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A Word from the Pastor: May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I pray that you are safe, healthy, and experiencing the nearness and love of God in these days of waiting. Yes, there’s a lot of waiting going on for all of us. It seems that life has slowed down in almost every way. Maybe the only place that we are not waiting as much as we used to is in traffic and that’s because we aren’t going anywhere! 

We wait for a treatment and vaccination for COVID-19 and for the ultimate defeat of the virus. We wait to be able to move about freely again, to feel safe in traveling, going to places of entertainment, dining out, and visiting with friends and family. Many are waiting  to return to employment and students wait to go back to school. But all of this waiting has a purpose: to put a cage around the spread of COVID-19 and thereby, to save lives.

We are also waiting to gather together again at our church as a worshiping community but for now, we must continue to wait. Bishop Mike McKee announced this week that all churches in our district will continue to be closed to gathering through June. This does NOT mean that we will reopen in July. In the next few weeks, we will hear from the Bishop again regarding guidelines beyond June 30. Meanwhile, here is what your church leaders are doing while we wait:

A task force has been formed under the leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Bob Brown to:

  • Prepare a plan for reopening so that we will be ready to do so in compliance with CDC, state, and Annual Conference guidelines. Our greatest concern is that we reopen ONLY if and when we can assure the safety of everyone to the greatest degree possible; and
     
  • Obtain the necessary equipment and Wi-Fi support so that a small worship team can begin to broadcast worship from the sanctuary on the internet using a platform such as Facebook Live. We hope to have  everything in place to begin this in mid June. Until then, I will continue the live broadcasts of Mornings in the Word on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.

I am also exploring ways that we can gather regularly on the web interactively for conversation and prayer. One thing that seems to be emerging from all of our waiting is the value of connecting online. While this is a now seen as a substitute for gathering  physically, it likely will remain as a regular way of connecting with each other and with our larger community for the kingdom of God along side meeting in person.

Today I am including a letter to you from our treasurer, Bill Surles. I join him in thanking you for your continued faithfulness in giving and stewardship as we advance God’s love and His kingdom as the body of Christ.

PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO THOSE YOU KNOW THAT DO NOT HAVE EMAIL. Notify me or any member of our leadership team when you need help or know someone who does. Send email to pastor@oakgroveunitedmethodist.org or call me at 850-381-1057. Prayer requests can be circulated on the PRAYER REQUEST tab.

May God grant you peace, patience, and joy in your waiting.
Pastor Don


From Bill Surles, Church Treasurer

Oak Grove United Methodist Church
Treasurer Report, May 2020

I hope all of you are surviving in these trying days. This is just a note to let you know the status of the church finances.

In a word, BLESSED. We continue to meet all our financial obligations thanks to the generosity and commitment of our congregation. Highlights include:

  1. We continue to pay Pastor Don, Pianist Nick, Administrative Assistant Virginia, Nursery Caregiver Erika, Janitorial help Maria, and Grounds Keeper Mauricio.
  2. We continue to support the programs and staff of the United Methodist Church by paying our apportionments.
  3. We financially supported missionaries Thomas and Sheri Henry
  4. We supported the Oak Grove Cemetery Association
  5. We continue to pay all our recurring expenses: electricity, gas, water, phone and internet
  6. We repaired the roof, cared for our beautiful Oak trees, and installed a water line on the north side of the church (we have delayed all other improvements, including the removal of the prefab building).
  7. We financially supported the Trilogy Church food giveaway on May 9, helping those that need it from Oak Point, Providence Village and Crossroads.

How have we done this? By the generous donations of our congregation and the continued attention by your Church leadership.

How can we continue to be so blessed? One way is to continue to receive contributions from our congregation. Of course, if you are having financial difficulties, supporting your family is your priority. And, if you need help, we hope that you will let Pastor Don know how.

There are a number of ways to make your contributions to our church while we are not having services.

  1. Mail a check to Oak Grove UMC, 4725 FM 720 W, Aubrey, TX 76227. Mail is checked daily at the church.
  2. Transfer money from your account to the church account. Call me for routing and account numbers.
  3. Use PayPal. See our website.
  4. Use the Conference giving page (you must establish a profile; I can email you a link)

Thank you. Jenny and I are looking forward to seeing you all again soon, safely.

Bill Surles
940-808-9283
wsmerch@gmail.com

John 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.