It’s Been a Year
On March 7, 2020,:a state of emergency for COVID-19 was declared in the State of New York.
March 11, 2020: It was the day the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Monroe County.
On March 17, 2020: the first death from COVID-19 occurred in Monroe County.
We were not prepared for the coronavirus pandemic. So, we cancelled the service on March 15. Instead, a brief message was sent to the church members by email.
On the following Sunday, March 22, we had the first online worship service. Again, we were not prepared. Our church didn’t have the system for video-recording worship services. So, the recording was done in the study of the parsonage, using my cell phone. But our online worship service had grown quickly with the excellent and passionate effort from the church staff and volunteers from various people for special music, prayers and preaching, virtual choir, children/youth participation, “Duck” the turtle.
Another day we must remember is August 2, 2020 when we had the first in-person worship service since the coronavirus outbreak. On this day, the service was live streamed for the first time.
It has been an amazing journey. We have experienced extravagant blessings from God through the faithful commitment and support of church members, the generous investment for God’s vision for Aldersgate Church, the participation of church members in various ministries with passion and courage. God has provided. Jehovah-Jireh! Praise God!
Now we are on the journey of Lent. What do you do during a pandemic in Lent? I am asking this question using Jim Cobia’s question that he posted on Facebook with a picture: What do you do during a pandemic in February? Jim is growing plants. Yes, it’s only February!
The Aldersgate Church slogan for 2021 is “Grow and Thrive.” Let us grow and thrive. Let us grow our church to make it thrive. Yes, even during a pandemic and in spite of a pandemic.
The climax of the Lenten journey is found in the last three days of the Lenten season: Good Friday to Easter Sunday! From the cross to the empty tomb! From death to resurrection! Our God is the God of resurrection and new life. God has planted us in His soil to grow us and to make us thrive. Let us grow and thrive!