WUMC, Covid-19 and Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Watsontown Family,

As many of us are aware, Covid-19 has impacted our local community in a greater way than we had anticipated. To watch the increase of cases and hear the stories of those directly impacted has been surprising to me. I praise God that our Family of Families has embraced the expression of Love that we have. I know that it is challenging to not gather together during a time of celebration like Christmas. Please be encouraged to know that God is will us, Emanuel.

More than ever, we need to focus on the truth of God’s word. John recorded Jesus saying, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46) What an amazing reality for us to focus on. As followers of Jesus, we too get to bring a light into the world of our neighborhoods and work places. Finding new and different ways to share the Light of the Messiah allows us to love in new and exciting ways.

This year as we look forward to Christmas, we will be celebrating Christmas Eve in a new and exciting way. Our Christmas Eve service will be an On-Line service, on Facebook and YouTube, at 7 p.m. Following the service at about 8:15 we will be gathering in our parking lot to continue the celebration as we light candles together. You are welcome to bring your own candle or use one that we have here. Both the wax and wick candles and LED candles are welcome to be used.

I am looking forward to us gathering together On-Line at 7 and in our parking lot starting about 8:15.

Again, we celebrate our opportunity to Worship Together online and strongly encourage everyone to join together there.

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC
(717) 202-7769

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Special Announcement, December 3, 2020


Hello Watsontown Family,

On Monday, November 30, 2020, Bishop Park and the full cabinet sent out a letter strongly urging all congregations to not have in person gatherings or worship. Our leadership team met on Wednesday, December 2 2020 to spend time in God’s word, time in prayer and time to talk through how we as Watsontown United Methodist want to walk through this unique and challenging time.

I suspect that many of us have become rather frustrated with COVID-19. I know that I have. As I spent time in conversation with our God and King, I was drawn to Psalm 13.

Psalm 13 (New International Version)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.

When I read these words, I hear a lot of emotions in David, frustration, disappointment and weariness. Emotions that we have experienced. David shares very openly with God how he feels, yet he remembers the truth about who God is and what God has done. David praises God!

I praise God for all of you, for our Bishop and our District Superintendent. I am thankful to be a part of the leadership team we have here at WUMC. We have been very blessed to have the ability and team members to have our live stream worship services.

The leadership team agrees with our Bishop’s concern regarding the increase of COVID. We strongly encourage everyone to Worship Together online. We would like to ask that you touch base with your friends and family members and invite them to join with you while we Worship Together online. We are also fully aware that, for some, there is the need to be able to be in the House of God to worship. The main doors to our facility will be unlocked during our time of Worshiping Together. We ask that if you do choose to come in that you show your love for one another by wearing a mask and distancing yourself from others. If this is your need, please try to come in as close to start of the service at 9:30 as possible.

During this time, we will also be suspending our Midweek Recharge. The leadership team has also decided to wait and see how things go over the next few weeks to decide on what Christmas Eve will look like. We will update you the week leading up to Christmas Eve on any changes that need to take place. Please continue praying for one another and our community.

Chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we are to Imitate Christ and to put others before ourselves.

Philippians 2:1-4 (New International Version)
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

We are living in a time where we have a great opportunity to live out this charge from Paul. Let each of us look to see how we can put the interests of others before our own. May we celebrate together how we see God at work in our lives. Together, we can share the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace that we have in Christ.

Again, we celebrate our opportunity to Worship Together online and strongly encourage everyone join together there.

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, October 26, 2020

Hello Watsontown Family,

I am thankful to be writing this update today.  We will resume in house worshiping together effective November 1, 2020 at 9:30.  Guidelines remain about how this will happen.  We are to continue adhering to the guidelines that we have been given us.  We are asked to maintain six-foot social distancing and to continue wearing masks when around one another.  We will have masks available if you forget yours and would like one.

In order to help ensure that our Family of Families will be a place that we do no harm, we are going to limit access to parts of our building on Sunday mornings.  First, we will open the main doors at 9:15, the preschool doors will remain locked.  We are asking that once you are in the Family Life Center exit through the doors in the back, the same ones you came in.  Access to the lobby restrooms will be limited to one adult or a child with their family member.  The doors to the office hallway will remain closed Sunday mornings.

Families, please stay with your children while you are in the building.  For the Children’s Word, our children will remain with their families.  We will not be having children’s church.  You are encouraged to bring a busy back for your child.  The ones on the side of the Family Life Center have been removed and the busy bins in the back will not be available.

During our time worshiping together we are asked to not sing.  This will be difficult.  To help, let me suggest that we hum or sing softly to ourselves.  Please bring your own Bible with you as we have removed the Bibles and hymnals from the seats.  When you come in, the offering plate will be in the back for you to drop your gifts and offerings.  We will not have a paper bulletin.

When our time of worshiping together is over, please do not linger.  Lovingly head out to your cars.  If you desire to spend time talking with someone, please do this outside in the fresh air, maintaining social distancing.

Please know that if you are not comfortable with larger gatherings or wearing a mask for a prolong period of time, our online worshiping together will be continuing.  I hope that each of us are finding beautiful new ways of worshiping together for the glory of our Lord.

As those who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have a fantastic opportunity to live out the Love, Mercy and Grace God has given each of us.  This will best be seen in how we love each other as we come together.  I suspect that we do not all have the same ideas as how this is to look.  I know that we can all love and respect each other in how we interact and worship together.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, July 17, 2020

Hello Watsontown Family,

We are living in an ever changing time. This week the Governor set group size limitations on no more than 25 people indoors. He did say that churches are exempt from this. Our bishop has requested that churches in the conference not have indoor gatherings of more than 25 people. In his letter the bishop shared, “… as Christians, we must be diligent to care not only for ourselves, but for all people, especially the least and the vulnerable. It is our sacred responsibility to surpass governmental standards to keep people safe.”

We will continue Worshiping Together On-Line and refrain from gathering in the Family Life Center for worship. I would like to encourage you to gather together in small groups and Worship Together Sunday Mornings. This can happen anywhere. I know some have been able to connect and worship while kayaking. Others have shared a brunch together and Worshiped. I wonder if this might be fruit that God would like us to harvest. Opening our homes for “House Church” together?

If you choose to come together in small groups Sunday morning to worship, please share with me how it went, who was with you and any prayer requests you have.

I would like to share these verses with you:

Proverbs 16:9 – In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.No matter what our plans may be, God’s plans are perfect. May each of us strive to trust and follow what the Lord desires for our lives!

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, June 18, 2020

Hello Watsontown Family,

I have been informed that a member of our Family of Families has contracted COVID-19. To ensure that we “Do No Harm.” We need to postpone our coming back together for Worship. We will continue to Worship Together online.

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrew 13:16. Thank you so much to those of you who have opened your homes for ministry.

We will continue to live through faith in our amazing Lord and Savior.

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, June 16, 2020

Hello Watsontown Family,

I am thankful to be writing this update today.  As many of you are aware Northumberland County entered the Green phase on Friday, June 12, 2020.  What this means for us as a Family of Families is that we are able to gather together in person for worship.  Guidelines remain about how this will happen.  We are to continue adhering to the guidelines that the government has given us.  We are asked to maintain six-foot social distancing and to continue wearing masks when around one another.  We will have masks available if you forget yours and would like one.

In order to help ensure that our Family of Families will be a place that we do no harm, we are going to limit access to parts of our building on Sunday mornings.  First, we will open the main doors at 9:15, the preschool doors will remain locked.  We are asking that once you are in the Family Life Center exit through the doors in the back, the same ones you came in.  Access to the lobby restrooms will be limited to one adult or a child with their family member.  The doors to the office hallway will remain closed Sunday mornings.

Families, please stay with your children while you are in the building.  For the Children’s Word, our children will remain with their families.  We will not be having children’s church.  You are encouraged to bring a busy back for your child.  The ones on the side of the Family Life Center have been removed and the busy bins in the back will not be available.

During our time worshiping together we are asked to not sing.  This will be difficult.  To help, let me suggest that we hum or sing softly to ourselves.  Please bring your own Bible with you as we have removed the Bibles and hymnals from the seats.  When you come in, the offering plate will be in the back for you to drop your gifts and offerings.  We will not have a paper bulletin.

When our time of worshiping together is over, please do not linger.  Lovingly head out to your cars.  If you desire to spend time talking with someone, please do this outside in the fresh air, maintaining social distancing.

Please know that if you are not comfortable with larger gatherings, our online worshiping together will be continuing.  I hope that each of us are finding beautiful new ways of worshiping together for the glory of our Lord.

As those who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have a fantastic opportunity to live out the Love, Mercy and Grace God has given each of us.  This will best be seen in how we love each other as we come together.  I suspect that we do not all have the same ideas as how this is to look.  I know that we can all love and respect each other in how we interact and worship together.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5a.
Let us embrace together the “New” that God is doing for His Church!

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, May 13, 2020

Hello Family,

As you may be aware our county is currently in the yellow phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the yellow phase many restrictions are still in effect. The one major change is that groups of 25 or less people may meet. These meetings are to adhere to the CDC guidelines of social distancing as well as proper sanitization of the space used. What does this mean for WUMC? We will continue Worshiping Together On-line and we will not have groups using our facilities. We need to work to ensure that we can have our space safe for all who might be with us. The leadership team will revisit this issue on a monthly basis to ensure that we are protecting the health and welfare of our family. We will continue to update on how things progress.

If you or someone you know is struggling to have decent meals please call the church and let us get our list updated with who we are helping.

Please remember to be a part of our Daily Devotions at 10:00 and Worshiping Together on Sundays at 9:30 via our website, Facebook, or YouTube. It would be a great help if you would also share these sites on your favorite social media platform!

Let me encourage you with Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, April 29, 2020

Hello Family,

This coming Sunday, May 3rd, we will be celebrating Communion together. This will be done via our live stream. You will want to have bread or crackers and grape juice or wine. We will follow the Great Thanksgiving of the Service of Word and Table II. This order of service will be project(stream) so that you can take part.

With it now being May, let us make sure we honor our graduating seniors. We have some completing College, others High School and a class of Happy Harbor Preschoolers! One way you can help honor them is sponsoring them. I know we are looking for 21 sponsors for the Happy Harbor Senior Preschool class. The sponsorship will allow us to purchase yard signs and gifts for the children and is only $20. Please let Camy or myself know if you would like to sponsor a child.

Please remember to be a part of our Daily Devotions at 10:00 and Worshiping Together on Sundays at 9:30 via our website, Facebook, or YouTube. It would be a great help if you would also share these sites on your favorite social media platform!

Let me encourage you with Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC and COVID-19 Update, April 20, 2020

Hello Family,

As you may have heard our Governor has stated that we will be remaining in our current state of “Stay at Home” order through May 8th. I wanted to take some time and let you know what we have been doing in support of our community.
With our connections to the Food Bank, and the space we have available in our Family Life Center, we have partnered to help Shannon Smedley with the acquisition and distribution of food for families in need throughout our community without connections through the Food Bank. I think it is awesome that we are able to extend the work of Shepard’s Kitchen and Kidz Cafe into supporting what has been happening to feed those in need. We are adhering to the social distancing and mask wear guidelines that our government has instituted. I hope you are encouraged by this and excited to know that though we are distant, the Watsontown United Methodist Family of Families is still very active and supporting our community. With the way we are things are set up, we have all the people power that is needed, but your prayers are needed for those who are helping and those who are being helped. If you are interested in financially supporting this work please designate your gift with “COVID19 Food”. This can be done online HERE. You can also text your amount and Fund Name to 84321 or mail your gift to the church. Monies giving to this will be used to purchase food that we cannot get for free through the Food Bank.

If you or someone you know is struggling to have decent meals please call the church and let us get our list updated with who we are helping.

We are also starting a new “Family Cares Team”. I am looking for people who would like to make phone connections with our Family of Family through the week. If you are interested please let me know and you will be giving a list of names to call and pray for.

Please remember to be a part of our Daily Devotions at 10:00 and Worshiping Together on Sundays at 9:30 via our website, Facebook, or YouTube. It would be a great help if you would also share these sites on your favorite social media platform!

Let me encourage you with Psalm 103:2-4 “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,”

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,

Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiLcR-lFFxdptcv8b2t00rA
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

WUMC, COVID-19 and HOLY WEEK Update, April 7, 2020

Hello Watsontown Family,

As we walk through Holy Week I am excited to share that we have been giving permission from our Bishop, Jeremiah Park, to celebrate Communion via a virtual setting. This means that Thursday night when we gather for Maundy Thursday, we will be able to partake in the Lord’s Supper. To do this we are asked to use “Bread or crackers, juice or wine that online worshipers have in their homes would be acceptable.”

Thursday night we will journey with Jesus and His apostles through this Last Supper reading from Matthew 26:17-55. During our journey we will join together in “The Great Thanksgiving.” I invite you to join us at 7 pm via our Website or Facebook.

Friday night we will come back together to walk through the Passion of Christ. I hope this will be a virtual Tenebrae Service. During this time, I will invite you to slowly turn off the lights in your home so that when “… it is finished” we all will be in a dark space. This dark space will help set the mode for our celebration Sunday morning.

Sunday morning at 9:30 we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Let me encourage you to celebrate. Embrace the joy that we have in knowing that death is defeat. We have been forgiven. Jesus is RISEN!

https://watsontownumc.org
https://www.facebook.com/WatsontownUMC/live
https://watsontownumc.churchcenter.com/giving

Your Brother and Friend in Christ,
Brian Doyle
Pastor, Watsontown UMC