Friday, March 20, 2020 : Updated 6:53 pm
Dear Church Family at Salem and The Connection,
As we face the COVID-19 mandates in place for St. Louis City and County, our staff is hard at work restructuring the ministries of the church. We have been asking ourselves not if, but, “how” we will connect all people with God’s extravagant love during this difficult time. Staying connected to God and to one another is vital for our spiritual nourishment. When people need hope, the church is usually the place they come, and right now the church cannot open our doors for worship and gatherings of any kind. The church, however, has never been a building. The church has always been a community of people who follow Christ and serve others. Salem can still offer hope, love, and peace to one another and to a community that is feeling isolated.
Salem will offer online worship at 9:30 each Sunday morning until the mandates are lifted. We expect these mandates to be in place a minimum of 8 weeks. We will also hold our prayer service each Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm and share it online via Facebook Live. Even though Easter falls within these 8 weeks, we will celebrate online together and plan a bigger Easter celebration for a future date when we are able to join together again in worship.
I will send out messages to our congregation periodically during this time of social distancing. Be patient with me as I am learning new “technology skills.” I pray these messages will bring you a bit of hope in the midst of uncertainty. I encourage you to continue to give your tithes and offerings as you normally would. The ministries of the church continue to operate, and the financial support of our church family is still needed to keep up the work of the Kingdom. We are also increasing our efforts to connect with agencies that will help our children have meals while they are away from school, and we are continuing to offer meals through Haven Street. You can give electronically at www.salemstlouis.com/give, or by texting “GIVE” to (314) 888-9160. You may also mail your offering to Salem UMC, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63131.
We will also offer online Bible Studies through Zoom, an online way of seeing each other on screen. These Zoom Connect Groups are open for anyone who might want to join us, so if you have a friend who is not already a part of Salem, invite them to “zoom in.” This will be just the beginning of online group opportunities for our community. A full list of Zoom Connect Groups will be sent out in the next few days and will be posted on the church website.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of God’s promise in Jesus Christ our Lord:
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:35, 37-39
If you have a pastoral care emergency, please call or text my cell number at (314) 750-6904.
We will get through this together. Be gracious to one another, and shine the light of Christ!
Serving Christ with You,