Beloved Aldersgate family,
The grace and peace of Jesus be with you! I pray that you are all safe and well on this wilderness journey. Yesterday Governor Holcomb issued an executive order calling on all Hoosiers to stay at home effective March 25 through April 7. This applies to all non-essential activities (click here to read). To comply with this order all activities at Aldersgate have been suspended and staff will be working from home as they are able. The Academy is considered an essential service but due to the number of families keeping their children home they will be temporarily closing at the end of the day this Friday. The church phone is being forwarded and will be answered during business hours and messages are being checked regularly. Because the church is closed there will be delays in when your contribution checks clear, but thank you to everyone who is continuing to support this ministry of Aldersgate. We have also suspended Me-'N-U for the time being, but we believe that the well-being of everyone is paramount. We will continue to make a worship experience available each Sunday (click here to see our YouTube Channel). However, we will likely have to make some adjustments as we adapt to the changing expectations on how we do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. We are doing the best we can through these uncharted waters.
Governor Holcomb has called upon everyone to "be a part of the solution, not the problem." It is important for all of us to follow the recommendations coming from the CDC, Department of Health, and other government officials. I subscribe to Richard Rohr's daily devotion and found this mornings particularly helpful. He shared a quote from a (CONSPIRE 2018) conference presentation that was delivered by his colleague Dr. Barbara Holmes. She said:
We cannot face large-scale crises as individuals; we cannot carry the pain of this reality on our own, nor can we only look out for ourselves. The pain is communal and so too must be the response.
Friends, we are in this together. We will do all that we can to be a part of the solution by following the guidelines we receive, but we must also be there for one another. The communal pain is the result of isolation, fear, anxiety or other challenges created by the coronavirus. While complying with the stay at home order, continue to reach out to others. Call your friends and family, stay in touch in ways that keep you and others safe, and help one another bear the burden of this communal pain. If you need anything please reach out by calling the church, or by emailing me.
As we continue our extended Lenten-wilderness journey together I want to encourage you to set an alarm for 10:10 daily (morning and/or evening) to pause and offer a brief prayer. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is John 10:10 where Jesus promises, "I came so that they could have life - indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest" (CEB). I believe life or more specifically living life to the fullest comes through our relationship with God through Jesus. This fullness of life is something that we seek together through prayer, so at 10:10 let us join together in praying. Pray for one another, pray for people most affected by the coronavirus, pray for our leaders, or prayer for the world. Much like our virtual worship on Sunday mornings, if we all pause at 10:10 each day we will be praying together.
I leave you with this final prayer from Father Richard Rohr's devotion this morning:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other's burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts' longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions]...Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.
You can access our Sunday worship experience through the church website (click here for step by step instructions). If you miss the live stream, services are archived and you can watch at your convenience. Please contact Ashley Moreland if you have questions (click here to email).
As much as possible, we will be utilizing emails, here on the church website, and Facebook to communicate with the congregation. If you are not on the email list to receive the weekly Connect, click here to be added to the distribution list. Please help us communicate and share news as you receive with your friends who may not be digitally connected.
We have volunteers who are willing to pick-up groceries or prescriptions for those unable or concerned about going out. Contact Roy Horther or the church office if you need assistance. For additional local assistance or information you can also dial 211.
If you are in need of food or other resources, please check out this document that compiles information.