Category Archives: PSA

Verl Eckman Has Died

Verl Eckman died on February 27, 2022. The funeral will be in the Sanctuary at 10:30 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Graveside services will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Beverly Cemetery, Beverly, Kansas. The obituary can be found at Please pray for Betty and the rest of the family.

Funeral Services for Ivan Lahr

Ivan Lahr has passed away. His funeral service will be at 10 a.m. this Friday, February 25, 2022 at the Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home with a graveside to follow at the Abilene Cemetery. Ivan was not a member of First UMC, but Pastor John Collins will be officiating.

I Tested Positive for COVID-19

Since Saturday (January 22, 2022) I’ve had what I thought was a cold. I assumed that because Jenny got it first and she tested negative for Covid-19 at work. (There were no tests available at the pharmacy, so I couldn’t get myself tested.) Today Jenny was again tested at work and it came back positive. The pharmacy now has tests, I bought one and it came back positive. I’ve been masking and social distancing, but I have been around a lot of you. The CDC guidelines seem to say that if you’re up on your vaccinations you only need to monitor your health for 10 days. Here are the full guidelines:

As for me, I don’t really feel sick at all at present. I’m on nothing but the regular medications that I’ve been on for years. I have a call into my doctor. I’ll isolate as long as I need to. If I’m still in isolation on Sunday, we’ll figure something out. As always, prayers are appreciated.


After yesterday’s and last night’s winds, I wanted to check and make sure that everyone is ok. The church and the parsonage survived the night with only a few lost limbs. Would you mind letting me know how you’re doing? I would especially like to see if you’re having difficulties. I’m at and 620-252-9622.

Please pray for those who facing the task of cleaning up and rebuilding and those who are still without power.

Blood Drive

A PSA from Molly Burton:

Abilene High School is hosting a blood drive on Sunday, August 29th from 12-6PM. We would love to have you come donate. Your donation will not only help save lives, it will also help two Abilene seniors earn college scholarships. You can use this link to sign up or reply to this email with the time(s) that would work for you. Thanks!


Inauguration Day

It’s January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day. Some are rejoicing, some are despondent. If you are rejoicing, I urge you to remember how you felt four years ago and be gentle with those who are despondent.

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.

It’s Friday, You’ve Done Enough

Just in case you’re like me and you need to hear this:

It’s Friday, and you’ve done enough. I don’t know how much you managed to do, but whatever you did, you’ve done enough. You probably haven’t been productive by your previous standards, but by the standards of surviving a global pandemic, you’ve done enough. Your worth doesn’t come from what you do, but from the fact that God loves you. You are God’s beloved. And you are loved by God not because of what you have accomplished, but because you are made in God’s image. You are loved by God. That’s enough. You are enough. You’ve done enough. Take it easy on yourself. Follow God’s example and show yourself some grace. Follow God’s lead and show yourself some love.