Ministry Opportunities during the Pandemic

MUMC March 20, 2020

 

Sunday morning Worship:

  • We will be worshiping remotely until further notice

  • One service at 10:00 AM – we will go live at 9:45

  • to give people time to navigate their connections.  During that time there will be gathering music and the announcement PowerPoint will be on your screen

  • Each Sunday until the end of April will have a combination of Traditional AND Jazz. We will be alternating music style after that (except for Easter Sunday)

  • Even if it feels strange or awkward, IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for all of us to be together virtually for worship. PLEASE MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO TUNE IN.  This will be important for MUMC later as we resume our life together in person.

  • We are aiming for a 45 minute worship experience

  • The offering will be part of our worship time, just like normal.

    • Online at: minnetonkaumc.org/giving

    • Text: MINNETONKAUMC to: 73256

    • With text giving, you will want to set up your credit card ahead of time then the actual giving process is easy during the service.

    • Credit card information is held by a third party vendor. The church does NOT have access to it

    • I set up “givingUMC” as a contact in my phone to make it even faster and easier. I often do this during service in the sanctuary.  By the time I have typed “g-i” I’m there.

  • We encourage you to create a worship space for this experience. If you have a candle, please light it at home as we light the candles in the sanctuary.  The candles are a symbol of the presence of Christ in Worship.

  • Those of us in the sanctuary will be practicing social distancing

  • There are 2 ways to access worship.

    1.  Through Facebook live (instructions below)

    2. Through this LINK:

  • Here are the instructions for how to join us on Facebook Live:

    • For people with a Facebook account: Sign in to Facebook. If you are following our page (recommended) you will probably see our feed on your home page when you log in.  If not, navigate to Minnetonka United Methodist’s page and there we’ll be.

    • For people WITHOUT a Facebook account: follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/MinnetonkaUMC/

    • You might consider creating a Facebook account for the duration of this emergency.

  • The Minnetonka Police Department has indicated that in the event the Governor issues a “shelter in place” order, they will consider worship leaders travelling to and from church to lead virtual worship to be “mission critical” for the community and will not interfere

Communion:

  • On Palm Sunday (April 5) We will be celebrating communion

  • Bishop Ough has authorized the celebration of remote communion and assures us that this practice aligns with Wesleyan sacramental theology

  • Please have bread and anything that can be described as a “fruit of the vine” Grape juice, a grape, wine are all acceptable.  Once, years ago at a retreat where someone forgot to bring the elements, I celebrated the Eucharist with cold pizza and beer because … hops grow on vines?  Also, the communion is valid if you only have bread.  Use your imagination and your discretion.  Jesus will be there no matter what you do and he understands the present constraints.

  • We will hold the elements and all partake at once.

  • We are still deciding whether to do virtual worship on Maundy Thursday. We will let you know.  It will be a communion service if we do. (I’m leaning toward it!)

Other devotional opportunities:

  • The labyrinth will be set up in the Fellowship Hall beginning Monday Morning. Access to the Labyrinth is by appointment only and individuals and family groups will have exclusive access during their half hour slot.   Here is the link to the Signup Genius:

  • Tiffany, Dave, and Cindy are preparing daily pastoral reflections on video. They can be accessed from our Facebook page or directly from our website: minnetonkaumc.org/messages  Look for the “worship” tab and click on “Sermon channel”

  • The Lenten Devotional texts will be continued through the Easter season (Mid-may) and beyond if deemed helpful. Access these by testing the word “EZDEVOTION” to 474747  They are written by your friends and they are really VERY good.

EASTER SUNDAY PLANS:

  • We are planning for DRIVE-IN-PARKING LOT Worship on Easter Sunday. This will be a ZERO CONTACT event, but we are brainstorming fun and creative ways to make worship as interactive and participatory as possible

  • This will be a joint project (90% certainty at this writing) with St Luke Presbyterian but held in OUR parking lot

  • We have procured a 14 foot scissor lift as a chancel for visibility. We have procured a low power FM transmitter so that participants will listen on their car radios.  The Jazz band and Trumpets will be involved

  • The building will be open for restroom accessibility but plan not to use them unless necessary

  • We will be surveying both congregations next week to gauge your intention to participate – We envision having 80-90 usable spaces

  • We will schedule 1, 2,or 3 services depending on interest

  • During Holy week we will send out a link to Signup Genius so you can choose your service

  • We are not going to be promoting this to the community but you may invite guests to sign up and attend if you would like.

  • If the governor declares a shelter in place order this event will not take place.

We have a number of ways we can be in service during this time.

Contact Pastor Tiffany tiffany.mcdonald@minnetonkaumc.org or 952-392-4458 with questions or to sign up to volunteer for any of these roles.

1)      Be a telephone “shepherd.” Pastor Tiffany has created a list of people who are willing to make calls, and some have already started calling. Others of you are calling too.  This is great!  We want to stay as connected as possible during this time, and the phone is a great way to stay connected.

2)      Be an errand runner.  Pastor Tiffany also has a list of people willing to run errands.  If you have a need, we will match volunteers with the errand (groceries, pharmacy, etc.)

3)      Since we have extended our Daily Text ministry for the days between Easter and Pentecost consider whether you are willing to write a devotion (or two, or three), you may sign up here (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f48a5a82aabfa7-easter), or contact Pastor Tiffany.

4)      Beginning Monday March 23, we will have the labyrinth available for prayer during office hours.  Holy Week (April 6-10), we would like to also have it open during the evenings.  If this fits your schedule, please let Pastor Tiffany know the day and time(s) you would be willing to be at church so that people could come and pray.

5)      Send cards!  We can send cards to one another.  If you want names, Pastor Tiffany has a list.  Otherwise, feel free to use the directory you have.  We all love mail.

FINALLY,  all of this is subject to change if the authorities put further restrictions on our common life.   If that happens we will be in touch.