“I won’t shield God from my anguish by claiming He’s not involved
in the ache of this world and Satan prowls but he’s a lion on a leash
and the God who governs all can be shouted at when I bruise,
and I can cry and I can howl and He embraces the David-heart
who pound hard on His heart with their grief.”
- Ann Voskamp,
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Laurie works in the medical field at one of the emergency departments in Orlando. She has a son who is immune-suppressed and home from college. With everything that is happening, Laurie is self-isolating not wanting to infect anyone she loves. Her self-isolating began getting to her ... started making her feel lonely.
So, for her birthday, her husband, Don, invited a group of us to do a “drive-by” happy birthday... reminding Laurie that she is not alone. Hanging out car windows, beeping horns, tossing birthday cards and yelling “We love you Laurie!” brought me a lot of joy and reminded me of my community of friends who go the extra mile to bring another friend a smile. It was the highlight of my week. And afterwards, Laurie texted me this: “Thank you so much. What a great surprise. Love you guys.” Gratitude, thankfulness, Eucharist ... choosing to find something for which to be thankful in the midst of trouble.
But how do we choose thankfulness? We all are weary, and we all have our worries ... and that’s okay. We do not understand COVID-19 and we do not know the long-term effects of this crisis. We want to stay healthy and we do not want anyone else to get sick, but we know people will. All of this is scary.
And maybe today we are angry. And that’s okay, too. Before we can choose to be thankful in the trials, we need to be honest with our God. I love the quote above because it’s real. I’ve had my range of emotions as I am sure you have had. My encouragement is that when the emotions begin to rise and fear begins to take over, find something for which to give thanks. That’s what Jesus did at the Passover meal so long ago ... facing the unknown of death on a cross ... took a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and gave thanks.
Thank you for your faithfulness and support. I continue to pray for our pastors, leaders, congregations and communities of the Atlantic Central District and am amazed by the stories of what God is doing in our midst. There will be a day in the future when we will celebrate the Hope of Resurrection together in person. We will be on the other side of this storm! Until then, stay safe, shelter in place, and remember that Jesus is the Hope of the world. May God bless you+
Grace and peace ~
Twelve of our churches have been approved to receive a Technology Mini-Grant! Pastors will be notified this week. Grants are for $200 / church.
Thanks to our Technology Advisors for the support they have given to our churches, and for hosting technology question and answer sessions on Zoom!
Do you or your tech team have questions about technology? Join Eric Ruoff, Mike Mayes, and Trevor Johnston on Wednesdays from 1:30 - 3:00 PM beginning Wednesday, April 15, 2020 on Zoom. Invitations to join the meetings will be posted on the AC District Clergy Facebook page and sent to the church Administrative Assistants.
If you have questions at other times, please e-mail them to Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida United Methodist Conference is looking at ways to conduct the business of Annual Conference 2020 in the safest way for everyone during the pandemic. We hope to have more information on what Annual Conference 2020 will look like by April 15.
Please visit the Annual Conference 2020 webpage at https://www.flumc.org/annual-conference-2020 for more information.
We are continuing to accept nominations for AC District at-Large Lay Members to Annual Conference through May 1, 2020. All Lay Members must be approved by their church's Pastor and Leadership Team (Administrative Council).
General Conference 2020 has been postponed to 2021. Details are available on the home page of the Florida Conference website at www.flumc.org.
If you have a Hospice organization in your local area and you would like to support their workers in this same manor, please contact their offices to see if there is a need.
As many of you may know, there is a national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Hospice of St. Francis is now calling on anyone who is able and willing to help make masks. If you have a crafting group in your congregation eager to help during this crisis, encourage them help out with this project in this very important way.
Please follow the recommended instructions. Below are two pdf documents with instructions and patterns we have received from large health systems that followed guidelines produced by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). You can also utilize this YouTube tutorial link https://youtu.be/9tBg0Os5FWQ .
Hospice of St. Francis is now accepting donated handmade procedure masks. To donate to Hospice of St. Francis, please e-mail our volunteer coordinator, Brandy Fowler, email@example.com or call 321-704-2319. Please e-mail before or after a drop off to let us know how many masks you donated and the date of that donation.
Should we receive enough masks to meet our needs, extras will be donated to other healthcare organizations in need.
Donation drop off locations for Hospice of St. Francis
Edward M. Poe Hospice Care Center
1240 Grumman Place
Titusville, FL 32780
M-F 8:00 am -4:30 pm
Hospice of St. Francis Melbourne Office
2609 N. Wickham Rd. Suite 403
Melbourne, FL 32940
M-F 8:00 am -4:30 pm
On behalf Hospice of St. Francis, we thank you for considering the talents of your community to help during this time of crisis.
If you want more information about Hospice of St. Francis, please visit their website at https://www.hospiceofstfrancis.com/
Currently, the District Office is closed to visitors. The best way to reach us is by e-mail. If you call, please leave a message. We will be checking messages regularly and will return your call. If you need immediate assistance, please e-mail Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mails are being closely monitored during regular office hours.
Our office hours are: Monday - Thursday from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM and on Fridays from 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM.