Encouraging words and updates from our pastor
My Beloved Friends at Hillsdale UMC,
It’s hard to believe that we are now well into the third month of sheltering in place. My guess is that for many of you, life is still quite challenging. Many adjustments had to be made to comply with social distancing regulations. And though, none of us are happy about all that has unfolded and all that we are required to do, I know that many of you are continuing to make sacrifices out of love for our world. You are doing your best to stay at home, and when you need to go out for essential errands, you are committed to wearing your masks! Thank you for choosing to take the highest of responsibility during these difficult and uncertain times.
I recently saw a cute sign that read, “Germs and Jesus are everywhere! So wash your hands and say your prayers!” Indeed, we need to do both these days, and often, don’t we?
We need to do all we can to help fight this pandemic, and we need to pray fervently for the supernatural workings of God to bring forth a miracle. For followers of Jesus, faithfulness always involves both parts – ours and His.
I want to encourage you to know that even while we may be socially distant and confined to our homes, we can stay absolutely connected and we can continue to make an impact in many, many ways. I am so overjoyed when I get to see many of you during our Zoom worship on Sundays. Technical glitches and internet challenges aside, my soul has been blessed from Sunday to Sunday as we “gather” together to encourage one another and to offer our worship to God. Throughout the week, I am also seeing many of you through various Bible studies and ministry meetings, also on Zoom. And though I would love to see your faces soon outside of those now familiar rectangles on my computer screen, I am grateful that I get to see you nonetheless!
You may be wondering when the church will re-open, and when we will be able to gather again for worship. When will we be able to go back to normal? Friends, as painful as it is for me to say this, but worship as we knew it will not be back for some time. As you may know, Governor Newsom’s four phase plan includes houses of worship being able to gather in Phase 3. That may not come until sometime this summer. And even when we move into Phase 3, we will need to be very cautious about how we gather again and how we worship. Again, I don’t know exactly when that will be and what that will look like, but I want you to know that I am in constant prayer, research and conversation with our leaders to make sure we do everything right and continue to “be” the church.
Speaking of which, there are so many people in our community that continue to serve and lead and offer their hearts to make sure that our ministry stays strong right now. From Karen, our office manager, to the many faithful leaders of our church, the serving spirit is very evident! We are even continuing our Second Harvest ministry while practicing social distancing to make sure the hungry are fed! Thank you, each of you, for all that you do! Now more than ever, we need to stay together and serve together the best we can.
I want to also say a word of thanks for those of you who have been continuing in your faithful giving to support Hillsdale UMC and the many wonderful, life giving parts of our ministry. Your giving absolutely matters, especially now. And your giving honors God! Obviously, we have not been able to share our offerings and tithes with the passing of the plate these days, but I want to encourage you to do your best to prayerfully and worshipfully prepare your gifts and mail them into the church office.
Last, I want to invite any of you who may be going through a difficult time right now to reach out to me. I am available for conversation or prayer. The thing that you least want to do right now is to spiritually or emotionally isolate yourself. There is power in community. There is power in being together. Don’t hesitate to take me up on this invitation.
I will be continuing to pray for each and every one of you, as I hope that you will be praying for me as well. I miss you all dearly… but I know that we will see each other when the time is right.
God bless you and keep you.
With Hope for Better Days Ahead,
Pastor Sun Hee