Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2020
Nov 22 through Dec. 20th
Dear Friends and Family of Elliston Zion,
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7)
I love hearing those words, especially after weeks of exploring the book of Galatians, the Gospel of Grace.
I found it quite appropriate this week, that in the weekly Gospel of Grace Worship Elements, it refers to the symbol of the Phoenix-the early Christian Symbol for the resurrection. You see, the Phoenix is said to have everlasting life because it did not eat from the forbidden fruit and although it may burn over and over again, it continues to rise from the ashes to begin life anew! It is easy to see how this symbol could be used as a metaphor for our situation right now...we may be in a time of hardship and trouble but we will rise again, rebuild again, into a life even better than before. It makes sense that in this study, the Phoenix is reflected as the symbol of the "grace that sustains..HIS grace that sustains us.
After conferencing with the Leadership Team and upon hearing the updates concerning the rampant spread of this awful virus, we made the difficult decision to suspend worship services for the next 4-5 weeks-beginning this week-November 22th.
This was not an easy decision to make, however, God's greatest command is to "love your neighbor as yourself." In this current time, we believe loving our neighbor involves doing everything we can to slow the spread, avoid close contact with each other and continue to give HIM thanks for keeping us (most of us) healthy so far.
We have members who are immunocompromised, those that work closely with the elderly and the ill and those who have young children...and we worry about them all.
So, with these concerns in mind, here is the plan for our church operations effective this week:
*We will suspend Sunday School and Sunday Worship effective Nov. 22 through Dec. 20th. (no 10 AM worship on Dec. 20th). We will continue to monitor the situation to determine if it may be safe to come back sooner. We will post messages and updates on the church Facebook page, the church website and via email and text message. The Ministry Team will also be making some phone calls on Thursdays.
*We will plan to hold our yearly Blue Christmas Service on Dec. 20th at 7PM. It will be in the Fellowship Hall and it will be by reservation. We use an online procedure to invite and respond.
Any singing/music will be recorded ahead of time and we will change our normal "memorial candle lighting" to adhere to social distancing. If you know someone who would benefit from this service of comfort and hope, please let me know and I will send them an invite.
*The Ladies Bible Study will continue to meet on Tues. mornings at 8 AM in the Fellowship Hall. There are usually less than 10 in attendance and they are able to spread out accordingly.
*Craft Night will continue on Thurs. from 6-8 pm. If more attend, they can move from the classroom to the hall.
*We will hold the Food Box Giveaway in conjunction with the Toledo NWO Food Bank on Dec. 4th as they stay outside. This is from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
* If you are interested in helping to serve lunch to the National Guardsmen/Guardswomen on Dec. 4th, please let me know.
*During any activity at the church, we will continue to sanitize all surfaces after every use, urge the use of hand sanitizer, wear our masks, take temperatures at the door and do whatever we can to protect each other.
*We, as a church family, will return to celebrate & worship on Christmas Eve. We will combine the elements of Hanging of the Greens and Christmas Eve Worship together into one service. And, a celebration it will be!
The office will remain open during this time. The ministry of the church needs to continue! I hope your support will continue also. If you haven't already, please consider our online giving program. You can check it out on our website at www.ellistonzion.com. We are SO grateful, that even during these challenging times, our church family has continued to share their time and talents to assure the continued ministry of our small but mighty church!
By sharing these gifts of love, we know that Elliston Zion is not just about the building...its about "the church" being action, being a verb, being the LIGHT!
Please feel free to stop in, have a cup of coffee and a prayer or a chat...I am in the office on Tue/Wed from 10-2, Thurs/Fri 2-6pm. (I am off on Mondays).
Outside of those hours, please feel free to call /text me at 419-250-1188....or call any member of the Ministry Team-JoAnne, Mary or Chuck.
Please watch our Facebook page, website and your email for weekly updates.
I also invite you, where ever you are, to be in prayer with us every night at 7PM.
Until we are safely together again, may our Almighty God bless you and keep you in his sustaining grace and mercy.
In HIS service,
Pastor LisaAnne Gregg
Elliston Zion United Methodist Church
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