Please see below on what is happening within our church in regards to COVID-19. We will update as things change.
Love God. Love People and Love Life.
Everyone is welcome to join us for any of our events!
March 13, 2020
Hello La Porte Church Family,
Greetings from Pastor Bob Vale: I am sorry to send you another email letter today, but things have changed. As I mentioned in my last letter, things seem to change by the day or hour.
La Porte Schools are now closed: The change that is affecting us is that the La Porte School System has made the decision to close until the 14th of April. Wow! Also, this afternoon the U.S. government has placed the entire country in a National Emergency to combat the Coronavirus. This is unprecedented in our time.
Church Closing Policy: That being said, our church has always lived by the policy that when the school system is closed the church is also closed. Knowing many in our church are in the “danger age” of the coronavirus, I believe we are wise and cautious to cancel church services on Sunday mornings until the 19th of April. The school closings will run for 5 weeks or Sundays. Please know that we will still have funerals at the church when called for.
No Church Service This Coming Sunday: I have the privilege of talking with pastor Evan Lash for guidance on these church closings. He made what I believe to be an excellent suggestion. If things change in the next few weeks, I will send out both an E-news and Facebook message letting you know the following Sunday worship service will occur. However, at this point it does not look like we will have any Sunday Morning worship services until the 19th of April. That somewhat breaks my heart that we will not be together so long, especially for the holy days of Palm Sunday and Holy Easter Services.
Church Office Hours and Connections: This also means that all other Bible studies, UMW, youth and children’s activities are also closed during this time. The office will be closed, however, if you call the church office during church business hours, (Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) the phone will bounce to our church secretary’s phone, to answer any questions you may have. The church phone number is: 219-362-2443. You may also contact the church office via email at: email@example.com
I would also like to give you my personal cell phone number to call in case of emergency. 574-339-8142. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org If you need to get in touch with our church bookkeeper about offerings or donations, please email Alicia Combs at: email@example.com
Watch Worship Services on Youtube.com: Please also know that I will be at the church every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. to lead and video record a worship service and preach a sermon in the main sanctuary. This single worship service will be sent out on youtube.com for our church family to watch each week. This Sunday myself and Rose Marie Dure will preach a sermon and sing a few songs to share with the church family through youtube.com. If you want to view it, please type FUMC La Porte and the video should pop up on your screen.
I have a special sermon this Sunday titled “What God wants us to learn from the Corona Virus.” (Only to be recorded)
Finances & Sunday Morning Offerings: Another important factor about not having church services for the next five weeks is not being able to collect the Lord’s tithes and our offerings on Sunday mornings. As you know, the Sunday morning offering is our only source of income for the church budget to pay all the bills during the year. To not have offerings for five weeks or more will be devastating for the church finances.
Therefore, we ask that you please mail in your weekly or monthly offering to the church to help with our finances at 1225 Michigan Avenue, La Porte, IN 46350. Our mail will be picked up at the post office each day. This is a matter of faith for all of us, so I thank you in advance for your generous gifts to keep the finances of the church strong in the coming five weeks and throughout the year. We are working on a way to have you be able to give through our church website. We hope to have that ready by next week.
The La Porte First United Methodist Church is a wonderful ministry that has ministered in our community for over 185 years. We will continue ministering and God will walk with us through the storms and challenges of life. Myself and the other staff will be looking for ways to minister to you at home or on line. Also if you know of someone connected to our church who does not have internet capability, can you please pass on the message within this email.
Please know these decisions to close or stay open are ever so difficult to make. I pray about them and also seek guidance from other leaders. The decision to close for the next five weeks while the school is closed was made easier with the policy we have in place.
Let’s stay connected via email and other communications.
May the Lord Bless and Keep you!
Pastor Bob Vale