May 27, 2020 Update from Pastor Steve
My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
Peace and health be with all of you.
As the weeks continue to progress us from the chill of spring into the heat of summer, we begin to feel the pull of summertime activities and vacation destinations. We look forward to holiday gatherings with family and patriotic celebrations. However, the continuing health pandemic and warnings from health care professionals and the restrictions from our government agencies have curbed our enthusiasm and has many of us hesitant to resume our summer without first counting the consequences of our “normal” behavior.
In recent outings to local box stores I witnessed a lacking in following the health recommendations of social distancing and the wearing of masks. News reports of large gatherings of vacationers and party goers have many people shaking their heads. I completely understand that these protocols are
frustrating, and that all of us want to return to the joy that social gatherings bring to our lives. But we are asked, as patriots for our national good, to pause for a season to protect those of our community who are vulnerable and at higher risk. The idea that “something is going to kill me someday anyway!” –
may be correct (and reckless), but it doesn’t excuse anyone from endangering another by their actions.
Recently, President Trump, declared that houses of worship are essential and the governors in all fifty states lift restrictions to allow for gatherings and worship. I am grateful that our president recognizes the importance of our houses of worship and the power of prayer. Yet, not even a presidential declaration can protect a population from this virus. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, must be prudent in our eventual reopening of our doors and careful in our planning for that day. Remembering our Saviors words, “as you do for the least of these, you do also for me.” I don’t want the Methodist Churches of the Connellsville Cooperative to become the new “hot spot” in a news story that leaves
people shaking their heads because we were somehow reckless and selfish with our reopening. With that in mind we will continue to seek the direction of our state leaders as well as the recent reopening guidelines sent down by the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
and allow it to act as our roadmap for new worship standards during these uncertain times.
Because our churches average attendance exceeds the 25 person limit, and we are still in the yellow phase of reopening, it has been decided to continue the outdoor parking lot service rather than limit attendance within the church. The parking lot services, with live streaming on Facebook has been working well to this point, and is a safer alternative to face to face worship service that many of our older members are hesitant to expose themselves to.
Even in the green phase there will be social restrictions. We will need to limit our seating capacity, social distance of 6 feet will still be enforced as well as the wearing of mask during worship. That means every other pew would be empty. A family could use one pew, but singles and couples would have to sit on the end of pews to maintain the social distance restrictions. It would mean changes, and people who are resistant to change may become offended when asked to sit somewhere other than their regular seat or to wear a mask during the service. And if we decide to become slack on enforcing these protocols, we could be dropped by our insurance carrier. Worse yet, someone could become infected.
As you can see, a whole lot of considerations will need to be looked at before we can open our doors. It
will take cooperation, understanding, and the desire to place the needs of your brothers and sisters in
Christ before our desire to be independent and declaring our individual right to choose.
I anticipate that Fayette County will move into the green phase by mid-June. For as many who want to
get back into church, there has been an appeal of just as many who want to take it slow and stay in the
parking lot a while longer. The online streaming will continue regardless of when we return to regular
service. As church leadership continues to strike a balance between our desire to worship together and
our commitment as citizen of Christ’s kingdom, to place the needs of others first, know that however we
proceed, we will do so seeking God’s guidance first with prayer, discernment and cooperation with one
another. All that will be done, will be done in consideration of your physical and spiritual well-being in
mind. Love must be our driving force as we celebrate the precious gift of life that God has granted us.
We may not be in our buildings at this time—but a building has never been the definition of what a
church should be.
Please keep your church leaders as well as myself in your prayers.
May God bless us all with his hand of protection and lead us with his Spirit of wisdom.
Love yinz all,
Pastor Steve Lamb
AUMC's April/May Newsletter
Western PA Bishop Koikoi on Faith During Corona
"The power we will demonstrate as we weather these uncertain times is not from us, it is from God. This virus might press us, but it will not crush us. We might be perplexed by what we see on CNN or Fox, but we are not in despair. We might feel persecuted, but God has not abandoned us. Some might be struck down, but not destroyed, by symptoms of COVID-19. For by the grace of God, we are the treasures of God in earthen vessels of clay. Throughout this season of uncertainty, let us glorify our Maker!
Here are seven daily activities to help you weather these uncertain times:
- Spend as much time reading scripture as you do watching and reading news about the virus;
- Call someone you know is alone during this time and take a few moments just to listen to them;
- Put on some praise music or hymns and have your own devotional time;
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer every time you get into your car;
- Twice a day, walk around the block, down the road, or down to the mailbox;
- Don’t join in the blame game that has become so much a part of our culture;
- Offer to virtually babysit for a family that now has several children at home;
- Set a time to FaceTime the children, have a video tea party, play video games with them online, or watch a movie at the same time.
- Follow guidance from local, state and federal officials
I am certain that:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. And on the third day he arose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty. From there he shall come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion saints, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting!
Read the Bishop's March 11 message at: https://www.wpaumc.org/newsdetail/in-such-a-time-as-this-a-message-from-our-bishop-13440612
Easter Candy Fundraiser
Our Oompa Loompas have been busily making chocolate candy for Easter.
The Chocolate Factory Oompas
Sorting and Packaging Oompa
Little and Big Dipper Oompas
Use the order form found below Put order form with your money and give it to Bev or drop them into the offering plate.
We thank you in advance for helping with this important annual fundraiser.
AUMC's February - March Newsletter
Our Easter Candy Fundraiser Has Begun
Please give your order form and payment to Bev Lamb. Make checks payable to "Albright UMC."
Here is the order form that you may download and print:
Pastor Steve (and Bev) Appreciation Dinner
Pastor Steve and Bev were shown our appreciation for their years of service to our congregations at a catered dinner held in their honor on October 20th at Otterbein UMC.
Thank you two for all you do!!!
The following are a few pictures of the event:
AUMC Youth Group Help the Homeless in Pittsburgh
Our Youth Group, Leaders and adult chaperones traveled to the Burgh to provide warm clothing to the needy residents of the city.
Council of Bishops Call for Special Session at St Louis Conference
The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.
2018 Western PA Conference Offers Hope
Read about the conference, the state of the church, legislation, laity session, youth in action and a prayerful way forward regarding the LGBTQI issue by clicking the following link:
Posted here is a unedited link to Videos of the 2018 Western PA Conference Daily Sessions.
South Connellsville Fire Department Conducted a Drill at AUMC on June 16th
June/July AUMC Newsletter - Click here: June_July 2018 Newsletter
AUMC Youth Group Places Flags on Veteran's Graves
The AUMC Youth Group and adult leaders provided a public service by placing flags on military veterans graves at St Rita's Cemetary on Saturday, May 19th. Cemetery flags, also known as grave marker flags, act as a tribute to deceased veterans who provided honorable service to our country.
The AUMC Youth Group’s Dinner and Play – “Panic at the Disco”
The house was packed for the Sunday, April 15th long-awaited event - The AUMC Youth Group’s Dinner and play – “Panic at the Disco.”
With dance lights swirling at “Club 66,” the narrator set the stage and introduced the characters of this murder mystery that the Youth Group wrote themselves. With background music of the 70’s and some dance moves that took many in attendance back to the “Good Old Daze,” the actors set up Act One which led to the main character collapsing on the dance floor… The “who dunnit” then led to the dinner break where attendees were encouraged to discuss their thoughts over an excellent meal that included Lasagna Rollups, tossed salad, drinks and a dessert. Guests then placed their ideas of the murder suspects on a piece of paper, which were turned in and tallied.
Act Two opened with the narrator recapping the events leading up to the present - and the main character’s crumpled body still on the dance floor. Through some twists and turns the culprit was finally revealed much to everyone’s surprise. Only a half dozen of the 50 or so guests correctly guessed the murder suspect.
The play ended with the cast call:
Then some dancing ensued:
With Pastor Steve (white shirt) putting on some of his best “Get down… Boogey oogy oogy” moves:
Compliments to the Youth Group for a really fun event. Thanks to Sherri and the other cooks for a great dinner. Lastly, thanks to all who came out for this fun event. It was a GROOVY experience.
Proceeds will be going to our Youth Group’s programs. In a few weeks they are going on a trip to Pittsburgh where they will be providing meals, socks and underwear to the needy in the city.
By Bob Martin, AUMC Webmaster
Click the following for AUMC's April_May.newsletter
New electronic piano donated to the church. Special thanks to the Bud and Audie White family for their wonderful donation of this electronic piano. The piano was donated in memory of their parents on their 75th wedding anniversary. Pictures below are organist Jeanne Meyers at the new piano and the commemorative plaque.
KatyDids are conducting a fun fundraiser during the month of March. They have placed peel off calendars at several entrances of the church and in the second floor hallway. Please help with this effort and have fun.
55 and Over Luncheon on February 22nd Has Large Turnout Despite the Weather - Open face turkey sandwich, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy - Yum!!! Thanks Steve and Bev for a great lunch.
Albright UMC February & March Newsletter - Click here: Feb_March.newsletter
Hanging of the Greens Service was held in conjunction with our Youth Group's play Christmas in Cricket County. Click the following link to view the event: Hanging of the Greens Service - 2017
Albright UMC December & January Newsletter - Click here: AUMC DecJan.newsletter
Pastor Appreciation Luncheon - Click here for the story and pictures: Pastor Appreciation Day Luncheon 2017
Our October Chicken and Biscuit Dinner - Behind the scenes - Click here for the story and pictures: Our October 2017 Chicken and Biscuit Dinner Fundraiser – Behind the Scenes
Albright UMC October & November Newsletter - Click here: AUMC_Oct&Nov_Newsletter
Albright UMC August & September Newsletter - Click here: AUMC August & September Newsletter
Albright UMC June - July 2017 Newsletter - click here: AUMC June&July17newsletter
Bailee Hiles Receives VFW "Voice of Freedom" Award - Click here: Bailee Hiles Receives VFW Award
Saturday Morning Special Celebrates 40 Years at AUMC - Click here: Saturday Morning Special 40th
The "Price Is Right" Youth Group Dinner was a hoot!!! - Click here: Our Youth Group’s The Price is Right
AUMC Graduation News - Click here: 2017 Graduation News
Albright Supports VIM Team in the Area to Help Flood Victims - Click here: Albright Supports VIM Team in the Area to Help Flood Victims
The First Mixed Up Dinner - What a Blast!! - click here: Mixed up Dinner Review by MacGyver
Albright UMC April 2017 Newsletter - click here: April 2017 Newsletter
Western PA UMC Conference Website - click this link to visit - WPAUMC.ORG
New Connellsville District Superintendent Named - click this link to read the announcement - Bob Zilhaver Named Connellsville District Superintendent
Jumonville Summer Camp - Click this link to view - https://jumonville.org/summer-camp-2/