Grace United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Valley Stream, New York

Church Life

 
 
Our weekly newsletter

 

 

June 29, 2020

 

Words from the Pastor

 

Mission statement:

Grace United Methodist Church is a family of faith striving to

share God’s love with all people.

 

 

 

Dear Church Family and Friends,

 

Grace and peace to you as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, a time to celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.  In this time of multiple disasters, we pray, Almighty God, inspire the minds of the people to whom you have committed the responsibility of government and leadership.  Give them wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and the vision of truth and justice.  Give the people zeal for justice and strength that we may use our liberty with your grace and peace.  Forgive our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love the truth.  All these things we ask through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Summer is a time when we focus on vacation, visiting family and friends, and taking a break from work and school.  This can be a time to acknowledge the many gifts we have received: family, friends, and basic needs of life – air, water, food, shelter.  Let us not forget the greatest gift of life, the gift of God’s Son, Jesus.  Jesus is called the “only begotten” to express His uniqueness.  There has never been anyone else like Jesus, who is truly God and human.  He is the only One who lived a perfect life and died as a sinless sacrifice in the place of sinful humanity.  People can accept Jesus by faith or reject Him.  This is the most important choice a person will ever make because the outcome has eternal ramifications. The determining factor between acceptors and the rejecter of Jesus is the object of their love.

 

When we return to in-person worship these are some of the changes:  1. Social distance will be observed - 6 feet between each person - families can sit together.  2. Hand sanitizer will be provided.  3. No shaking of hands or hugging.  4. Facial masks will be provided if you do not have your own.  5. Attendance will be taken with contact information for each person or family.  6. No Bibles and hymnals in the pews.  7. No singing by the congregation and no choir.  8. No gathering of tithes and offering with offering plates.  You will be asked to place your tithes and offering in a box that will be provided.  9. Copies of order of worship will not be distributed at the door.  10. You will be required to wear a facial mask during the service.  We will share more information with you as we continue to prepare for reopening the church.

 

Bible Study:  Wednesday evening, July 1st at 7:30 P.M. via ZOOM.  Invitation will be sent out via email.  Come and share, in the study of the 2 Chronicles chapters 6, 7 & 8.

 

Do you want to grow in your faith and deepen your relationship with God and others?  The weekly lectionary scripture readings provide the opportunity for our church family to read the same scriptures during the week.  The scripture readings for 5th Sunday after Pentecost/Communion Sunday are: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.  I encourage you to read these scriptures.  In addition, continue to talk to God daily (pray).  Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16). May we be blessed with good health and joy.

 

Journeying in Pentecost,

Pastor Nation

 

 

  Prayer List.  ♥Patients, Family, Caregivers and First Responders connected to the Coronavirus, Family of Thomas Berghorn (husband of Susan Berghorn), Family of Chun Hsi Hung (mother of Joan Hsu), Family of Tarna Pershad (father of Narendra Pershad), ♥Dee McMahon (friend of Kim Neri), Family of Ian Lewis, ♥Dr. Steven Rothenberg and his wife Barbara (friends of Barbara Woodford), Family of Joan Bertie (mother of Christina Condelles), Family of Thomas Brian Stone, Family of Alex Abanavas (extended family of the O’Brien’s), Olive Roach (sister of Jean Tello), Grand-Aunt and Uncle-in-law of Andrea Owen-Boyd, ♥Kay Hartmann, Family of Juliana Schillow, ♥Shirley Shivrattan-Dookhi, Family of Buddy Dookhi, ♥Matt O’Brien and Family, ♥James O’Brien and Family, ♥Pearl Clarke, ♥Debbie Rifenbury (friend of Sing Larson), ♥Joanne Murphy (Kyle O’Brien’s mother- in- law), ♥Chrissy Widera (friend of Pam and Samantha O’Brien), ♥Peggy Hutchinson (friend of Marianne and Don Pike), ♥Juliana Bonds (sister of Eleanor Phillip), ♥Philis Harris (mother of Yaneika “Nicky” Brown), ♥Julius D’Amato, ♥Judith Vendryes, ♥Tyler Vendryes, ♥Maudlyn and Keible Scarlett, ♥Bishop Bickerton, ♥DS Sungchan Kim, ♥Cheree Philips (pastor in the NYAC), ♥Danny Neri (father-in law of Kim Neri), ♥Amy Cooke (sister of Pearl Hamilton), ♥Bob von Schmid (son-in-law of Adam and Christine Doeringer), ♥The United Methodist Denomination, ♥Kenneth Kurz (grandson of Lenore and Manny Kurz), ♥Tom Moylan (brother-in-law of Michael Kurz), ♥Joe Alberigo (friend of Lenore Kurz), ♥Elaine Treske, ♥Castells Family (family of Elaine Treske), ♥Heather Eggermann, ♥Margo and Vincent Morrison, ♥Carol Provenzano, ♥Alwyn Daniel (friend of Debbielee Thomsen), ♥Cyril (friend of Pat Eshun), ♥Sasha (Navy-Japan), ♥Bob LoBello, ♥Susan Selsen (friend of Steve Savarese), ♥Samuel A. Dorsey (father of David A. Dorsey), ♥Lascelles Boyd (father of Earl Boyd), ♥David Biegler, ♥Monica Campbell (friend of Margo Morrison), ♥Iris Molina, ♥Anne Mahoney, ♥Everol Palmer (son of Enid Simpson), ♥Donna Lowe (daughter of Loretta Lewis Zimmer), ♥Evelyn Neber (friend of Elaine Treske), ♥Bill Hammen (brother of Edie Zipperlen), ♥Rondolph Ives (brother of Margo Morrison), ♥John Simpson.  Note.  Prayer List names will continue to be listed for two weeks.  After that period of time, the names will be removed unless you call us with current information. 

- Death in family, ♥ - New entry

 

 

 

 

 

MESSAGES FROM FRIENDS AND MEMBERS

 

v    Happy 4th of July!  Stay Safe!!!

 

v    If you are able and would like to send messages of how you and your family are doing, just a message to say hello, or perhaps add someone to our prayer list, just reply to this email (GraceVSNY@aol.com).  Stay well, stay safe.

 

v    I bring you good tidings.  Our beautiful sis Pat Eshun has volunteered to step into the GUMW Secretary position.  Yeah!!!!  We are very grateful.  We’ll all support her when need be, as suggested during our teleconference.  We will continue praying and hoping God touches someone to volunteer for the VP position.  God bless you all.  Thanks, sis Pat.  We appreciate you immensely!!  Blessings!!           Tonia Ukanwoke

 

v    There will be a Zoom Worship Committee Meeting this Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30pm. I hope to get a more current list of committee members.  We will discuss slowly reopening the church and how we will go about our services.  Thank you for your dedication to our church.       Sincerely, Kimberly Neri

 

 

v    Zoom Sunday School is starting Sunday, July 12!

Please plan to join us via Zoom for fellowship, a Bible lesson, and singing with Kim Neri.

 

Younger kids (pre-K through rising 5th graders) will start at 11:30, all kids join together for music at 11:45, and older kids (rising 6th graders -12th grade) will stay on after the music.

 

We want you to join us!  If you have questions about Zoom, we will help you (katherine.lowe.perkins@gmail.com). 

Katherine Perkins and the Sunday School team

 

 

v    HAPPY NEWS!  Our beloved Dick Tiedge will be coming to NY beginning July 4th possibly to the end of August.  His daughter Jeanne will be with him and his other daughter, Lynn, will join him later on.  Unfortunately social distancing is still in effect so everyone, please keep that in mind.  Phone calls would be nice. 

 

 

Year to Date (YTD) Financial/Offering Update.  As we continue to struggle through this very difficult time we hope everyone will stay healthy and be able to avoid the corona virus.  Just as people are worrying about health issues we are all also worrying about the impact on our finances.  This also includes our church.  In the words of the apostle Paul, “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7, NIV).  Donations are down – we understand that everyone is dealing with new and sometimes frightening circumstances.  We just hope that those who are able can continue their weekly or monthly contributions.  To summarize where we are right now as of June 10th based on the latest Church Treasurer’s Report:

We received $81,000 from the Federal Government’s Payroll Protection Plan (PPP).  Of that $81,000, $34,438 went to the Nursery School

 

YTD we used $75,000 from the Trustees Endowment Funds for operating expenses.  The funds are still about $2.2 million and we will probably need to use the whole $80k that has been budgeted.

 

Income from envelopes YTD is $61,871 versus $94,808 last year 2019.

 

Income from envelopes before Coronavirus shutdown averaged about $3,050 per week.  After the shutdown the average has been about $1,538 per week.  This will be troublesome if the giving does not get better in the last quarter.

 

Apportionments – YTD we have paid $10,000 against a yearly assessment of $47,119 (assigned by New York Annual Conference)

 

Thrift Shop income and income from Outside Users has stopped for now.

 

Expenses are very close to what they were last year and overall with the Government PPP money we are currently okay but our projected decreased envelope income for the year could be a problem.

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CLOSE THE INCOME FROM ENVELOPE SHORTFALL.  Your checks can be mailed to the church office or you can use Venmo.  Venmo allows you to make a direct deposit donation to Grace Church electronically.  If you are already signed up, you can use this now.  If not, it is easy to sign up.  Go to Venmo.com and follow the easy directions.  The Church is listed as Grace Methodist VS.  We are receiving donations on Venmo, so it works!!!  We have also added Zelle in addition to Venmo.  More and more of our friends and members are using these avenues for their donations.  Thank you.  Please keep Grace Church in your prayers.

 

 

 

If you have changed your email address, are not receiving Church Life, the Order of Worship, have a new cell phone number or any other additions or changes, please either respond to this email GraceVSNY@aol.com or leave a message on the Church phone 516/825-1182.  It is checked several times a day.  Thank you.  Stay well, stay safe. Eileen

 

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In the recent weeks there have been national and international protest/demonstrations because of the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer.  Here is a portion of the statement from the bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ) that includes the New York Annual conference: 

We, the College of Bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, prayerfully stand with our pastors, members and churches during the aftermath of the recent deaths of unarmed African American people at the hands of law enforcement officers and citizens across our nation. We decry the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others. The racist system and structures that permeate every facet of life in the United States including health care, employment, education, wealth, the criminal justice system and housing infects our churches as well. In the face of these injustices we often embody the words of the prophet Jeremiah by treating “the wound of God’s people carelessly, saying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace” because there is no justice. (Jeremiah 6:14) 

The devastating effects of racism are many and every time we forget that each person is made in the image of God, we are all harmed. We have witnessed the murder of African Americans numerous times in the past in this country and it seems when the protests pass, we go back to our old ways and progress gained becomes lost. Ideas and systems that support white supremacy continue unchecked in our churches, communities and national politics. Human suffering among people of color that we have witnessed recently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are yet another reminder of the inequities in our racist society that has continued because we have been slow to work for justice.