Greetings to you and your family. We hope you and your family are staying well and healthy during this time. We are writing to give you an update from Pastor Gordon's desk. This email is not to replace our monthly newsletter - The News and Views. This email is to quickly give updates to what is happening at Oberlin UMC.
Please remember to check our website: oberlinumc.org and share information with your friends and neighbors. For those persons who do not have internet services, DVD’s are being produced that can be viewed in their homes. Please share this information with your friends, neighbors and relatives.
This weekend our nation remembers those who have died serving our country. Memorial Day has its origins just after the Civil War when both North and South remembered the tremendous costs of the war and the way their loved ones lost their lives defending what they believed to be right, true and beautiful. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed at the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. Over time, the Memorial Day holiday became a time to reflect, to honor the memory, and to remember all loved ones who died; it became a civil version of the Church’s All Saints Holy Day.
This weekend take time to recognize our veterans and pause to pray both for those serving our country and those who have died in service.
Let us join in saying this short Memorial Day Prayer:
Loving and Gracious God,
Thank you for the men and women who protect us and preserve your gifts of life, country, and freedom at home and abroad, even at the sacrifice of their own lives. They and their families are the true heroes among us. Today we remember all those who have laid down their lives so that we can continue to enjoy the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let your perpetual light shine upon them and grant them eternal rest. Send out your angels to protect all who serve our country and keep us free from injustice and harm.
We pray this in the name of the Father who understood and forgave us, in the name of Jesus who redeemed us, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives and makes us new every day. Amen.
People around the world give their time and energy to serve their local church. They lead groups, work in nurseries, prayer chain ministry, usher guests, receive offerings, lead worship, directed traffic, play instruments, sing in the praise team, participate and lead Bible study, prepare and serve funeral dinners, read scripture for worship, serve as youth sponsors, and many, many other things. They do so without expectation of honor or reward. That’s even more reason why I think we need to say “thank you” to them.
Why we need to say Thank You
- Saying “thank you” is a way to praise God.That’s what the apostle Paul did: he thanked church members by thanking God for them: “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5).
- Some of these volunteers pray regularly for us.I wish more of them did, but those who do make a difference in our ministries. Only God knows what their prayers have meant to us.
- We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers.Staff can do only so much in a church. Our overall local church ministry would be seriously hindered if all our volunteers left.
- Our volunteers give sacrificially of their time.Many of them work 40+ hours a week and then give to their church above that. They give, even though they’re often busy and tired.
- Faithful volunteers serve even during times of turmoil.Church conflict can result in a loss of volunteers, but some just keep serving faithfully and diligently. They continue to give their efforts, trusting that the church will work through difficulties.
Sunday Morning Worship Bulletin
Those who wish to have a printed bulletin, please check your email and/or the church website. Bulletins will normally be available by Friday afternoon for Sunday morning worship.
The salad supper originally scheduled for June 3, 2020, has been cancelled.
Our Daily Bread Devotional Booklets for June, July and August have been received and are available for your pickup at the south entrance to our building.
Update From Camp Lakeside on the 2020 Camp Season
We know there are many questions about the status of summer camp, especially as Kansas begins the phases into reopening.
At this point, we are working on an answer for you. There are still many unknowns that we must learn to navigate, in considering when/how we may be able to safely open Camp Lakeside for children, youth, adults and staff members. 6
We can assure you that Camp Lakeside and GP Camps are closely following the updates being released by the CDC, American Camp Association and other camp professionals from around the country. There are many balls to juggle, in considering if it's possible to safely and logistically run summer camp sessions. There are many individuals involved in making decisions for what this summer will hold for camping ministry, and we are in communication with them.
At this point, Camp Lakeside has paused all camper registrations. By the end of next week, we will have a better answer for you. No matter what this summer may end up looking like, we can assure you all decisions are being made with the safety of our campers and staff members as the highest priority. And whatever happens, rest assured that camp people are designed to come up with creative ministry!
We know there are still more questions than answers. It feels like that for many aspects of life right now. Sometimes the only thing we can do in times of confusion is to simply breathe, figure out one thing we CAN control, or talk to a loved one.
We are praying each day for your families in this unprecedented time. Please continue keeping Camp Lakeside in your prayers as well, as our staff navigate these new waters and prepare for whatever the summer may hold for all of us. We are very much looking forward to when we can gather together, again.
We'll be in touch with more information (and ministry) soon.
Ross Jankovic (Site Director)
Kate Laing (Program Director)
Great Plains Camping Inc. has decided to suspend traditional summer camping programs for the foreseeable future at all five member camps due to the public-health risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Programming at Camp Fontanelle and Camp Norwesca in Nebraska and Camps Chippewa, Horizon and Lakeside in Kansas may resume later in the summer or fall, depending on a number of factors associated with the pandemic. Some forms of online or alternative camping programs will be considered. Check the individual camps’ websites for more details.
The camping board members made their decision based on the General Rules provided by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, allowing the concept of “do no harm” to guide their discussion and decision.
The camping board authorized local camp directors and site councils to approve other activities on the properties as long as those activities adhere to the strictest state, county and local health department guidelines. Such activities include weddings; family reunions; and cabin rentals for retreats, refreshment and faith development. Those types of gatherings would have to comply with crowd-size and social-distancing restrictions.
Plans for the May 2020 Annual Conference session have been revised. A one-day business meeting will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2020 using conference call technology to care for items that cannot be delayed. We will convene as an annual conference at a previously scheduled special session October 1-4, 2020.
Blessings for your Memorial Day Weekend,