Our emailed news with our most current info is generally sent out each Thursday afternoon and our monthly newsletter is called The Fisherman. Links to The Fisherman are included when you subscribe to our e-News and you can always find them here on our website.
We have been reminded recently that we cannot be too careful in taking precautions to prevent a spread of COVID cases. In December two of our worship team members in Bluffton tested positive for the virus. They have both recovered, quarantined and are anxious to return to serving. Daniel and the Bluffton team quickly substituted other participants and thoroughly sanitized the facility. At Pope, one of the Soup Kitchen volunteers tested positive. Others on the team were informed and tested and no further cases were identified. A back-up crew was able to distribute food and the mission continued.
We have been fortunate to have managed to avoid this insidious virus throughout the majority of 2020. Our actions to avoid in-person worship and substitute outdoor events instead has no doubt been helpful in keeping COVID at bay. We are all anxious to see each other and worship together, but this “scare” reminds us that we need to continue to be vigilant and patient for a while longer as cases climb in Beaufort County. The advent of a new year and vaccines give us hope that with God’s guidance we will be in person at the right time sometime soon! Meanwhile, be smart and safe. Sarah Coffin, Chair, Church Council
On January 4, 2020, Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released a statement regarding the announcement of a proposal to split the United Methodist Church.
Click here… to read his message as well as to find links to the actual proposal and FAQs.
Click here… for a link to an article by United Methodist Communications.
Click here… for an article on Youth Worker Collective entitled Did the UMC just Split?
Click here… to go to UMCOM’s site for a comparison of all plans being offered at General Conference 2020
Click here… for an archived live stream of a discussion that took place on Monday, January 13 with a panel of those who worked together to create the “protocol” proposal.
The 2019 meeting of the United Methodist General Conference concluded Feb. 26 in St. Louis. The purpose of this special called session was to make a choice as to how the United Methodist Church would relate to matters of full inclusion for members of the LGBTQ community in the life and ministry of our fellowship.
Despite the best efforts of well-meaning leaders on several sides
of this issue, the discussion, particularly on the final day, was
tense, tearful and sometimes acrimonious. To quote the book of Acts
regarding a similar church conference early in our history: “there was
no small discussion.”
The decision to support the
Traditional Plan, which maintains prohibitions for marriage and
ordination of homosexuals, left some deeply disappointed and others
jubilant. There is still much to learn regarding how this decision
will effect the life of the church. There will be ongoing discussions
as to how the United Methodist denomination will incorporate the spirit
of this choice, including a review of some of the aspects of this plan
by our church courts.
As pastor of St. Andrew By-The-Sea, I
simply want us to be reminded of the opening words of our local
church’s mission statement. “We are an open, nurturing body of
Christian believers…” There is room in our church for people of
every age, color, and orientation. No matter who we are, where we are
from, what we’ve done, we all stand in need of the grace and mercy that
God alone can supply. I can promise you that it is my intention at
every meeting, in every prayer, in every mission effort and every
worship service and sermon to make that love as real and available as
possible. I would also say that your church needs you now more than
ever before as we pursue the calling of Christ throughout the low
country and the world.
I do not know where the Spirit might lead in this matter, but I am firmly convinced we will be a church for all people and that within the arms of our fellowship, people will find true acceptance and love. Your family will be waiting to see you this Sunday.