“IF the Lord had not been on our side -- let Israel say--   IF the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, THEN they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; THEN the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away”.   Psalm 124:1-5

 

Hello Church Family!                                                             September 15, 2020

How many times have we said to ourselves IF I didn't have my faith THEN I never could have made through? IF I didn't have the teachings of Jesus in my life THEN I never could have navigated that situation? IF I didn't have God's forgiveness and His love in my life THEN I don't know if I could've kept moving forward? …but friends, we do… And when we feel engulfed in our moments of struggle, God is given as one another to lift us up, carry us through, pull us through at times drag us through and always to love and pray us through. Like the words of the song ‘The joy of the Lord is my strength” so too our strength is drawn from our faith and joy in our Lord Jesus Christ and from the church family we have been drawn to.

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I'll dance
In the shadows I'll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength

It is a wonderful and beautiful thing to have the Lord and Creator of the universe have his hand of favor on our lives. It is a wonderful and beautiful thing that He has given us one another. It is a beautiful and a wonderful thing that we have been able to assemble for worship online and stay connected. And now, for those who are ready, we will be able to come together in our church for praise and worship together (Sept. 27th, 10:a.m.)! For those who feel safer being at home, we will share and worship through Facebook!

I'm very excited to invite into our time of worship together our new pianist and organist Nick Weiser, Director of Jazz Studies Curriculum at SUNY Fredonia. Together with Dr. Vernon Huff, our choir, our Wonderful Praise Team and our church family volunteers, we will once again be able to provide a meaningful, spirit filled place for worshiping the Lord of hosts! How blessed are we to have a place to gather where we can lift our praise to our loving God!

A few things to know:

  1. You must register for church online. You will find the registration page on our website, ffumc@fredoniafirst.org.  You may call the office to register ONLY if you do not have access to Internet or a computer. We can only seat 50 to 60 people in the sanctuary following the 6ft.current social distancing requirements. Only those who have preregistered will be able to enter the sanctuary for worship. This is to keep one another safe.
  2. Masks are required
  3. Please do not come to church if you have been exposed to someone who has been ill, have recently visited a red state, or have not felt well your self. We must keep one another safe, that is our greatest concern.
  4. We will enter our worship space through the two sanctuary doors. Families with children and those with limited mobility who use the elevator will use the education wing entrance. There will be “check in volunteers” at each entrance. They will confirm the current: 19 questions.
  5. Ushers Will escort you to your seat. At this time, it is required that all of us stay seated during worship. Our ”coffee hour” and “meeting and greeting time” will be on hold for the time being.
  6. We all love to sing and we all love to participate in worship. For the time being, we will not be able to stand and sing our praises to God, but we can sit and sing softly and take in the gift of praise offered by all of our musicians.
  7. For those who financially support the vision and mission of the church, I encourage you to mail in or sign up for auto deduction or for our PayPal option, currently found on our Facebook page. For those who choose to bring their offering to church, your offering may be placed in the offering boxes found on the doors as you enter the sanctuary.
  8. There will be no children’s moment at this time, but children’s church will still be available to our young people in a space that is safe for learning. Masks are required and preregistration of your children is required. For the health and safety of our teachers and the other children, if your children have the sniffles or have been sick please worship from home until they are better.
  9.  At the end of service, our ushers will dismiss all of us in an orderly fashion.  If you choose to congregate outside of the church, please wear your mask and practice safe social distancing.

 Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe place for worship and to share the love and not the germs!

 A few other little notes:

 Most of you know that my daughter Emily is due to have her baby the first week of October. In addition, I have school every weekend in October and November. I will be taking off the four weeks of October, using the vacation time that I have accrued over the last year or so. Rev. Ricker will fill in the first week of October and Joe Kwiatkowski will fill in the last three Sundays of October.  How blessed are we to have these wonderful Godly men in our congregation!  Rev. Ricker will be on-call while I am away; however, I will still be in the area if I am needed.

 As you know our brother Scott has gone home to be with the Lord.  Though I know he was ready, I don’t know if those of us on this side of heaven are ever truly ready. I encourage all of you to continue to send your love and support through letters and cards to Brenda and Nancy Hennessy, as well as Polly Gambino and Susan Marsh Prince. The journey of grief can be hard and feel long but it helps when you have the embrace and love of church family walking alongside you.

 I encourage you as well, to continue to show your love to Jen and to Sue and to those who are shut in or in our local nursing homes.  Keep Jerry Mathewson in your prayers, recovering from surgery. Keep Heather in your prayers who will have surgery. Keep our church in your prayers as we open our doors for worship.

Thank you to all of you who continue to support the vision and mission of the church. We are a little behind this year, but I firmly believe that when we honor God with our worship and our lives God will honor us and make sure we are always okay. God has not disappointed us yet!

Love and peace to all of you!
Pastor Nettie

In-Person Worship Information

FALL WORSHIP BEGINS SEPTEMBER 27TH
Doors will Open at 9:30 am for 10:00 am In-Person Worship.
All Worship Services will be streamed live on Facebook and uploaded to YouTube.

In-Person Worship Guidelines

Beginning September 27, We will have our 10:00 am in-person worship as well as on Facebook live and later uploaded to YouTube.  What will In-Person Worship Look Like? Well, it will be different, so here is what to expect when you arrive at church for worship…

  • MASKS ARE MANDATORY -- and must remain on for the entire worship (except if taking communion). If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided for you.
  • Motion Hand Sanitizing Stations are located at ALL entrances and throughout the building. Please use them frequently.
  • Doors will not open until 9:30 am for our 10:00 am worship – Please don’t plan on arriving early for coffee or mingling. UNFORTUNATELY, because of the virus, we will not have coffee and treats. You will need to go directly to your seat.
  • At the entrance, a greeter will check your registration information to see if anything has changed. All that registered will have their temperature taken—If your temperature is 100.0 or higher, you will not be allowed to come in. Please monitor your temperature and if it remains high please contact your family doctor.
  • In order to adhere to the 6-foot physical distancing requirement, upon entering the Narthex, an usher will seat you according to our established seating pattern.
  • To ensure you will have a seat, please register online the week before worship to reserve your spot. If you don’t have internet access, you will need to call the office. If your name is not on the reservation list, you run the risk of not having a seat. The guidelines limit our capacity to 60 people.
  • There will be no Children’s Moment. Parents interested in Nursery Care, Children’s Church or Youth Group, MUST have Registered their children online.  Families will check their children in at the educational entrance and then proceed to worship. If you have any questions please call the office.
  • Once you are seated, we ask you remain in your pew…you may turn to talk to your neighbor; however, we ask YOU DO NOT GET UP AND WALK AROUND THE SANTUARY. As Ecclesiastes 3:5 reminds us, there is a time to refrain from embracing. We encourage you to express your love and fellowship with prayer hands or waving
  • At the end of the worship you will be ushered out, please remain in your pew until the usher directs you to leave—again we have a specific process so folks don’t walk past on another or congregating. When leaving please be respectful of the 6-foot physical distancing. Please DO NOT CONGREGATE at the doors to talk, there are people behind you who still need to leave safely. There is a season for all things. Let this be a season where we communicate our love through phone conversations, email messages, first class mail, facetime, skype, and zoom video conferencing so we will be alive when a vaccine becomes available.

Anyone who does not feel comfortable with these guidelines or is immunocompromised should continue to shelter in place and continue to engage in online services.


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Online Donations

A gift to FFUMC allows us to continue our work within our walls and out in the community (while maintaining a safe social distance, of course).  If you feel led to donate, and it will not negatively impact your family financially at this time, please click here.

 


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