Happenings – April 8, 2020

McCormick United Methodist Church has temporarily suspended in-house services and is canceling or postponing gatherings and events in response to coronavirus concerns.
Everyone is encouraged to remain at home and follow all health precautions.
While in-person services are suspended and the church office is closed, please consider giving by sending your check to the church office. This will allow the church to continue to pay its expenses. Our mailing address is:
McCormick United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 267
McCormick SC 29835
The Easter Choice
Scott Hoezee, a pastor and author, shares this article with us.
When faced with new realities, you have at least three options for how to respond (and it is nearly certain that you will opt for one of these three possibilities).
First, you can stay bewildered. You can let this event knock you flat on your back and then stay there.
Second, you can engage in world-class denial. You can look at the facts and ignore them.
Or third, you can, slowly perhaps, assimilate this new information. You may get knocked as flat on your back as the next person by this new realization, but eventually you pick yourself up. You embrace this new truth and then go through the long, sometimes painful, process of re-assessing life in the light of this new evidence.
This is the Easter choice. When faced with the incredible proclamation that Jesus rose again from the dead, you can be agnostic and cynical by saying that you don’t know what to make of this but then neither are you going to try. Who cares anyway? Or you can deny it. The whole thing is fiction, fantasy, a pious wish but something that never really happened. Or you can move past the shock toward acceptance. But let me caution you: if you are going to accept the truth of the bodily resurrection, you need to let it change you totally.
That’s the Easter choice. The problem for most of us is that we are not surprised enough by Easter to realize we face a choice. Easter is a part of the background scenery of our lives. We’ve never been afraid of Easter, never been bewildered by it.
Believing that Jesus rose again from the dead becomes a little like believing the earth is round and that it orbits the sun. Once upon a time people didn’t know that. They thought the earth was flat and that the sun orbited the earth. It caused quite a stir when this view had to be revised. But that was a long time ago and now we accept that picture of our solar system without much thought. Sure the world is round and we orbit the sun, but what does that have to do with anything? It doesn’t change what I have to do at work tomorrow, does it?
Is that what Easter becomes for us? We believe it happened but then, we’ve always believed that. Even Easter has somehow become part of the “routines” of this world. So why would it have much of an effect on what we do tomorrow? Easter is no longer shocking for us — it surely does not make us re-evaluate everything else we think we know. And anyway, we’re not sure we want to have everything in our lives changed.
Of course, if we can believe in the resurrection at all, it is a gift of faith granted to us by the prior gift of grace. But if we have received that grace and accept the truth that gets proclaimed from every Christian pulpit in the world each Easter Sunday morning, then we have to know that this truth changes everything. This is not some fact we can ponder just once every twelve months. This changes everything…. and on EVERY day.
We thank Rev. Hoezee for his article. In the midst of being attacked by a coronavirus, we are reminded of Jesus who endured an agonizing death and rose again, and we believe in Him we live forever.
I invite you to view a video from Erskine Theological Seminary where I received my Seminary training. It is a Pastoral Prayer for Holy Week by Michael A. Milton, Phd.
As the Church begins her solemn remembrance of those days leading to Maundy Thursday, to Good Friday and our redemption on Calvary’s Cross, and an empty tomb, we pause to pray.
Walking with Christ,
The Holy Thursday Service will be available for viewing and worship on Thursday, April 9.   It is built around the theme of “We Remember What Jesus Did for Us”.
Preparing for Easter Sunday, April 12 2020
Scripture: Matthew 28: 1-10
Message: “The Easter Spoiler”
All Sermon recordings are available at https://www.mccormickumc.org/media/sermons
Our Church office will be closed on Easter Monday, April 13.
Our office hours are have been changed to 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday thru Thursday.
Click the image above for information concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Always Stay Humble and Kind” In the midst of our isolated times due to the coronavirus threat, our creative minds continue to find caring ways to reach out to one another.
An example is the son who worried about the well-being of his mother and her friends in a retirement community under quarantine. He acted on that worry by taking his guitar and sat outside the windows, serenading the residents who watched through their screens or stood on their balconies. Some sang along, some just listened, but they all felt a sense of connection to the music and each other. The healing message of music has found its way into our homes through television concerts where popular entertainers contribute their songs of encouragement from their homes, dedicated to nurses, doctors, first responders who are taking care of all of us during this troubling time.
During one of these concerts, Tim McGraw shared his timely and memorable message in his song Always Stay Humble and Kind. The lyrics remind us to “Help the next one in line – always be humble and kind”. In his closing comments, Pastor Nels gave us a similar thought in his Palm Sunday message when he reminded us among other things to “seek those who need kindness” during Holy Week.
Our most recent kindness entries are reflective of that message:
I found out a neighbor had no hand sanitizers, gloves, or masks, and having spent the day cleaning out my bathroom closet I shared my “treasures” I had found.
Checking out at a food store the other day, I had an unusual occurrence. The teen-aged clerk asked me if I pray. When I told her “yes”, she asked if I would pray with her, so we prayed softly and briefly for her to have strength to deal with whatever was troubling her. She thanked me, and I left with my groceries. How beautiful to see God at work in the lives of young people!
Have you seen God today? If you see God at work this week, there are two ways you can share what you saw!
1) Be a blessing to others by sharing your Act of Kindness (no names please) on our website, or use this link! Then check back each week to learn how others are passing on acts of kindness! The link is https://www.mccormickumc.org/acts-of-kindness
2) There is a Kindness box in the library on the window sill, along with paper and pencil. Share your God-Wink, perhaps someone else will be inspired!
First Tuesday
Stephen Ministry Corner
April 2020

As Christians, we will be celebrating Christ’s resurrection on April 12th. We will rejoice in the fact that God so loved us that he sent Jesus to live among us and teach us how God would have us live our lives. Then … he died for our sins … and proved by His resurrection that he was, indeed, the Messiah. He showed us the path to eternal life. Celebrating this event with our family and fellow Christians is one of the two important times in our calendar year.

But – this year we will be celebrating it without our faith community. We will be celebrating it alone, in our homes, with only our immediate family who live with us. We are in the time of COVID-19 and everything is changing.

It’s a scary time. Matthew told us that Christ said, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:24). But this ‘trouble’ of ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-quarantine’ makes us feel isolated and alone. Most of us do worry. What will happen if we become infected? What will happen if a loved one becomes infected? Are we really staying far enough apart to prevent transmitting the virus? Can we even grocery shop without fear that we might come into contact with this virus.

And we worry that ‘today’s trouble’ will probably be going on at least through the end of April … and the future is even unsure after that because everything is changing.

So … many of us do worry now because ‘today’s trouble’ is turning out to be a lot to handle. Yes … we ‘trust in God’ but we are human, and so we do worry.

As Stephen Ministers we are asking you … are you ‘worried’ about ‘today’s troubles’ and is it becoming too much to handle? We cannot go to you physically … but we can reach you through that traditional tool – the telephone. We can help you begin a relationship with a Stephen Minister … someone to listen to you, with whom you can share your fears, feelings, and receive unconditional acceptance and Christian love.

Please start by calling Pastor Nels, Beverly Western, Sundee Luedecke, Ronnie Kidd, or Don Tummons through the church office at (864-852-2394).
The following was sent by William Watson to our Lay Leaders. It is an invitation to join many, many in prayer during this time.
Dear United Methodists,
This past weekend I had a conversation with a fellow United Methodist and family friend. Our conversation centered around the current health crisis. Then I was asked a question for which I had no answer, Why are we not, collectively, praying during this health crisis? As we talked about the number of people in our church families who are considered among the most vulnerable there was no answer to the question only a solution, pray and pray together.
Therefore I am asking each of you to join us every morning at 8:00 am or as soon as you awake for collective prayer. We have written the following prayer for you to use as you will. If you choose not to use this prayer, please join us in praying each morning at 8:00 am asking God for His help and mercy.
Gracious Lord and merciful Father, You are our Hope and Protector. During this time, we pray for Your protection for our leaders, first responders, health care workers, and our military as they provide needed services and care for others. Watch over those who we name in our hearts. Quicken them in the hope of Your word and may they find strength from Your guidance.
May those who are sick know You as the supreme Physician and Savior. For those who have lost loved ones, may they find peace and comfort from your Holy Spirit.
It is in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen

McCormick UMC
McCormick United Methodist Church parking lot on Gold Street
The McCormick County Chamber of Commerce has again arranged for a large shredder for unwanted paper. Last year there was a problem (fire) because someone had left a large paperclip and it caused a spark. They ask that you remove all the large metal paperclips and make sure no batteries are among your papers. 
The McCormick police will also be there to accept any unused or expired medications.
Donations will be accepted and appreciated!
Dick Kvale
Wendy Kvale
Shirley Moffett
Barb Shelley
Pat Winn
Bill Adams
Nancy Vereb
John Cotty
Glenda Sartain
Maryanne Bourne
Ronnie Kidd
Dot Baggett
Pat Meyers
Gary Wolfe
Don Smith
Lee Belanger
Bill Hartz
Patty Meredith
Trely Wolfe
Marge Radosevich
Doug Hogarth
Brad Meyers
Bernie Tarrant
Joan Wessels
Mike & Charlotte Tallent
Larry & Nada Ream
Jerry & June Nettles-Scott
Gaye and Jay Berry