Knowing, Loving, Serving…
So the World Will Know Christ’s Love

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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Perhaps you have heard the John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.”  Over the last few weeks, we have made lots of plans, altered those plans, revised our alterations, and just plain started over.  That has been the case for us at Bethel UMC, but I am sure it has equally been the case for all of us in different ways.

In mid-April we received word from Bishop Holston that we should continue to refrain from in-person worship through May 20th.  We have done so, watching to see as the situation unfolds, knowing this date may be extended. This week, the Bishop, his Cabinet, and the District Superintendents will meet again to reassess current Government and Healthcare guidelines. They will put forth a new timeline of when it will be safe for us to return to in-person worship. 

Life keeps happening, and we keep planning.  Our staff has been meeting (virtually, via Zoom calls) to discuss preparations for when we are able to safely resume in-person worship and gatherings.  Our return to in-person church life will be measured and intentional to ensure the health and safety of our entire church family.  We will communicate those plans as soon as they are finalized.  In the meantime, please continue to look out for emails and call our church office with any questions.

My friends, all of us are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Over the past few weeks, I have heard many versions of the same questions, causing me to think about the word “normal.”  When will get back to normal What will normal be?  Is there no such thing as normal?  I do not know when we will get back to normal, what will be normal, or if normality will even exist.  It is uncomfortable, but we simply cannot know.

I am reminded of the story of Abraham and Sarah from Genesis.  In Genesis 12:1, God calls Abraham to leave his home and family and, “…travel to the land that I will show you.”  Packing his things, Abraham left with his wife Sarah and the members of his household and began a journey, not knowing where he was going. 

Imagine if someone said to you, “Let’s take a trip.  I don’t know where we’re going, but we’ll know it when we get there.”  Would you be willing to take such a trip?  Our lives feel like that sometimes.  We do not know where we are going, but we seem to be getting there in a hurry.  This is a time for us to plan, but it is also a time to radically depend on God’s guidance. 

I do not know exactly when we will be back to normal.  I do not what normal will be, or if there will be a universally accepted concept of normality.  Indeed, it may even feel as if we are being propelled toward an uncertain and unknown future.  I do know that God calls us to be God’s people and that God will lead us to a good place.  In the midst of uncertainty, let us find solace and peace in presence of our ever-faithful God.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Julie Belman
(803) 319-6169 jdsonger@umcsc.org

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