By Pastor Kim Mitchell
While our Maryville First United Methodist Church building is closed for church services, small groups and the many community organizational events we host, we are not closed as a church.
We are doing everything we can to make sure we are connecting with our community. Volunteers are making phone calls to check in with members, friends and neighbors for various needs such as delivering groceries or medications. Our prayer team is connecting through those calls to keep prayer concerns in the forefront. We are also sending out cards to check in and to say, “Hello, we are thinking about you!”
This is our way of extending joy during our time apart. We know that isolation is difficult, so if we can reach people in a variety of ways to check in, we’re going to keep doing it.
Our worship services are now strictly online through Facebook Live. For now we are going live at 10 am on Sundays with a small team, in keeping with the recommendation of no more than 10 people gathered in one place at one time. Social media has been a good way for us to reach our church family and extended community. We are offering daily devotions in the morning and a Bible study in the evening.
We will announce our COVID-19 Easter plans soon.
By Pastor Chad Mayne
In response to the COVID-19 virus, The Bridge has temporarily suspended all activities. We love our church family and want to act as responsibly toward them and our community as we can during this time.
Because we won’t be meeting together, we will be providing online church services for anyone desiring to join in. Sunday mornings at 9 am we will be releasing our worship and message. Immediately following that, our children’s department will have content for kids. It will be available to watch anytime during the week. We encourage the whole family to gather in their homes and use this as an opportunity to grow closer together and closer to God.
Our student ministries for middle and high school will be sharing online as well on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. During the week, we encourage our congregation to check our Facebook page for discussion questions so that we can interact through the week and keep our minds focused on Christ.
For anyone who needs prayer, please don’t go through this alone! The body of Christ is here to help. Please call or submit requests at thebridgemaryville.com.
We know that this has taken us by surprise, but none of this is outside of God’s control. We encourage believers to rest in his peace. This is an opportunity to show Christ’s love in a new way. Our hope for our church family is that during this time we find creative ways to love our neighbors and be a blessing to our community. We believe that the body of Christ is more than a Sunday meeting. It is the people who make up the church and as such, no virus will cancel out the body of Christ.
Please stay tuned to thebridgemaryville.com and our Facebook page for updates. As information changes daily, we will not make any broad or long-term statements at this time. We will reevaluate our plan on a week-by-week basis as new information comes in from our government leaders.
BJ, Pickering Christian Church
By Pastor Terry Robison
As the pastor of both the First Christian Church of Burlington Jct and the Pickering Christian Church, I would like to assure you all that our prayers are with you and that God is an ever-present comfort in this time of uncertainty and stress.
In Hebrews 13:5, God promises never to leave us nor forsake us. Hold tight to that promise as you maneuver through the days ahead.
After much prayer, discernment and conversation, both churches I serve have cancelled face-to-face worship services through April 6. We will be reevaluating to determine if we feel it is wise to reconvene our services or not. All meetings and other gatherings at the church have also been cancelled at this time.
I will be providing a live-stream message on Sunday mornings at 10 am on the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ of Burlington Jct Facebook page. This may also be found by going to our website at fccbj.org and clicking on the “f” in the top right hand corner of the page. I invite all to hop on and worship with me. Giving may also continue through the website by using the Givelify button or by downloading the Givelify app from your phone’s app store.
First Christian Church
By Rev. Craig S. Kirby-Grove
We at First Christian Church, Maryville, have with sad hearts decided that the only course of action is to cease public worship services until the crisis has passed.
I cannot imagine that we will be allowed to have Easter together this year. But my thoughts are these: Easter is a state of mind, not a date on a calendar. The 12th of April will come and go and Easter will be remembered. We will celebrate Easter the first Sunday we are able to be together again, regardless of that date.
A worship service has begun to be shown via video on the church’s Facebook page fccmaryvillemo. As pastor of the church, I am leading by example, which means I am not going out into the community or to members homes, etc. to visit and I am only allowing individuals to come to the office if conversation is needed.
I don’t have to like this situation to appreciate the value of everyone staying home or away from others until the pandemic has subsided. My prayer and word to the people is this: God is in control and we can wait upon the Lord in confidence.
Parnell, Conception Jct Catholic churches
St. Joseph Catholic Church in Parnell and St. Columba Catholic Church in Conception Jct are utilizing Conception Abbey’s live-stream Masses.
In light of the churches being closed, the Masses may be viewed from the Abbey’s YouTube, Facebook Page and conceptionabbey.org/live, at 11:45 am, Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 am on Sunday.
St. Joseph Catholic Church has a calling tree to get information out to our parishioners along with a weekly email. As for now, Holy Week and Easter services will be live-streamed through Conception Abbey, there will be no services at the church.
Conception Abbey and Seminary College has asked all visitors and non-essential employees not to visit during this time. Only employees performing essential services will be allowed on campus and will be tested for symptoms of the virus each time.
The public will not be admitted to liturgies in the Abbey Basilica. Daily Mass, Lauds and Vespers will be streamed online.