One-on-One with Pastor Jerry is a weekly report on family activities, church news, events, ministries and missions. Visit this page each week, sign up to receive it weekly in your inbox, or tune in to the church's Facebook page on Thursdays at 4pm or watch the recording there anytime.
Book 6, Volume 5
May 21, 2020
Yesterday, Governor Holcomb surprised us by moving up Phase 3 of his Back on Track Indiana Plan by two days, except for Marion, Lake and Cass Counties. That might not seem like much but according to the governor it is a reward for diligence in sheltering in place and practicing safe social distancing. My concern is that people will now interpret these steps of freedom as a sign that the danger is over. It is not. If anything it is even more dangerous for those who fall into the at-risk category.
It is sad that our country seems to have divided into categories of pro-health or pro-economy. I would contend the fastest way to get our economy up and running is to adapt our safe, social distancing practices to the workplace and all public spaces. I have been impressed with the measured approach our governor has taken. His words taken from his Back on Track Indiana websites states,
“Let’s safely open Indiana’s economy and remain vigilant about protecting our health and well-being. We start by applying all we’ve learned about taking precautions to protect ourselves and others against this virus as we build business, employee and consumer confidence. Ultimately, we will get back on track and create an even stronger Indiana.”
Our Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box said she has concerns and reservations about every step the state takes. She was quoted in the Indy Star yesterday,
“I do think that there is a way that we can do this safely and that involves all of the same things that we have been doing, including hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks.”
Let me turn these quotes into a devotion by reminding us of the Apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 5:13 which seem very appropriate as we enter Phase 3 in Indiana, “You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.
Right now, in this time, staying six feet from one another, washing our hands religiously and wearing masks is how we love and serve each other. I hope you will help me model that for the community and the circles we will now be entering more and more in the coming weeks. It will literally save the lives of the most vulnerable that surround us.
We are now taking steps for opening our church to essential groups. Tonight, the Heroin Anonymous group will meet in our reconfigured Celebration Hall. June 1, the Narcotics Anonymous group will hold their first in person meeting since March. I hope you can appreciate how difficult quarantine has been for people with addictions. Their community is so appreciative of the church’s willingness to accommodate. We have instituted a double sanitation process that we believe will protect the health of our custodial staff and guests in our building.
The next event to be hosted in our building will be the Blood Drive on Monday, June 8 from 3-6:45 pm. I understand about half the appointments have been taken. Nancy and I invite you to join us in giving blood. We have a good safe, social distancing plan in place and Versiti Blood Center has instituted several safety measures for donors. Blood is severely needed at this time. Click the link below to make your appointment.
We do want to apologize for any difficulties you had in receiving last Sunday’s Livestream. Facebook apparently had some national difficulties as several churches reported interruptions in their live feeds. Thanks to Tom Shriver-McGrevy’s quick thinking, he continued to record and was able to post the full service on our Facebook account and Youtube. If you missed part of worship, CLICK HERE and you can scroll forward to the spot where you lost your feed. Pastor Matt Hantelman and I had some significant things to say about the question of God’s activity in our world in regard to the Pandemic.
Strangely, Zoom had global complications on Sunday as well, so we were not able to hold our Zoom conversation with Dr. Adolf Hansen. Zoom has corrected the problems with an update so you will want to install this quick download before Sunday. We have rescheduled Dr. Hansen for this Sunday right after the livestream worship. I encourage you to take some time and read the 2nd chapter of his book Three Simple Truths which we have in pdf form on our website. Go to NoblesvilleFirst.com and click the Sunday Q&A on Zoom link to read this in preparation for a great discussion on how God works and doesn’t work in our world.
The church’s Coronavirus Task Force continues to monitor the health situation in our region and still believes we are not yet seeing the downward trends we believe are necessary to declare a date to safely open for live worship. The last thing we want is for our church to become a hotspot. In the meantime, we are continuing to make preparations for holding worship at Teter Retreat & Farm. We have made strides with our bathroom concerns, are working to improve our wifi for the worship site and have written a grant to acquire additional equipment to mix live sound. We believe we will need to integrate some engaging elements for children in those worship experiences since they will need to remain with their parents. We are also investigating the purchase of a low frequency FM transmitter to broadcast the service over car radios for those who prefer the safety of their car but still want to be a part of worship.
In an effort to combine safety measures with our desire to gather for worship, the task force has compiled a list of survey questions for the congregation. As you will see in this survey the complications are many and your input is desired. The information we receive from this survey will be one of the many considerations we take into consideration as we choose the best path forward. Click the link below to access the survey. Thank you in advance for your input!
Anita Beck asked if I would acknowledge the awarding of the United Methodist Women Love Gifts which are given out each year to honor persons who exhibit the servant spirit of Jesus Christ. This year the UMW sent a donation to the District UMW in honor of the Kids Hope USA Mentors and their Prayer Partners. Of course, the school year interrupted this great work but what these people mean to their students is vital. As a matter of fact, Jean Morris informed me that Megan Thomas, the social worker at White River Elementary, got permission to set up Zoom times so that mentors could actually talk to their students before the school year officially ended.
There are some upcoming worship events we need your help with. June 7 is Senior Sunday and we are asking for pictures of high school, college and post-grad graduates. Please send with the picture their name, school and what they hope to do after graduation. Send this info to Tom Shriver-McGrevy at .
June 14 will be Pastor Aaron Hobbs last Sunday before starting as the new senior pastor of Broadway UMC. We would like to honor Pastor Aaron, Michele and Emma for their contributions to Noblesville First. Please video record a short 10-15 second thank you to Pastor Aaron, Michele or Emma and send it to Tom at . These will be collected and shared in the livestream on June 14. And don’t forget the drive-thru reception at the church for the Hobbs on Saturday, June 13 from 1-2:30pm. Send your cards and love gifts to the church address or you can give directly online using the Give link on our website or the Noblesville First app. There is an option in the giving menu for “Hobbs Family Love Gift.”
Tonight at Thursday Worship and on Sunday we continue the series on God and the Coronavirus. This week we are asking, What Might God Want Us to Learn from This Pandemic? In preparation, read Romans 5:1-11 and Galatians 6:1-10. And again, don’t forget the Zoom Q&A with Dr. Adolf Hansen following worship on Sunday. Links for all three events can be found at NoblesvilleFirst.com.
Continue to share your prayer requests using the form at NoblesvilleFirst.com or on the Noblesville First app, and share your pastoral needs by emailing or calling the 24/7 Care Line at 317-773-2590.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Jerry Rairdon