May 28, 2020

From the Pastor’s Desk. . . .
It has been a LOOOOOOOOG spring!  The COVID-19 virus blossomed, grew horrible fruit, and hopefully is now ready to recede into dark shadows where it will eventually die because of good practices of hygiene and other health safety measures. Please pray for our scientists to discover a vaccine for this horrible killer.
Your staff and I have weathered this storm well so far. Our spirits have been high but, like most of you, we have had our times of temporary despair. Through this entire time of not being able to carry Gods’ word to you in the ‘normal’ way we have worked hard to find ways to keep us  united as God’s people, the church. It is the prayer of the staff that you have felt that connectedness in many ways. Please know that through this entire time that the staff and I have been praying for your health and peace. Please let us know how we can pray for you.
In Philippians 4:7 we read, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  It is in the knowledge of this passage that I have prayed and believe with all my soul that we as a congregation will come out of this better, stronger, and more determined to carry His word than we have been in several decades.
Church Services to Begin!
YES – you read that heading right!!!
This Sunday (May 31st) we will celebrate the Sabbath with our first church service since March. I say church service because many have been working very hard at bringing you online church services for months.
There could not be more perfect time to have service as this is the birthday of the church. It is 
Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the day that the church was born. It was the day that St. Peter preached to 3,000 in Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit hovered over the heads of those that listened. As they listened, they began to speak in tongues and every tongue was interpreted by another person that spoke that language. 
We will begin again having worship to the one true and living God on Pentecost Sunday!
So – here are the details!
Service Time:   
Where:  Outside on the East side of the building.
What to Bring:  Your own folding or bag chair so you will have a seat. Sunglasses.
What to Wear:  On Pentecost we always try to wear RED. It is the color of the fire on the heads of those that were at the first Christian worship service ever.
Note: Bathrooms will not be available in the church this Sunday so please plan accordingly. 
Service Time:  9:30 AM – Sunday, June 7th.
Where:  In the Sanctuary
Admission by Reservation Only: We will be able to seat about 90 persons following the guidelines put out by the Iowa UM Conference. Please call the office and make a reservation for the number that will be in your worship group. Church office: 319-352-2590 (M-F 9am-12pm)
          > We will be taking reservations beginning on Monday, June 1st.  We will cut off 
            reservations when we reach 90.
What to Wear:  Whatever you want but a face mask is required. Should you not have a face mask, we will have a cloth one here for you to put on for the service and then return it after the service to be washed and sterilized.
Video on-line services:  We will be videoing all services and putting them online.
> If you are at high risk or have someone in your household that is at high risk or that may be carrying the virus because of their work surroundings, I encourage you to not attend and put yourself or others at risk. Again, please watch online for now if you are in that demographic.
Coffee Fellowship: There will be no coffee fellowship following the services. This will probably last all summer. Conversations ARE encouraged but please respect those you are talking with and social distance by at least 6 feet. ALSO please continue to wear your mask if you are in the building.
Bathrooms:  Once we begin to use the building on June 7 the bathrooms will be open but only two people will be allowed in the bathroom at once. Again, please wear your masks in the bathrooms.
Bulletins and Hymnals:  There will be no bulletins or hymnals until we are through this pandemic. An announcement sheet will be at the exit doors following the services. Announcements will continue to be sent out weekly through the Mid-Week email and via USPS.
Come, O Holy Spirit and join us together in your work and in the joy of worshiping you in humbleness and praise. Thank you all for being faithful in your time, talents, and your tithe.

See you on Sunday!                                                                
                                                                                    Pastor Tom