Category Archives: Announcements

No Bible Study Tonight, Just Communion

A friendly reminder that because of the Thanksgiving Holiday we will not be having Bible Study tonight, but we will be having communion at 6:00 p.m. Here are the details:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93709987388?pwd=WTBpTTh0TEUrVTI0dzRlbXdvYU80UT09
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Passcode: 67410

One Tap Mobile
+13462487799,,93709987388#,,,,,,0#,,67410# US (Houston)

Manually Dial In With a Touch-Tone Phone
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Passcode: 67410

Church Conference Webinar

The Salina and Hutchinson Districts will have a joint district webinar for Church Conferences on Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. All members of churches in the two districts are invited to attend what is expected to be a short webinar (30-45 minutes) hosted by Dee Williamston. Below is a link to register for this webinar:

Link: https://bit.ly/3784CwJ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

I Encourage You to Worship from Home

I’ve been asked what difference Dickinson County’s new mask mandate (Health Order #DK11-01) will make in our services this weekend. The only thing that has to be changed is that the signs requiring masks currently posted on our doors must be enlarged from 8″ x 8″ to 8.5″ x 11″. That’s it. Otherwise, we’re already compliant. A change that may be made will be for me to wear a mask even while preaching. (The order allows me to remove my mask for the sake of the hearing impaired, but I haven’t yet decided whether or not to do so. If I remain masked for the sermon, I have found a mask that better preserves the quality and clarity of my voice and I will publish my sermon notes online.)

I urge everyone who can watch online or listen on the radio instead of coming in-person to do so. I know that worship is important to many of you—it’s really important to me too. I understand that the experience of in-person worship is far superior to “virtual” worship. But, because of the increasing spread of COVID-19, Dr. Holmes, Bishop Saenz, and I all urge you to refrain from in-person worship for at least a month. That said, we will have services at 10:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, we have plenty of extra masks, and I do not intend to turn anyone away.* In our present situation, you are the person best able to weigh your spiritual needs against the risks of in-person attendance. All I know is that the potential danger of attending in-person is both real and dire.

* To comply with #DK11-01, I will reluctantly turn people away in the unlikely event that we have more than 30 people show up.

A Warning About In Person Worship

My intention, at present, is to hold in-person worship this Saturday and Sunday. However, today, Bishop Saenz sent out a letter to all the clergy and laity of the Great Plains Conference (Kansas and Nebraska). You can read the entire letter at the link below, but let me quote the most important part:

“Out of an abundance of caution I am strongly encouraging that in-person worship services for congregations located in counties identified as being in critical or dangerous statuses related to the COVID-19 pandemic be suspended until further notice. I fully recognize that this means worshipping physically apart from one another during the Thanksgiving and Advent seasons, including Christmas Eve, funerals, weddings, and other large group gatherings but I believe this is the most responsible action at this time to preserve the health and wellbeing of our laity and clergy.”

Dickinson County is in critical status, but I believe the precautions we have in place (social distancing, mask-wearing, and no congregational singing) are adequate to address the present threat. That said, I’m sharing this post so that you might have all the information available to make your own assessment of whether or not it is safe to attend. If you don’t feel it is safe, please stay home, watch the video stream or listen to the radio broadcast, and be confident that your decision is a faithful one. (If you are an employee or volunteer scheduled to participate and prefer not to attend, please let me know so I can make other arrangements.)

Link: Bishop Saenz’s Covid-19 Letter – 2020-11-12

The Return of the Newsletter

I’ve had a request to bring the church newsletter back, but we’re already (happily) mailing bulletins to quite a few people, so I’ve decided to try attaching the newsletter to the Bulletin/Order of Worship that is already being mailed out. Let us know if you would like a copy mailed to you and invite others to do the same. Feel free to let me know what you think, but smite me gently. 

Communion and Non-Communion Services This Weekend

First United Methodist Church has long sought to be a place where everyone can feel welcome. During this pandemic, we’ve also sought to be a place where everyone can feel safe. That’s one reason (of several) why we’ve required masks and social distancing throughout COVID-19. Because we want everyone to feel safe, we have done our best to offer a quality worship experience to those who need or want to stay home via online video and the radio broadcast. (We have not always succeeded, but we have always tried, and we are getting better). 

Recognizing that different people have different levels of comfort with in-person worship, we’re going to split the difference this weekend and celebrate communion at the 10:30 Sunday Service, but not at the 10:30 Saturday Service. Even at the Sunday service where we’ll be taking communion, we’ll use the small, prepackaged communion cups and keep our masks on as much as possible. As your pastor, I would encourage you to participate in worship to whatever extent you feel safe doing so.

Wednesday Evening Activities

I wanted to issue a friendly reminder of two regular (every week) Wednesday evening activities: communion and Bible study. Both of these are held online over Zoom. And you’re free to join in either one (or both) every week or hit and miss whenever you can make it. The information is below.

Wednesday Communion 

Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93709987388?pwd=WTBpTTh0TEUrVTI0dzRlbXdvYU80UT09
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Passcode: 67410

One Tap Mobile
+13462487799,,93709987388#,,,,,,0#,,67410# US (Houston)

Manually Dial In With a Touch-Tone Phone
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Passcode: 67410


Wednesday Bible Study

Wednesdays from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93191165788?pwd=TTlHZkFTOXRVUzh6a20wL3dxU0R1dz09
Meeting ID: 931 9116 5788
Passcode: 67410

One Tap Mobile
+12532158782,,93191165788#,,,,,,0#,,67410# US (Tacoma)

Manually Dial In With a Touch-Tone Phone
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 931 9116 5788
Passcode: 67410

We’re Working On Today’s Worship Video

We plan post one video of the entire worship service later today or tomorrow. We tried something new this morning for streaming worship and it went about as well as could be expected (meaning we hit a few snags and had to restart the livestream). In the long run, we’re convinced that what we’re doing will lead to a better stream experience, please be patient with us, we share your frustration.