An Update from your Pastor's Desk - April 9, 2020

An Update from your Pastor's Desk - April 9, 2020


You may be asking yourself this question:  “Why now am I receiving this communication in this form rather than by United States Postal Service?”  The simple answer is that we need to be able to communicate with you the fastest way possible, especially in this time of uncertainty in today’s world.  This is the first attempt to communicate with as many as possible in a manner that is easier, more cost-efficient.  If this manner does not work for you, please let me know that via return email (, or give me a call via cell 785.821.0088.

This update from Pastor Gordon is not intended to be a replacement to the newsletter, News & Views.

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.


Maundy Thursday:

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. will host a conference wide online communion service via the conference website at 7 p.m. CDT Thursday, April 9.

The live stream event featuring music, liturgy, prayer, a message from the bishop and communion will be visible from

Participants are asked to have some form of bread and juice, if possible. Crackers and water are suitable substitutes.

Good Friday:

The congregational excellence team is providing a virtual Stations of the Cross service for Good Friday. It can be viewed and downloaded here.

Easter Sunday Morning:

Although Oberlin United Methodist Church will not host a live Sunrise Worship Service and breakfast follow, we WILL stream our 10:45 am worship service on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.  Virtual communion will be offered.  We encourage you to have some form of bread and grape juice available to come together with us in the receiving the Holy Sacrament of Communion.  If you do not have bread or juice, crackers and water can be used in place of the bread and juice.

The bulletin will come out as email blast to your email by Friday afternoon and will also be available on

Praise Team:  

Thank you to our praise team, Bob Castle, Lonnie McEvoy, Mick Barth, Cheryl and Sid Metcalf, Joel Shaw, Jenny Tally, and Nora Urban for providing music during worship, and especially during this time when our “normal” worship experience is different than we would like.

Thanks to Jenny Tally and Susan Nelson for providing options for Young Disciples during worship.  If this is a ministry that you could help with, please let Pastor Gordon know.

All the video recording, editing and compilation have been done by Chandler Pettibone.

Thank you to the memorial committee who has made our “new normal” worship possible through the purchase of video equipment that allows us to record and stream our worship in new ways.  We have received feedback from people as far away as California, and several other locations, who have been able to worship with us virtually.

District Superintendent Don Hasty and former Pastor Doug Hasty’s father passed away on Wednesday evening, April 8, 2020.  Cards and notes of condolences may be mailed as follows:

Rev. Don Hasty Rev. Doug Hasty

805 Ragan Rd 1106 Timberlake Dr

Dodge City, KS 67801 Sabetha, KS 66534


“With our minds racing this week, I thought it might be time to share the practice of "no thinking."

As the world slows down to make the pandemic slow down, we find ourselves in slower motion. We aren't comfortable with this pace. But, maybe this is an opportunity to grow more comfortable with being still.

Quarantine is forcing us to stop. Nowhere to be. Nothing to do. Just be.

Many times when I am visiting someone in the hospital, they tell me they feel closer to God when they are in the hospital. I think it is partly because they are still and quiet. God is always there, but sometimes we are moving too fast to notice. In the hospital we are forced to slow down. We are only focused on getting well. Nowhere to be. Nothing to do. Just be.

You and I can help our minds to find that same pace at any time. And, when we can find pause in our thinking, we find peace.

Use this practice to stop thinking. Just a moment of peace without a thought will be a gift to yourself.

There is a peace that is always available to us, and this slower pace is helping us remember that it was there all along.

Most adults have about 3,000 thoughts race through their minds per hour. There is a commentator in your brain noticing every move you make and every move everyone else makes. They commentate in real time, noticing many things at once. In addition to this, you also have thoughts from the past and future zoom through. Then add in all of the external noise around you, and it amounts to a loud chatter streaming in your brain all day long.

Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor or in a chair with both of your feet on the floor.

Straighten your back, lower your shoulders, and relax your jawline.

Notice your breathing. Just notice. You don't have to take a deep breath. Just observe your natural breathing. Notice air flowing in and out.

Become the watcher of your thinking. Notice how busy your mind wants to be. Watch the thoughts as they fly through your brain. Observe them going by. Just thoughts. Just sentences.

Now try to create space between the thoughts. Like a white space between sentences on a page. Increase the space. Maybe it is just a slight pause right now, but eventually, you can hold a larger space before a new thought comes in.

Now, close your eyes and try this on your own. Set a timer on your phone for 2-3 minutes and see how good it feels to practice thoughtlessness.

Pause and be in silence like this multiple times throughout your day. Try to become thought-less, without thought.

Allow.     Quiet.     Space.     Calm.

Many people tell of revelations after this time of silence. Some describe clearer thinking. Some describe noticing the presence of God. Others, feel a wave of calm wash over them and feel less anxious. Try not to enter into this with a goal, just enter in to take a pause. Be without a thought. Experience freedom from thinking.

Maintaining inner peace is easier said than done. During these chaotic times of uncertainty, your thoughts are one of the only things you can control. Try to quiet them as much as possible.

And when you notice a thought passing through, assess if it is a helpful or harmful thought to your peacefulness. If it is harmful, let it pass through. If it is helpful, invite it in and soak it up. This is a way to filter your thinking. Hold on to the thoughts that contribute to peace.”

Reprinted with permission:

Ginger Rothhaas, MDiv

Spiritual Coach