July 3, 2020
Dear Members and Friends:
On Sunday, May 31, 2020 we celebrated Pentecost. Pentecost is recognized as the “birthday” of the Christian Church. On the first Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on a diverse group of believers gathered in Jerusalem and since that day the world has not been the same. This small group was emboldened and Peter stepped up to provide leadership. His spirit-filled message that day led to three thousand converts to Christianity.
As twenty-first spiritual descendants of the early disciples we face some significant challenges today. We are in the middle of a pandemic that has sickened many, disrupted our lives and robbed us of the presence of loved ones. We are also called to respond to the racism and disrespect for fellow human beings that were evident in the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, and have been evident in many other situations
As Christians, I invite us to take a page out of the book of the early Christians who found renewed confidence on the first Pentecost. In responding to the events of their day they came together in unity, they prayed to and trusted in God, and they acted boldly. They spoke out about the grace of God and the transforming love of Jesus. They also cared about the spiritual, physical, material and financial needs of each other. They prayed for each other and, very importantly, shared their time, money and possessions with others who were in need.
I encourage us to nurture our spiritual lives daily through bible reading, prayer and meditation so that we can be equipped to make a difference around us every day.
As a church community we are also preparing to resume public services on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM, at a quarter of the seating capacity of the sanctuary. This translates to a maximum of 100 persons. As we prepare for that day, we are seeking to follow some guidelines that our conference has provided to make sure that parishioners are as safe as possible in our building. The current feature of providing access to our service over the internet and the telephone will continue.
During the time we have been away from the building many of you have continued to be generous in your financial support of the ministry of your congregation. We thank you for your faithful giving, and we are enclosing a statement for the gifts we have received from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. If you receive a statement and have any questions about it do not hesitate to contact the church by telephone or email.
In closing, I would like to remind you of the encouragement to the early Christians in the book of Hebrews: “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10: 23-24)
May God continue to guide, bless, and keep you all.
Rev. Noel N. Chin
P.S. To learn more about Methodism visit https://www.umc.org/en/what-we-believe/basics-of-our-faith