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Dear friends and members of Fayetteville UMC,

Peace and all good to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

If you are reading this, you are still here in the land of the living. I thank God for you. The days are warmer, and we may be feeling a little bit more relaxed as we have officially welcomed summer 2020. Though it may not be what you hoped for, let’s pause, and give God thanks that we are still here to experience the gift that is life.
I don’t know about you, but hearing the death toll due to COVID19 alone, makes me think about how fleeting life is. I am a part of a support group and last night when we met, I was listening to some of the people talk about how upset they were/are at someone or something. I remained quiet during the whole meeting as I was quietly thinking about my best friend who died last month and a cousin who died earlier this month. I am still grieving their loss and find myself wishing that I could see or hear their voices one more time. I quietly said to the other members of my group, “some people wish they had a loved one alive still to show any emotion to them…”
It was not my intention to stop people from feeling what they were feeling, I just wanted to acknowledge that some people have different feelings and that being mindful of another’s feeling may actually help put theirs/yours into perspective.

This is the last week of me writing this “From the Desk of Pastor Rhonda” piece that I started since we were required to shut down mid March. I hope that my efforts to keep you as informed and encouraged during these days have been helpful for you. Beginning next week, Carly will resume doing the blast the way it was done pre-COVID19. Please send her any information that is necessary for the good of the community. I will continue to provide pertinent information to her that will keep you informed about the way forward for FUMC.
I am aware that in the midst of trying to attend to all the changes that occur on a daily basis, myself or Carly may have missed a thing or two. For instance, it was brought to my attention that it was not published here in the weekly blast that there was going to be a Church Council Meeting on June 11. I am sorry for this oversight.
I am asking all committee heads to please resume informing Carly of any upcoming meetings (including zoom meetings) so that it can be published.
I will also resume publishing my office hours as of July 1, 2020.

GRATITUDE:
Thank you to all of you for checking in with each other, checking in with me, asking questions, making suggestions, expressing and being mindful that we are all in this journey together. Please exercise patience with yourselves and one another especially when things are not happening as quickly as you’d like or in the ways you want it. Some of us are having to make adjustments on a daily basis.
Continued appreciation to the following persons who show up weekly in various ways to keep some semblance of consistency in the life of FUMC:
Kathy Fortner, Sabine Krantz, Ben Haines, Carly Orchard, Jeffrey “Zeke” LeFrois, Michele Sargent, Laurie Russell, Grace Portzline, Judy Smith, Bob Norton, Barbara Western, Carol Hauck. Thank you very much!

FUMC WEEKLY ONLINE WORSHIP:
Click on this link http://fayettevilleumc.umcchurches.org/?page_id=1408 at 930am on Sunday June 28, 2020 for access to the Worship Service. The link will take you to the church website where you will see below the day’s date:
Worship
Moment with Young at Heart – If you have an animal, please send a photo of the animal to Kathy Fortner @ pchefkathyfortner@gmail.com by Friday June 26th at 9pm. The photo will be published on our Young at Heart segment on youtube. Please be sure to check out this week’s young at heart as Kathy Fortner does a blessing for the animals.

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS:
The Church office is now opened on Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-12 noon. Closed on Fridays. Please call Carly before you come to the building. The reason you’re asked to sign in and give your phone number when you enter FUMC is a part of the CDC contact tracing guideline. God forbid, if someone who enters the building becomes sick with COVID19, wouldn’t you want to know if you were in the building around the same time? Thank you for your cooperation.

Due to the phased re-opening of NYS, and the careful thought that needs to go into re-opening our worship space when it is safe for our members and friends, Pastor Rhonda and the task force have agreed that FUMC will continue to offer online worship services through the month of June.
The task force is following the guidelines of the Upper NY Annual Conference: https://www.unyumc.org/news/article/church-reopening-guidelines as well as the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/checklist.html
Please click on and read the information within these links carefully. Just about any questions you may have is answered herein.
Carly is currently keeping track of the names of the persons who enter the building as well as the persons who have access to the building. This is not intended to micromanage anyone/anything, it is to follow through with compliance with the CDC guidelines.

The Re-opening Task Force is the leading and valid voice in this re-opening process. We covet your patience and understanding of decisions we make. If you have questions and concerns, contact the church office for a list of task force members.

We are starting to order flowers again to use in the worship space. If you would like to give flowers in honor of your loved ones or for a special occasion, please contact Carly contactus@fayettevilleumc.org and let her know so that we can honor the dedication.

On Saturday June 27, 2020, 9am-2pm there will be a blood drive here at church.

The US Surgeon General has declared blood drives as essential services. For a limited time, the Red Cross will test blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies as an additional health service to our donors. To schedule your time to donate blood on Sat. 6/27 (9am-2pm) at Fayetteville United Methodist Church, please call 1800 RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and give sponsor code: FUMCGIVES (visit RedCrossBlood.org/antibodytesting for complete details and more information). All presenting donors at this drive will also receive a $5 Amazon.com e gift card and a free voucher for a pint of pre-packaged ice cream from Stewart’s Shops. Thank you!

Thursday June 25 @ 7pm – Task Force meets via zoom
Saturday June 27 @ 11am, here in the sanctuary, there will be a private baptism for baby Carson Joshua Snyder. His parents are Kelly Cook Snyder and Joshua David Snyder.
Sunday June 28 @12noon, here in the sanctuary, there will be a private piano recital produced by Sabine Krantz.

Prayers, Joys and Concerns:
The family of Donald Quackenbush laid him to rest on Monday June 22 in his hometown Canajoharie. I gave the family condolences on behalf of FUMC as I committed his body to the ground. The family appreciates your continued prayers.

WEEKLY GIVING:
For all the thoughtful ways you support the mission and ministry of this church; through your time given in service, your leadership, through your financial giving, pledges and by the ways you just give plain love, care and attention to one another, please accept my heartfelt appreciation. These are difficult times for all of us, but your generosity of spirit and giving overrides the difficulty. Thank you.
For those of you who still can and would like to continue giving of your tithe, offering, gifts and financial pledges, please make checks payable to Fayetteville UMC and send it in the mail to: FUMC PO BOX 158 Fayetteville, NY 13066.

Weekly Scripture Reflection:

You are appreciated and loved! You are in my prayers! I covet your prayers.
Be safe. Be well. Be happy.

Shalom!
Pastor Rhonda