I am sharing an important update on in person worship and ask that you please share it with others from our church community. As many of you know cases of Covid-19 in our area are very high now and health officials in the State of MS as well as in Shelby County TN are urging extreme caution.The session of Bethel met after worship yesterday and decided that we will not meet in person the next two weeks. After that time the session will meet again to decide if in person worship will be able to resume.
The session did not take this decision lightly. We find great value in being together for worship each week and will miss it, especially during the upcoming holiday season. However, we believe it is our responsibility to care for one another and if not meeting in person prevents harm we must do that for the betterment of the community. We are seeking to show God love by loving our neighbor and keeping them safe.
Here are a few notes about upcoming church activities.
- We were set to return to the sanctuary and decorate it for Christmas this coming Saturday. That has been cancelled. If we are able to return to the sanctuary for worship before Christmas the decorations will be minimal this year.
- We have adopted a senior citizen and a single mother with two children for Christmas from a local ministry. We will continue with this outreach project. Thank you to those who have already donated items. If you would like to donate you may mail a check to the church marked Christmas Outreach.
- We will also continue to collect monetary donations for the Olive Branch Food Pantry Christmas meal project. You may mail checks along with your tithes and offerings to the church care of the Treasurer. The church address is 3810 Bethel Rd. Olive Branch, MS 38654.
- I thank all who have volunteered to light the Advent Wreath and read during the upcoming Advent season. When we are able to return I would like all of you to participate in lighting your designated candle and share your reading.
- You will be able to find the Sunday School lesson each week in your email from Nancy or on the Facebook page and the sermon will be on the website and Facebook page as well.
I will also continue to share prayers each Monday on the church website and Facebook page.. Let us pray.
Almighty God, we come to you with heavy hearts. We know your call to worship and feel Your blessings when two or more gather in Your name. We thank you for leaders who take seriously the call to shepherd Your people and pray for them when decisions are difficult. We thank You that the session takes seriously Your call to care for others for when we have shown the least of these care we have shown You care. God we love You and are seeking to live out that love by loving our neighbor.
There are so many neighbors who are suffering. We have acquaintances, friends, and even family who are suffering the effects of Covid-19. We lift them up to You now. We pray for healing for this hurting world. May Your peace which passes all understanding take root in our lives, in the nation, and in the world.
This week we pause to give You thanks. Even though our celebrations may look different this year we have no less to be thankful for in our lives. May we live out our thanksgiving and praise each day even on the dark days of a pandemic.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Please pass along the message that we will not meet in person on November 29 and December 6th.
Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving!