updates sent on tuesday, march 17, 2020:
Beloved people of Centennial UMC at Ivy,
Each day, we're receiving more information about the spread of COVID-19, the importance of social distancing, and more. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated at this time. Our leadership has been in prayer for you and your families.
A group of church leaders and I met last night to discuss how we will continue to be in community with one another during this time. After prayer and thoughtful reflection, we are cancelling all in-person gatherings, events, and worship services between now and March 31. Our leadership plans to meet again on March 30 to determine if we will continue our April events, but as you know, we will have to wait and see how our country and our world continues to react to the spread of the virus.
While we are not meeting in person, we are still connected. Our church building may be closed, but our church is not. We are simply learning new ways to be the church in this time and I invite us all to be thinking creatively about how we can stay connected. Here are some of the things we'll do to stay connected:
This past Sunday, we Live-streamed our worship service to the church's Facebook page and so far have had over 150 views. I'm grateful for the in person and online presence we had this past Sunday. We will continue to post online worship experiences to our Facebook page and to YouTube. You can find the links to our worship services on our church website: ivycentennial.org. You'll be able to find any links mentioned in this email through our new page on the church website titled "Updates about Centennial UMC at Ivy amid COVID-19."
I will continue to post worship devotions, prayers, and sermons for Wednesday evenings at 7pm and Sunday mornings at 10:30am. You do not need a Facebook account to access the livestream if you click on the link at the time of worship and you do not need a YouTube account to access the video links at any time. You can join us at the time of worship on Facebook or Youtube or anytime afterwards on the YouTube page. To join us, you'll find and click on either the Facebook or YouTube link on our website.
Last night, we also began assembling a hospitality team, which is a group of at least eight of us who will be focused on staying connected with one another during this time. The hospitality team will have someone dedicated to contacting your household each week via email, phone, card, or some other form of communication. That person will reach out to see how you are, find out ways to pray for you, and offer to run an errand for you if they feel well enough to do so. Please let Pastor Dani know if you're interested in supporting the church by serving on this hospitality team.
There are many ways for you to inform us of your prayer needs. If you have a prayer request you'd like said during the online worship service or for the pastor, please inform the person from the hospitality team who has contacted you, send an email to email@example.com, text or call 515-447-0497, or fill out our request form on our website.
While we are reducing some costs related to our church building in the weeks to come, many of the expenses of the church will continue even if no meeting or event is held in the building for two weeks. Please consider the church in your continued prayers and giving. We invite you to mail in your offerings to 9150 NE University Ave PO Box 624 Altoona, IA 50009 or to begin offering online. You can find our new online giving page on our website when you click "Give Now" in the website menu or you can use this link:
In times such as this, we know that all plans are subject to change. The leadership and I want to keep you as informed and connected as possible in the days and weeks to come. I don't know when we will gather in person again as a community, but I do know that during this time:
We will continue to care for one another.
We will continue to pray for each other.
We will look out for our neighbors and the Ivy community.
And God is and will be with us through the journey.
With peace and grace,
Pastor Dani Musselman
Centennial United Methodist Church at Ivy