An Update from your Pastor's Desk 04.23.2020

An Update from your Pastor's Desk 04.23.2020

Hello there,

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.

The Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee has been meeting weekly.  In person worship has been suspended for some time now, and a streamed worship service has been available for your viewing via:, Facebook, and YouTube.  In addition, we have DVD’s available for those who do not have computer or digital equipment available.  Please let a staff-pastor parish relations committee or Pastor Gordon know if someone needs to have a DVD copy to view our worship services.

Please remember to check our website: and share information with your friends and neighbors.

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 ministries of Oberlin United Methodist Church are still happening but in different ways.  Meetings and worship are still happening.  The prayer chain is still praying for the needs of our membership, community and world.  Although the office is not open Monday-Friday, our email is still working, telephone calls can be received, and your pastor is still making contact with members and constituents.  Your financial gifts and tithes are still needed to continue our ministry in Oberlin and beyond.  John Wesley is quoted as saying, “the world is my parish”.  This is just as true today as it was in 1738.  The streamed worship service has been viewed throughout the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and even California.  You may mail your tithes/gifts to Oberlin United Methodist Church, 102 N Cass, Oberlin, KS 67749, or you may place your gift in an envelope and drop it in the mail receptacle at the south entrance.  Thank you for your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.


Please mark your calendars that there will be NO MEETING on May 6, 2020.  The salad supper originally scheduled for June 3, 2020, will be re-scheduled for a later date.

Dorcas Circle

Dorcas will meet via Zoom on Monday, May 4, 2020.

Devotion Books

The May-June Edition of The Upper Room, both standard size and large print, are available at the south door for you to pick up.

Church History

Did you know?

The Oberlin Circuit was organized in 1877 with the Oberlin and Lyle Churches.  Originally meeting in a member’s home, our first church building was constructed in 1886 at a cost of $5,000.

At the turn of the century, a storm damaged the tall steeple, which led to remodeling the building.

After World War I, the original structure was razed, and a new building was dedicated in 1926.  In 1958, an educational building was constructed adjacent to the sanctuary.

A few years later, the sanctuary was remodeled, adding air-conditioning.

During the 1980’s several improvements were made to make the church more accessible, especially for the elderly and handicapped.  The exterior of the church was tuck-pointed; the stain-glass windows were covered with Plexiglas and a ramp and elevator were added.  The church offices and nursery were remodeled during this period.  The sanctuary was repainted, and a new sound system was installed n the balcony for the filming of worship services which were shown on Sunday afternoons on the public service channel.  The purchase of the current parsonage (204 N. Wilson) was completed, and the former parsonage located adjacent to the church was moved.

In the 1990s the Oberlin United Methodist stands as the downtown church in Oberlin.

In 2002 the Oberlin congregation celebrated its 125th Anniversary.  Former pastors were invited and share memories following a catered meal.  The guest speaker for morning worship was District Superintendent Rev. Pat Ault-Duell.

In 2016 video technology was introduced and 3 television monitors were installed in the sanctuary with memorial funds.

The development of a website, was launched and that ministry continues to grow.

The year 2020 has introduced the congregation and community to Zoom meetings, and streaming morning worship services on the internet, YouTube, and our website.

Tips to worship in the best seat in the house – Online Worship

  1. Create a sacred space.

Light a candle. Place a cross in the center of the table. Open your Bible. If you have a hymnal, get it out.

“Having a space that feels like this area where you watch worship is something different helps with feeling centered,” says the Rev. Barbara Dunlap, associate minister of discipleship and outreach at First United Methodist Church in Hurst, Texas. “Whatever you notice when you’re in the sanctuary, see if you can create that in your own space.”

2. Say ‘Hello.”

Greeting fellow worshipers is a routine part of attending church. Do the same online. Engage through the chat functions, such as the comment box on Facebook Live or the chatbox on YouTube or Livestream. As you see friends join the service, say “hi.”

“Greeting one another through chat is important so that you see that you are not by yourself,” Dunlap says. “There is a sense of knowing that people are worshiping with you and you are still connected.”

3. Don’t just sit there.

Stand up. When you are singing a hymn or repeating liturgy, get out of your “pew.”

“We encourage people to stand and sing with us from their homes,” states the Rev. Donna Pritchard, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church of Portland, Oregon. “When we do the passing of the peace, we ask people to make the sign of the cross on their own bodies.” The familiarity of the routine is another way to feel connected, she suggests.

4. Come closer, please.

This is one setting where physical distancing does not apply. In keeping with the theme of seeking to feel connected, sitting closer to the online activity on the screen helps, Dunlap says.

5. Sing louder.

Sing the songs, repeat the liturgy. Recite The Lord’s Prayer.

“If you are comfortable singing the songs out loud, do that,” Dunlap says. “Or say The Lord’s Prayer along with the church leader. How many people around the world are saying The Lord’s Prayer? Thinking about this makes you feel less alone and less small because you are part of a whole.”

6. Let us pray.

Share your prayer requests, both joys, and concerns, through the comments, or chat functions of the live stream. If you are not comfortable sharing that information in a public virtual setting, send the information via email to your church leaders.

“Tell us what’s going on,” Dunlap encourages. “We still want the prayer concerns.”

7. Please sign the attendance pad and pass it down.

Just because there is no formal attendance registration process doesn’t mean that you should not let your church know that you are in worship. Register your attendance by engaging with the comments/chat boxes or by “liking” the social media post.

“Do not be afraid to reach out. Leaders want to know that you are there, but they also want to know if you are not,” Dunlap points out.

8. Say “cheese!”

Consider sharing photos of how you and/or your family are worshiping together at home and share and/or tag them to your church’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to create a sense of community.

9. Sit with the folks you normally do.

Consider worshiping together through Zoom, chat rooms or private Facebook groups with your Sunday School class, small group or families, and friends that you sit near at church, Dunlap suggests. In her church, some groups meet virtually for coffee or breakfast together– from your own homes, of course – and then watch the worship service together through an online service.

10. Say “thank you.”

“When people tune in, they are so grateful to have the chance to connect even though we are not physically together,” says the Rev. Stephanie Dodge, lead pastor at Glendale United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. “Expressing gratitude with your online community is another way that people can participate in worship.”

Shared from:

The United Methodist Church Publications

“More than a viewer: 10 tips for engaging with online worship”

A feature by Crystal Caviness

Mar 26, 2020

Blessings for your week and we hope you will join with us to worship online on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at 10:45 AM.  Remember, the bulletin will be available at by Friday evening, April 24.

God bless,

Pastor Gordon