekly offerings, we would be glad to get you a book. Please call the church office or email Alicia to get one sent to you.
I am planning a very special Christmas Eve Service to be sent to all of you. I would ask that you please stop by the church to pick up a candle and communion elements for the special Christmas Eve Service. On that Christmas Eve, we will still have holy communion and light our candle and sing the sacred song, Silent Night together, even if we are all in our homes at that time watching the video. I know it is not the same as in person worship, but we need to stay diligent to fight this Covid-19 pandemic and stay safe as a church family. By doing this, we are “Shouting Out” that we “Love Our Neighbor” and want them to be safe and healthy during the Christmas holiday season.
I believe a vaccine is coming soon in the spring of 2021, and the vaccine will be a game changer in all of this and our future together. Please continue to stay connected to the church office if you need anything. You can call or email and we will do our best to stay in contact with you. The church phone number is 219-362-2443 and the email to get in touch with the church secretary (Autumn Reese) is: email@example.com.
To get in touch with our church bookkeeper (Alicia Combs) about your offerings, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office number. Although our church staff are in most cases working from home, we do try to be in the office on Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Of course if you need to speak to me for prayer or for anything, please call me on my cell phone at: 574-339-8142 or you can email me at email@example.com.
I miss you all, as I know you miss each other! May God bless and keep us through all of this until we meet again!
Pastor Bob Vale
La Porte First United Methodist Church