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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This time of staying home and not going about our usual comings and goings is a temporary change that many of us do not welcome. Personally, I miss you all very much! I miss us as church. Church is not really the building. Church is us as we are brought together is Jesus Christ. We have been called to be the community that makes up Johnsville United Methodist Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church. As we are used to be present with one another in our respective churches, we are now called to be present with one another as church from our own homes until this time passes and we may be physically present.

We can be church together during this time by praying for one another. Physical distance does not limit the power of prayer! We can pray for healing for our world, for the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the peace of Christ for all. We can pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill one and all. As we are in the season of Lent, which has not stopped or shut down, we can use moments of the day to pray for ways that we might forgive those who need our forgiveness, and those from whom we need forgiveness. As Jesus died for the forgiveness of all our sins, may we become His instruments of forgiveness in His name and for His glory. We are called to live our new lives in Him in the light of his grace. Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Through the power of prayer we can and will remain connected through our God, through the Holy Spirit, and with His grace!

Let us remember also to reach out to remind one another that we are church. We are one! We can, by sending old fashioned snail mail notes, emails, text messages, and phone calls. As church, we should check on our neighbors to see if they need an essential errand run that we might be able to do for them, still keeping the physical distance recommended.

In the midst of our family working from home, we have spent more time together. I have not preached to my family, although I could, lol. We have watched inspiring films and had great discussions about faith. We have shared the many ways in which the Holy Spirit is working in our lives during the season of Lent. We have shared daily blessings as our witness of a living God. It is my prayer that you are sharing with one another. You could also share with us, the church, by sending your witnesses into the church email address or my email address. Let us share with one another that God is in charge! God is good! God is always with us.

In Christian love, Pastor Shari