Pastor’s Page

May 7, 2020

Dear Nameoki Friends,

As I drove to the post office for Mother’s Day stamps this week, there were many cars on the road and businesses open. As we begin to move about again, we are continuing to comply with the state’s guidelines for churches and other gatherings. Our Bishop has asked us to continue to worship online and keep the church buildings closed except for essential needs. In the next few weeks, he will issue guidance for how we will return to worship in the building. As I wrote last week, my prayer is that we will be able to gather again in person on Pentecost, May 31. I know some will not be comfortable gathering in person, and we will continue to offer worship online.

Although we do not yet have official instructions from our bishop, health experts and other conferences are issuing general guidance for churches to consider. Some of this information is easy to adopt as we have already adapted in the online environment; however, other guidelines and restrictions are much harder. We have a lot to consider as we figure out how to be the church in this season. I invite you to join me in prayer and conversation over the potential changes that we may be asked to implement and overall, how to protect all who worship with us, our staff, or others who come into the building, especially those who are most vulnerable among us.

Communion – we will be celebrating communion this Sunday, May 10, so please have bread or crackers and juice for each person who is worshiping with you. If you do not have either element, you may receive in one kind (bread or juice) or bring what you have that honors the meaning of the sacrament.

Pictures – We are still looking for someone(s) with a smart phone or digital camera who would like to take pictures of Nameoki UMC members and attendees on their front porch (from the curb). Please let me know if you can help.

Call for Nameoki Prayers & Devotions
I have seen or heard a few people writing prayers that are really beautiful, and I think it would be an encouragement to share your prayers or devotions with others. If you would like to contribute, please send to the church office namumc@namumc.com

Faith Sharing is Easy!
I keep feeling like God is calling Nameoki to practice sharing our faith with one another. Please share your stories or responses to these questions, either on Facebook (where the questions are posted) or by email:
1. When did you first believe God is really real and how/why?
2. Who were the people in your life who most influenced your faith and how?

Worship – It is wonderful to worship together at the same time even over the internet. If you comment in YouTube while you are worshipping, it lets us and one another know you are there together, and it increases the visibility of our services to others who may join in. Please also share our worship link with family and friends, especially those who do not have a church home or have been inactive. We begin at 9:15 on Sundays with a time of praise led by Gordon and 9:30 with the traditional service. https://youtu.be/nBfiAH7R5Nw

Prayer Circle — Our prayer circle meets by Zoom, usually MWF at 12. It’s really nice to see faces and to check in. If you do not have the internet and would like to join in, Zoom has dial-in by phone capability. I have helped several get set up on Zoom, and I am  happy to help others. This is a great opportunity to see and hear from Nameoki friends and share in a time of prayer. Please call or message me 252-947- 0763 if you would like the link. You can decide whether to join or not any day.

Bible Study — We started meeting for an online Bible study/discussion Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. using the same Zoom link. If you are interested in this or a “how to read the Bible class,” let me know! Send me an email, message, text, or call, and I will help you get connected on whatever you have.

Children & Youth — If you have children or youth, I am meeting with the kids online as well, so if your kids would like to join in, please let me know.

Call Teams – if you know of someone in the church community who might not be on the internet and might like a phone call, please let me know.

Directory – Linda is continuing to work on updating our church directory so that we can share it with you. If you have email and are not receiving emails from the church, please call or email Linda to give her your correct email. If you have adult children in the area, please ask if they would like to stay connected through emails and links to worship services, and let them know about our Facebook page. With their permission, if you send us their email, we would be happy to include them.

Finances – Thank you for your continued support of the ministries of Nameoki church! We are currently able to pay our staff and meet our monthly expenses because of your generosity.
Thank you to everyone who has signed onto online giving or mailing/ bringing offerings to the office. Your offerings are important to the ongoing ministry of the church.

Trustees Work – Work was completed to repair a leak in the roof in the foyer of the sanctuary and to replace shingles which had blown off last year. Work is scheduled to begin in the basement with repairs of cracks on May 18. In June, the waterproofing is scheduled to begin. Before that time, we will need to move items out of the two storage rooms. If you are able to help with moving items, please contact Joyce Tracey or Don Ridlen. Thank you!! Thank you to Don Ridlen for keeping an eye on the basement and keeping it wet-vac’d. Thank you, also, to Don and J Wyatt for trimming trees at the parsonage and keeping the church yard mowed and trimmed, and to Monty, Jeremy Weaver, and Don for mowing the parsonage yard.

Thank you for continuing to support your church with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. If you have any questions, I am available by cell phone  or email and Linda stops by the church office during the week.

I appreciate your prayers, as I have my candidacy review papers due for my Doctor of Ministry program on May 15.

Blessings, grace and peace!
Pastor Susan

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Cape Town, South Africa