November 19th, 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
On November 17th, Bishop Frank Beard directed all churches in the Conference not to meet for indoor worship for the next four weeks (Nov. 22, 29, Dec. 6 and 13). On Dec. 9th, a determination will be made for Christmas Eve and Christmas services in the weeks to follow. This directive is due to the dramatic increase of COVID 19 cases in the state of Illinois. Due to this directive, I am initiating the following changes in regards to the ministry at the Pittsfield United Methodist Church.
-For the Sundays that fall under the Bishop’s directive, the only worship service that our church will be holding will be a 9 am service live over WBBA-FM. The directive states that “for the purpose of producing or broadcasting worship, groups of ten or less may gather with facemasks and proper social distancing.” The format of these services will alternate between traditional and contemporary worship.
-Bishop Beard has also directed that churches conduct essential and minimum operations only. No non-essential groups may meet at the church; and the church office will be officially closed to the public starting November 23rd until further notice. The IGNITE Youth groups will not meet, nor will any other organizations be allowed to meet at the church. If any official business needs to be conducted, it will be conducted through ZOOM or through other such venues.
-The Bishop has given these directives because he believes that they are necessary in order to prevent further spread of COVID 19 throughout our state. As he has stated, “what we do now will affect how long such mitigation measures will need to be employed.” The Illinois Department of Public Health has also stated that at 12:01 a.m. on November 20th, the entire state will be on Tier 3 mitigations. These mitigation standards are congruent with the Bishop Beard’s directives; consequently, there is now legal sanction behind what Bishop Beard has asked us to do.
-I appreciate how the church as a whole has responded to the limitations that the COVID 19 pandemic has placed upon us, and I am looking forward to the day in which full restoration of our worship and our community life may resume.
Pittsfield United Methodist Church is a friendly, welcoming, caring neighborhood church. We see part of our mission as the ministry of providing a surrogate or supplemental family to our members. Whether you are new in town, separated from family (by work, school or military obligations), if you are estranged and divorced from your family, or if you just want to make new friends, our church can be that “new family” for you with new brothers and sisters, children to nourish, and wiser, older people who can share their love of God, and wisdom from life’s journey.
We are a small church and we make no apologies for it. If you are looking for a place where you can fully participate in praise, prayer, worship and church activities and not merely be a spectator, our church is for you! We also have plenty of opportunities for leadership if you feel so called.
Sometimes, life deals us blows that require a place to sort things out. Our church is a safe place to work out those experiences with God’s help; whether one is grieving over a sudden or unexpected death, the loss of a relationship or job, or some other difficult problem. We provide a nurturing environment and a caring family to listen, help, and pray with you.
If you are looking for a place to give back for the blessings you have received, we have ministries and places of service. The lifeblood of a small church is not paid staff but volunteer efforts and financial patrons. There is a place for you.
Together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts. Through our connectional system in mission with The United Methodist Church, we join with other United Methodist congregations to achieve what we cannot do individually. There is a part for each of us to play in that bigger story.
Life is rough enough. News headlines report new difficulties each day. Many times, it is difficult to know what to believe and in whom you can place your trust. We don’t claim to have “all the answers” but as fellow pilgrims on a journey, we walk with you as we share our love of God, our journey to Christ, and our lives with each other.