A conversation between Dr. Diana Sanchez-Bushong, Director of Music Ministries for the Worship Team here at Discipleship Ministries, United Methodist Church and Brian Hehn, who is the Director of The Center for Congregational Song with The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.Read More
To: Members & Friends
From: Rev. Ezra Parris — Pastor, Sharon Moravian Church
Subject: COVID Crisis, Church Status Update
Date: May 18, 2020
Greetings Brothers and Sisters.
I pray that this note finds you steadfast in faith and in good spirits, in spite of the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The majority of us have never been this way before, but we worship a God who can see beyond our horizon and who is able to work all things together for good of those who love him. So that, even though we pass through tribulations, we do so with the assurance that whatever the experience and the outcome, God is still in control of the lives we have entrusted to him and he will align all things to his perfect will.
We have not met at our place of worship since March 15th and I am sure that like me you long for the day when we could see each other, literally face to face, and fellowship in the same place again. That delight has been postponed as our country continues under social distancing guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are required to make use of electronic means to communicate and to participate in worship, prayer and the study of the Word.
I trust that you have been visiting our webpage at www.sharonmoravian.info and our FaceBook page for information, updates, and devotional resources. Some of you have been joining our Wednesday evening Bible Study on the Zoom platform. Our youth have had Sunday School and New Generation Ministries via Zoom. Over the coming weeks we will prepare our church building for the livestreaming of services and the eventual full return of the congregation.
As it relates to our finances, we are in a difficult position—reserves were low coming into 2020 and this crisis has not helped that situation. We are therefore challenged in maintaining our ministry, our facilities and paying property insurance. The cleaning of our facilities in preparation for our reopening and regular sanitization thereafter to ensure a healthy environment for worshippers, promises to be costly.
We are mindful that some of you may be facing reduced or lost income due to the national shutdown. So we are encouraged by those who have inquired as to how they can continue to give their offerings and we are thankful to those who when informed, used the channels made available for doing so. For those who desire to and are able to make contributions, please visit www.sharonmoravian.info/giving-monetary for information on how you can give electronically. For those who desire to make cash donations, labelled envelopes can be dropped into the slot in the front door of the Manse.
Our Basket of Hope Ministry—in which food items donated during Sunday worship are distributed to those in need—was suspended as we ceased to meet for worship, and as those engaged in distribution were of a vulnerable group called upon to stay at home. We desire to resume that ministry as there are those in our community who are in need, and such we should help. To this end a barrel will be placed on the veranda of the Manse for you to deposit your donations of food items. Volunteers are needed to assist with the distribution. Please volunteer by email or call 546-0344.
By God’s enabling, we will see this through. Hold then to his unfailing hand.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Warm Christian greetings in the name of Jesus, our Chief Elder!
The Provincial Board makes the following announcements:
1. The Provincial family extends heartiest congratulations to Tsedek Roberts, daughter of Rev’ds Mikie and Winelle Roberts, who graduated on May 9, 2020 with a Master of Arts in International Relations and Intercultural Communications from American University. Her graduate research was on Russia-China Entente which was presented to the Office of Policy Planning at the US Department of State.
2. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. The forecast is that this will be an above average year of activity which means that more named storms are expected, and the possibility increases for direct impact. This is a good time to ensure that hurricane preparedness protocols are put in place. We prepare for the worst as we pray for the best.
3. There will be a Provincial Staff meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 10 am via google meet. The link will be sent directly to staff in time for the meeting.
4. The monthly Provincial Day of Prayer and fast will be held June 1, 2020. There will be three opportunities for prayer – 5:30 am – Rev. Belinda Manswell-Daniel, 12:00 Midday – Bishop Kingsley Lewis, and 6:00 pm – Sis. Karen Challenger-George. The sessions will be facilitated via Zoom and the link will be sent out before the day. There is much to pray about so let us gather around the altar and intercede before the God who hears and answers prayers.Read More
Over the next few weeks our ministers will lead as we (1) carry out the necessary cleaning of our facilities, (2) finalize the protocols for our gatherings, and (3) recruit the human resources needed to implement those protocols, following the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure that our gatherings are safe.Read More