March 17, 2020

Dear Tuscumbia First Family,

    We find ourselves in uncharged times.  COVID-19 has disrupted life as we’ve known it.  The uncertainty has resulted in a run on groceries, paper supplies and cleaning supplies that far exceeds what we’ve witnessed preparing for snow or following tornadoes.  

In times of uncertainty we need each other, but we are being told by health experts to avoid crowds and physical contact. As our Bishop said in her Monday email; “… most of us cannot remember a circumstance when during a time of crisis churches were asked to suspend worship services and meetings.”  That is where we are.  Our Bishop and the leadership of the Annual Conference have asked United Methodist Churches to “suspend in person worship and gatherings” for the next two week (March 16-30).  This leads us to consider other ways to be the Church in these uncertain times.

    As I shared Sunday, the scripture tells us; “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.”  (2 Timothy 1:7; JB Phillips) I firmly believe this is still “Our Father’s World.”  While we may not see each other in the manner we have, nothing can separate us from God’s loving presence.  We live in His awesome love and power and He also gives us a “sound mind.”   

    We have been looking at ways to be the Church this time.  Here are some ways we can still connect to one another and be the Church during this time.

  • Worship Online.  We have been live steaming our 9:45 service since September.  That will continue.  But for the next two Sundays we will also offer a somewhat traditional service online at 11:00.  You can connect to those services through our Facebook page or here on the website. I’m thankful for the media teams and worship leadership who are volunteering to make that happen.
  • Take 5 at Noon for Prayer.  Our world, leaders, medical personnel, cure, etc. 
  • We encourage Sunday School classes/Small Groups to stay in touch with one another.  If you learn of a need, contact the church.
  • If you are not receiving our Prayer Chain, contact the office with your email address.  It goes out regularly and the Sunday Prayer list goes out on the Prayer Chain each week.
  • We are developing a plan to check on our homebound persons and those who live alone.
  • We will be putting together a list of volunteers who will help with shopping and medicine runs for those who don’t need to get out at this time.  If you would help, contact the office.
  • While Bible Study and Sunday School are suspended, check out Right Now Media.  There are studies for all ages.
  • We plan to take meals to those who regularly worship at Shepherd’s Table.  These will be delivered the next two Sundays. 
  • Even though we are not meeting in person, we are still being the church.  As a follower of Christ, we still bring God’s tithes and our offerings to the storehouse.  (Malachi 3:10) There are several ways to give: text, church app, web page, or mail in a check. (Before we gather again, we will have sent our first quarter Faith Promise Mission support.)

    Be assured, we are attempting to stay up on best faithful practices during this time.  Some of these details may change.  We will post updates on social media and here on the website.  If you need your staff, don’t hesitate to contact me.  

In Christ’s Love and Service,

Rudy Guess