PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – EASTER IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
I love the story of God raising Jesus to life again, I love the holy mystery that hides just exactly what happened over the three days between crucifixion and resurrection but at the same time is so piercingly clear about the power of life over death, of love over all evil.
I want to celebrate that story with you this Easter.
I experienced Palm’s Easter celebration for the first time last year and it was wonderful to sing Alleluia together, to see kids look for eggs, to flower the cross, to fellowship with members past and present from near and far. I was looking forward to that again this year. But this year we are in a time of uncertainty due to something called COVID-19, a virus that spreads swiftly and has potential to harm greatly. And so steps are being taken to slow the spread, to keep us from accidentally contaminating one another. My children’s school has been cancelled. In sports, not just events but entire seasons have been cancelled. Now that all seniors are encouraged to stay home, and even smaller gatherings are discouraged, we will be suspending in-person worship services, at least through the end of March. Worshiping together is important to many but we need to consider the life and health of our whole community. It is all unclear what will happen by the time we get to Easter.
Today, I just don’t know what will happen by April 12. So I would encourage you to check the church website palmumc.org and our Facebook page @PalmUMCDinuba for updates. I hope I get to celebrate resurrection with all of you. Yet the God of life also wants us to be good stewards of every gift, and that most certainly includes our lives and health, and those of the most vulnerable among us.
If it is not possible to gather together on Easter this year, please know that the God of life will never stop triumphing over death. The holy mystery of resurrection continues. And no matter what, God will be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble — Psalm 46:1. For now I pray that peace, blessings and health be with you all.
WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH PASTOR MICHELLE
I just want to make sure everyone knows what I think about all the ways to communicate with me! Please, if you would like a phone call or visit, let me know! Reaching me on my cell phone is probably the best way, (805) 233- 5796. (I just ask that if it’s not urgent, to not call on Monday, my day off.) If you are on facebook and would like to be “friends” there please send a friend request to Pastor Michelle Magee. Out of respect for your privacy I won’t request you, but I would be pleased to be friends on that account if you like! Please also like our church facebook page to see updates there: @PalmUMCDinuba. Email is great too: firstname.lastname@example.org . And if you want to listen to a Sunday message we have podcasts up on the palmumc.org website. While I’m at it, if you hear news about the Methodist church in the secular news media, follow up with UMNews to hear the church’s side of the story. Blessings!
Listen to Pastor Michelle’s latest Sunday message on the Church website:
WORK DAY ON APRIL 4 IS CANCELED; IKEBANA FLOWER SHOW AND UMW
BOUTIQUE ON APRIL 25 IS CANCELED; AND WORSHIP ON MARCH 22 AND
29 HAVE BEEN CANCELED. STAY TUNED FOR MORE UPDATES !!
JOYS AND CONCERNS AMONG OUR CHURCH FAMILY
Please continue to pray for cancer warriors Myles Chute, Michael dela Montanya, Jacob dela Montanya, Kay Armijo, Gerard Laquerriere (friend of John and Pat), Ron Gerstenberg, and Chase Glosier (Steve and Kathy Botkin’s nephew).
Please keep Carol (Rossi) Christianson, Hankus Nagata, Irene Burkart, Aiko Takeda, Pat Kurihara, Rosalinda Vasquez and her family, Richard Meffley (friend of John and Pat), Florence Brayfield and her daughter Carla, Cora Serios, Alicia Oyervidez, Marcia Williams, Terry and Nancy McKittrick, Katherine Rodriguez’ family, Betty Barsotti, Mel Imai (Ruth Fujinaga’s cousin), Molly Osato, Tom Magee (Pastor Michelle’s father), Rick Kanderian, Don McDowell (Jerry Munson’s nephew), Cherry Cadiente (Winnie’s sister-in-law), Steven Bulosan, Wilma Conner, Sandy Hansen, first responders, Dinuba Youth for Christ, Cruising for Jesus, “Shovels for Guns” Ministry (Mexico), the family of Marianne Couch, and Open Gate Ministries in your prayers.
Please pray for students, teachers and schools staff during the COVID lock-down.
Pastor Michelle will be leading “Grace Groups” on Tuesday, April 7 & 21, at 10:30 AM, at the church; Thursday, April 2 & 16, at 5:00 PM, at Nancy McKittrick’s house; and Sunday, (TBA) at 8:15 AM, at the church. Old Testament Bible Study meets every Wednesday at 11:00 AM. Prayer Group meets Thursdays at 10:30 at Ginger Munson’s house. Bible Study at Aiko Takeda’s house meets on Wednesdays at 1:30 PM. NA meeting led by Katherine Rodriguez is held every Tuesday, 12:00 noon, at the church. Ikebana Class will meet on Friday, April 24, to set up for the Flower Show & UMW Boutique on Saturday, April 25, 2:00—4:30 ($5.00 admission includes refreshments). Ad Council will meet on Sunday, April 26, following worship. Coffee Hour will be served on Easter Sunday, April 12, by the Toban team; on Confirmation Sunday, April 19; and on April 26. (Subject to change.)
On Easter Sunday,. April 12, you are asked to please bring flowers for the “Flowering of the Cross” and two dozen filled plastic Easter eggs (filled with non-food items or individually wrapped candies—Susan requests NO CHOCOLATE, please!) for the kids’ egg hunt. Annual group photo will immediately follow worship!
Don’t miss the Good Friday Community Service on April 10, 12:00 noon, at Dinuba Christian Church; Pastor Michelle will bring the message.
ATTENTION GREETERS !! PLEASE GIVE OUR FIRST-TIME VISITORS A “WELCOME CARD,” WHICH MAY BE FOUND IN THE RIGHT-HAND TOP DRAWER OF THE TABLE IN THE NARTHEX !! THANK YOU !!
Pastor Michelle and Ad Board Chairman Susan Yoshimura have issued some precautionary steps to protect from COVID-19:
- Worship service is suspended for a few weeks, but when we resume we will try to sit 4-6 feet apart from any non-family members.
- We are going to suspend Coffee Hour until further notice.
- As discussed at last Sunday’s worship, we will greet each other with an elbow bump or bow but will try to refrain from hugging and handshaking.
- Continue to frequently wash hands for 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your face.
- When Sunday School resumes, we will try to have more space between each of the children to perhaps decrease contact with each other.
COMMUNION STEWARD DUTIES
Chalice, chalice cover, paten, and white napkin are kept in the Communion cabinet in the kitchen. Bring 100% juice and a round loaf of bread to church on Communion Sunday; place the bread on the paten, and cover with napkin. Pour the juice into the chalice (not too full). Cover the chalice, and place it and the paten on the Communion table on the Chancel. After church, please remember to wash, dry, and replace supplies in the kitchen cabinet. Thank you! –Norma
OPEN GATE MINISTRIES ON-GOING NEEDS
511 North “K” Street, Dinuba 559-591-1241
Feminine Products and Diapers
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Lotion, Shampoo, and Hairbrushes
Coffee and Creamer
Cooking Oil and Sugar
Ziplock Bags (quart and gallon size)
Aluminum Foil / Paper Grocery Bags
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Socks – All sizes
APRIL WORSHIP TASKS
Communion Steward: Marian Clifton
April Tobans: * Aiko Takeda, Ginger Munson, Diane Domingo, Katherine Rodriguez, Rosalinda Vasquez
5 Norma Lozano, Diane Domingo
12 Ruth Kurihara, Lathy Lamb
19 John dela Montanya,
26 Taye Abe, Winnie Cadiente
2—Pat Kurihara, Desiree Domingo
11—Chin Cheak Yu Martzen
19—Duane Abe, Frances Leibert
24—Nancy McKittrick, Nancy Miller
25—PJ Yebisu 26—Isaac Godinez
28—Chelley McKittrick Gary, Jason Millhorn
30—James Hanada, Scott Shaver
Newsletter Editor: Marian Clifton
Worship Bulletin Editor: Kathy Lamb
Webmaster: Sandy Hansen
Office Hours: Tues./Thurs 10:30-4:00
Office Phone: 559-591-0746
Listen to Pastor Michelle’s sermons at –
Church Location: Tulare and “P” Streets
Sunday Service: 10:00 AM—Worship and Sunday School
PALM UMC CHURCH COUNCIL OFFICERS FOR 2020
Lay Leader: Derek Fujinaga
PPRC Co-Chairs: Marian Clifton, Janice Serios
Finance Chair: Jerry Munson
Board of Trustees: Pat dela Montanya (Chair), Derek Fujinaga, Jerry Munson
Treasurer: Arthur Anderson
Assistant Treasurer: Nancy McKittrick
Financial Secretary: Jerry Munson
Recording Secretary: Cathy Yada
Lay Member to Annual Conference: Derek Fujinaga
Pianists: Aiko Takeda, Daniel Toews, Andy Clifton, Kathy Lockwood
UMW President: Janice Serios
Missions Co-Chairs: Aiko Takeda, Marian Clifton
Outreach Chair: Katherine Rodriguez
Education Chair: Susan Yoshimura
Nominations Chair: Pastor Michelle Magee
Youth Group co-Leaders: Janice Serios, Katherine Rodriguez