Category Archives: Worship

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.

Looking for Quilts for Worship

The main purpose of the blue moving blankets on the pews in the sanctuary is to minimize the echo in a sanctuary nearly emptied by COVID-19. The problem is that I don’t have enough moving blankets, and the echo remains a problem. I’ve been thinking about it, and one possibility would be to replace the few moving blankets we have with a plethora of quilts (which would probably do a better job of dampening the echo). If you have a quilt you would like to display and share, please let me know at john@revcollins.com. If I can locate enough quilts, we’ll move forward and replace the moving blankets. If not, I’ll buy a few more moving blankets.

Conference Online Communion Service

Received from the Great Plains Annual Conference:

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. invites clergy and laity of the Great Plains Conference to a special online communion worship service as an act of pastoral care and encouragement after a contentious election season.
 
Please prepare to virtually join together in worship by securing bread and grape juice for when the bishop consecrates and distributes the elements that night. Substitutes include crackers and water.
 
The worship service will be livestreamed from the conference website and from the conference Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Links:
https://www.greatplainsumc.org/livestream
https://www.facebook.com/GreatPlainsUMC

Important Worship Reminder

We’ve reopened the sanctuary to in-person worship. We still wear masks and practice social distancing, but we no longer take temperatures or confirm attendance (reservations). There are two in-person worship opportunities. One service will be on Saturday morning. The second service will be at 10:30 on Sunday morning.

If we have enough interest in an 8:15 Sunday morning service, we can start one. We’re adding the Saturday service so that it can be recorded, processed, and uploaded to Vimeo and Facebook by the following day (Sunday). This same service will be aired in our 10:30 Sunday slot on KABI. 

You can watch the Saturday morning worship service here: abilenefirstumc.org/onlineworship/.

Clark Will Be Singing this Weekend

Clark Williamson will be singing the hymns at both the Saturday and Sunday services this weekend (October 24-25, 2020). There is still reason for abundant caution, so the congregation will not be joining in, but it’s a start. (Clark will be 25+ feet away from everyone else and masked even while singing.)

In-Person Worship This Coming Weekend

We will reopen the sanctuary to in-person worship this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25, 2020. We will still wear masks and practice social distancing, but we will no longer take temperatures or confirm attendance (reservations). There will be two in-person worship opportunities. One service will be on Saturday morning. We’re adding this service so that it can be recorded, processed, uploaded, and “premiered” on Facebook Live at 8:15 a.m. the following day (Sunday). This same service will be aired in our 10:30 Sunday slot on KABI. The second service will be at 10:30 on Sunday Morning. If we have enough interest in an 8:15 Sunday morning service, we can start one.

Clarification: the Saturday and Sunday services will both be at 10:30.