Category Archives: Announcements

Wednesday Evening Communion

We have Wednesday evening Holy Communion tonight at 6:00 p.m. Because I’m supposed to be on vacation, we won’t have Bible Study.  The meeting information is below.

Join Zoom Meeting by Computer/Tablet/Smartphone
Meeting ID: 918 7453 9985
Password: 67410

Join by Phone
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 918 7453 9985
Password: 67410

Reservations for Worship (June 21, 2020)

The Church Council met this evening and approved opening the church building to in-person worship. In order to better love one another we’re continuing to practice social distancing, wear masks, and take reservations.

You can request reservations for next Sunday, June 21, 2020, here:

The service will continue to be available online—indeed we intend to continue to make improvements.

The policy the Church Council adopted is as follows:

  • Reservations will be needed and by this method names and addresses will be obtained for contact tracing. Reservations will be received on a first come, first serve basis. A few spaces in the Sanctuary and Wright Fellowship Hall will be kept open for those unaware of the need for reservations who show up. Their contact information will be obtained when they arrive. 
  • Whichever service (8:15 or 10:30) has more reservations will be held in the Sanctuary, the other in Fellowship Hall.
  • Those who feel ill are asked to stay at home. Temperatures taken when congregants arrive. No one with a temperature that persists at 100.1 or above is allowed remain.
  • All present, with the exception of infants, everyone in attendance will wear masks. Those speaking or leading worship will temporarily remove theirs for the sake of the deaf and hard of hearing. The song leader will wear a mask while singing. Others should sing along silently or under their breath.
  • Participants will leave at least 18 feet between the pulpit and lectern and the first row of the congregation. The same principle shall apply in Wright Fellowship Hall.
  • Participants will leave at least 12 feet (at an angle) between the pulpit and lectern and the piano playeron the sanctuary floor. The angle should prevent the liturgist and preacher from facing the the piano player. The same principle shall apply in Wright Fellowship Hall.
  • All participants are to maintain a social distancing of six feet from one another, with the exception of those living in the same household.
  • For safety’s sake, no nursery will be provided.
  • The same principles will apply for funerals, weddings, and any other event held in the church.

Zoom Communion and Bible Study

I’m someone who always loses the invitation to Zoom meetings, so I’m reposting this information:

We have Wednesday evening Holy Communion tonight at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening Bible Study will follow at 6:15 p.m. To keep things simple, I’m just going to use the same Zoom meeting, but you can come and go as you please. Here’s the information to log on, let me know if you need tech support.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 918 7453 9985
Password: 67410

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,91874539985#,,1#,67410# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,91874539985#,,1#,67410# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 918 7453 9985
Password: 67410

Voices: I’m Not Wise Enough To Know The Road

My colleague is serves in Nebraska and I’m in Kansas, but this is exactly where I’m at:

“I’m praying for justice and for peace, though I’m not wise enough to know the road to walk to get there.” — Rev. Amy Lippoldt [1]

I don’t know the road, but I’m called to keep walking.

[1] Lippoldt, Amy. 2020. “Pray for Omaha tonight, friends.” Facebook, June 1, 2020.

Community Food Pantry Donations

May is the month First UMC traditionally provides food and funds for the operation of the Community Food Pantry which helps supply food and utility funds for those less fortunate. Because we’re not gathering as a congregation in the sanctuary, we aren’t taking in kind donations this year, but you can still make a monetary contribution by sending a check to Abilene First UMC at 601 N Cedar, Abilene, Kansas 67410 or making a contribution online at

A Prayer for Memorial Day

Jenny and I have used this prayer on Memorial Days past (it would also be suitable for Veterans Day).  It has been heavily redacted and I no longer remember where it originally came from.

Righteous God, who rules the nations. We pray to you to guard the brave men and women who risk themselves in battle for their country. Give them compassion for enemies who fight for their own patriotic causes. Keep them from the hate that hardens, from scorekeeping with human lives and preserve them from the sins peculiar to war.

Though they must be at war for a time, let them live for peace, as eager for agreement as for victory. Strenthen them as they encourage one another, and never let hard duty separate them from loyalty to your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

We pray for those who have sacrificed themselves, giving their lives for the sake of others. We pray that we might hold them all in continual remembrance, and ever think of them as with you in that city whose gates are not shut by day and where there is no night.

Finally, we seek your forgiveness for the times when we have sent our brave men and women into battle unnecessarily. Embolden us by your grace that we might work for a world where fear has been dispelled and the nations are at peace. Amen.

Christ is our King

During this global pandemic, First United Methodist Church has continued to be the church. We have continued to show our love of God (through worship) and our love of neighbor (through service). We did not stop gathering as a congregation in the sanctuary because Governor Kelly told us to, and we will not resume gathering as a congregation in the sanctuary because President Trump deems us essential. Both the governor and the president are outranked by our King, Jesus of Nazareth, who commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We stopped gathering in person out of obedience to that command. We will begin gathering again when doing so does not violate Christ’s law of love. In the meantime, we will continue to show our love of God by worshipping in our homes, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to bind us together in this difficult time.