From our Pastoral Staff
Follow Pastor David and our pastoral team to continue to hear God's call on our lives.
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What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
From our Pastoral Care Team
Rev. David Beam
March 25, 2020
Dear Church Family,
We are certainly in new territory. Rarely has anything caused the church to cancel Sunday (public) worship, and even when we do cancel because of inclement weather, power outage or water-main bursting we know that it’s only very temporary. But we will worship online again March 29 and I am anticipating us having to continue to do so for at least a couple of more weeks or until we get the all-clear from the Coronavirus threat. If we are not told to shelter-in-place, we are considering “drive-in” worship for Easter Sunday (details to follow)! I am grateful for how all of you are continuing to worship and serve our God even in these days of “physical-distancing”…..because we are continuing to be “social” in every possible way! Just this week, the Pastors, staff and Congregational Care team are calling every one of you in First UMC Franklin to offer God’s love, listen and to ask if you have needs that we can help to address. Volunteers have braved the virus-threat (with gloves, masks and hand-sanitizer) to pack and distribute food to those in need both at the MANNA Pop-Up market on Monday and through CareNet each day this week. And still other volunteers are shopping and delivering food to those most at risk. We are finding and creating ways to continue to be the Body of Christ!
I read the book, Canoeing the Mountains, by Tod Bolsinger in 2018 that recounts how Lewis and Clark journeyed anticipating finding a water-route to the Pacific ocean and instead found the Rocky Mountains! No Northwest Passage. No navigable river. In un-charted territory and harsh conditions they had to adapt, adjust and learn (from others like Sacagawea). It was adventure or die! I find that we are in the “same boat” or “canoe” as Lewis and Clark at present and we are leading off the map! In times like these “orienting” and “relating” is not only our means of surviving but receiving abundant life. Bolsinger shares, “Leadership in the past meant coming up with solutions. Today it is learning how to ask new questions that we have been too scared, too busy or too proud to ask.”
So, I ask for your help, your creativity, your leadership and your ingenuity as we push out into the deep water of the unknown in the days and weeks to come as we venture as a congregation in worship, care for each other’s needs, and continue to offer the love of Christ to our community and beyond. The church office will be closed March 26-April 3 and the staff working from home for now. But we are still here for you! Just call the church office and leave a message for us and we will respond. Let’s stay in touch, stay together and learn how to navigate these troubled waters believing in our Lord Jesus Christ and each other!
Resources for prayer and reflection
As we are in the season of Lent, may we continue to be intentional about penitence, reflection, and spending time with God. May this time of uncertainty and inconvenience also be a time of Sabbath and rest for you. Please contact any of us if we can help with additional resources or anything else during this time of “social distancing.” May God be with you ‘til we meet again!
--David, Marti, Vic, Vicki & Margaret
For Prayers and Scripture
- The Upper Room - Daily devotionals, prayers, resources for all ages
- Mission St. Clare - Daily prayers morning and evening
- Lectionary Library - Daily Bible readings and other resources that follow the common Lectionary
- Illustrated Ministry – free weekly faith formation activities for all ages
Some Psalms and Prayers
Psalm 3:3-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Psalm 5:1-2 The Message (MSG)
Psalm 121 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Specific prayer prompts and scriptures
Leaders of Community, State, Country & World - Psalm 136, Jeremiah 31:31-40
Medical and Health Care Professionals - Psalm 95, Matthew 4:1-11
School Administrators, Support Staff, Teachers & Students - Psalm 22, Romans 5:1-11
Children, Elderly & Vulnerable of our Community - Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19
First Responders & Emergency Care Staffs (UMCOR, Red Cross, etc.) - Psalm 16, Exodus 17:1-7, John 4:5-15
The World – espec. countries with high COVID-19 impact - Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14,
Your neighbors - Psalm 40, Hebrews 10:1-10