Weekly Greeting: April 3rd, 2020

Good afternoon parish,
May the grace of God sustain and nourish you during these days of ‘sheltering in place.’ Let’s begin with a quote from William S. Halsey, “All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble.”
There is a tendency, in times of crisis, to withdraw. Turtles pull into their shells when danger is near, just as we are required to ‘shelter in place’ due to the dangers of COVID-19. But this is not a time for social paralysis. It is a time for ‘looking out for one another.’ I was delighted to open my mailbox the other day and find a ‘thinking of you’ card from Cherie Downing. I suspect many of you received such a card as well. It was her simple, yet bold way of connecting with her church family, even as I am hoping to do with this ‘weekly greeting.’
All eight of your UMCA staff are making ‘wellness calls’ this month to the church contact list. I have made several already and have felt blessed with each conversation. As we care for one another, low and behold, we ourselves are cared for! There are many things we can’t do right now, but calling to express concern or offer a prayer is one thing almost all of us can do.
It gives me joy to report that the High Street Food Cupboard will be resuming food distribution with revised protocols as of Thursday, April 9th (Holy Thursday). The volunteer team will be intentionally spare, so please hold them in prayer.
With the new ‘shelter-in-place’ order, our facebook worship live-stream broadcast will be from the parsonage at 10 am on Sunday. It will be posted to the website, along with a text copy of the message. At 11 and 11:30 am, via zoom, there will be Godly Play presentations by Kay Little and Mary MacMahon. I cannot offer the holy week worship services I intended, but there will be a zoom worship service based on the Seven Last Words of Jesus on Good Friday (April 10th) at 7 pm. Meditations will be offered by different leaders of the parish. I will send the link early next week. Please join us if you can!
I have attached a copy of my message from this past Sunday for any who may have missed it. I sure look forward to the day when we can be together again in corporate worship! The church campus and office are closed until May 1st. Carla Daigle will be working from home as she is able (as will I–(207) 753-1275, parsonage).
Thank you for your faithful giving of tithes and missional offerings. They are a vital link right now! Carla and Marcia Hennessey are caring for the mail and donations as they arrive on a weekly basis. Please send prayer requests to Edith Ellis (sunnysidegardens@roadrunner.com). Thanks to John Derouche, our website has a new look! I encourage you to check it out at: www.auburnmethodist.com.
Hosanna! Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord!
Pastor Steve Basco