dear friends,

          I wanted to take the opportunity to write each of you and share some thoughts, updates, and encouragement in these trying times. As we navigate these uncharted waters as a nation, community, and church, I hope you will continue to lean upon the Lord and show grace, mercy, and love to those around you. As we have been saying – yes, things are hard right now, but we can do hard things! We have the God of the universe on our side!

          As I hope you are aware, we are not doing public worship services right now. No one enjoys the fact that we are unable to meet face-to-face, but we are doing our best to continue to offer you ways to connect. We had a streamed service last week that was also on the local cable station and broadcast on the radio. We also had a podcast conversation as a follow up to the sermon available online as well. I hope you were able to connect in some way. Also, we ask for your grace – we are not NBC – and we’re doing our best to provide quality resources for you. We hope that every week we will be better at our video presentations.

          If you are looking for ways to make your financial gifts to the church during this time, you may mail them in, or schedule them online – either through the church website or your local bank. We are very grateful for your continued generosity during this time that enables us to be the light in the darkness we are called to be.

          We realize there are folks who do not have access to the above options, and this is frustrating for them. Our outreach and in-reach ministries are doing their best to gather names and provide contact and support, so they do not “fall through the cracks.” I would also like to remind everyone that all of us are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. So, if there is someone you are concerned about – take the initiative to be the voice of Jesus for them!

          This is a great time for all of us to remember some basic theological fundamentals about the nature of God and the church…

  • God is all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, and perfect. Throughout our lives, there is not a time or place or circumstance or situation in which God is not a part of it.
  • Worship is not something we do on Sunday – it is the act of adoration and praise giving that we direct unto God anywhere and everywhere. We are called to worship Him despite our location, every day, every moment.
  • Church is not a location or a time or a denomination. Our church IS NOT CLOSED! Our church is temporarily unable to meet in person, but very much alive and active in the world. YOU ARE THE CHURCH! Share the love of Christ in whatever ways you can.
  • The world may seem as if it is in chaos and out of control… but we believe God is in control! Always has been, always will be!

          The best way to get information is to go to our website. kfumc.org. The most daily content is shared through the Facebook page facebook.com/kfumc. We also have a presence on Instagram and Twitter. We send out emails and try to keep you up to date with those (these are also posted on Facebook and the website). We’re doing our best to stay in touch with you!

          Just as a closing celebration, on Monday, March 23, we hosted our Mustard Seed food pantry at Light on the Hill @ Mt. Wesley. Typically, we serve about 35 families. We served 165 families (over 500 people) on Monday. They received food, milk, eggs, toilet paper, and most importantly, a smile and the love of Christ! We are doing ministry and making a difference in the world around us!

          I am so proud to be a part of Kerrville First United Methodist Church. I am proud of the way our staff and ministry leaders have adapted to the new circumstances with energy and creativity. I love the heart of our congregation that wants to help and provide resources for those in need. I am amazed at all the ways the “bad” has been turned into AWESOME! I love this community!

          I am blessed. I think you probably think the same way. Let’s pray, worship, study, share, encourage, give, and love – not just during the current crisis, but each and every day!


Blessings!


David E. Payne

Sr. Pastor, KFUMC

david.payne@kfumc.org

830.777.7789 (cell)

kfumc kindness

caring for one another

Our mayor talks about Kerrville Kindness, so how will we respond to our health crisis with KFUMC Kindness? We have the following opportunities currently in place. If you have ideas for other ways we can respond to our church family members, please contact Donna at donna.magee@kfumc.org or call her at 830.890.8442. During this time, there may be others who need extra care. Please let Donna know of these persons so we can share Christ’s love with them. Thanks to all who continue to be the hands and feet of Christ by loving our neighbor.

Rev. Dr. Donna S. Magee

Associate Pastor

Kerrville First United Methodist Church

(830) 257-0841

www.kfumc.org

encouragement team & adopt a senior

Encouragement Team has been organized to send personal notes of love and encouragement to all of our church family living in the local care facilities. During their time of isolation from the outside world, we want to ensure them that we’ve not forgotten them and that we are praying for them. 

Adopt a Senior has grown out of one family’s desire to help a senior who needs extra attention. If you know someone who needs extra care, please let me know. We encourage everyone to check in on their neighbors, particularly the elderly and those living alone. Visits are encouraged.

feed my sheep

Hospitalized members are being called and/or sent cards while in the hospital, again to express love and concern. Once home from the hospital our care team members will continue their follow-up calls to check on the members and offer frozen casseroles from our Feed my Sheep food ministry. PLEASE call the office (or have a family member or friend call) if you are hospitalized and let us know you are there as we are unable to visit at this time. Please notify us also if you have a scheduled surgery taking place.

Our Feed my Sheep food ministry has stocked the freezer with casseroles, soups, and desserts. Our homebound members and bus riders are being called to check on them and any needs they have. Casseroles and food from the food pantry are being delivered. We are also offering to shop for them and pick up medications if needed. More volunteers for this ministry may be needed as time passes. Contact Donna if you are available. Teenagers and young adults out of school are welcome to help as well!

prayer ministry

Prayer Ministry continues. We want to know how we can pray for you and your loved ones. Submit your prayer requests online. The prayer list will continue to be distributed weekly.

Sunday School classes and small groups are encouraged to set up phone trees to check on one another.

from pastor kevin

ideas & encouragement

Check out these ideas and encouragement for small groups!

How to meet when you can’t meet

· Contact Information

Don’t have full contact information for those in your group? Email laura.rhodes@kfumc.org or call/text  Pastor Kevin at 903.245.8329 and we will provide that for you. Or, you can use our directory from a desktop or iPhone.

· Telephone

Sometimes hearing someone’s voice is enough. Everyone in our groups can be reached by phone. Consider matching people into pairs to have a phone friend to rely on.

· Email

Share content and updates with your group, and allow people to respond to the email with their thoughts, questions and prayer requests.

· Text

Texting is a quick and easy way to connect. Have a large group? Try having smaller text groups of three people who will commit to checking in with each other.

· Video

What if you’d like everyone to see each other? 

Zoom is a video conference application that you can use to actually see, hear and interact with one another. Zoom works with a phone, tablet or computer. We have an account with Zoom that will allow leaders to set up a virtual “meeting.” Contact Pastor David if you are interested. Here’s an example of someone using Zoom for a Bible Study.

Go to Meeting is another video conferencing option.  

Apps like Apple Facetime, Skype and Marco Polo, are also effective for connecting by video with your people.


What to teach

· Continuing current studies

· Right Now Media

Right Now Media is a massive, excellent digital library of Christian content, including lots of studies. Everyone in your group has access through KFUMC. Each person can watch the video and then discuss together as a group. We can recommend a study for you.

· The Bible

Keep it simple! Explore God’s word together.

· Bible apps

For daily devotions and Bible readings, I suggest these two:

o “YouVersion Bible App” offers many Bible translations, devotionals, short studies, and ways to connect with others.

o “Pray As You Go” is a daily devotional app that publishes a new short devotion each day that you can listen to. It’s a “traditional worship” style devotion.

· KFUMC content

There will be frequent posting of content by your clergy and lay staff on Facebook and our website. Sunday worship services, devotionals, and more. Your group could use this content as a springboard for discussion and study together.


Considerations for Leaders

· How are you doing?

This is not just a hard season for those in your group. This is hard for you, too. If you are overwhelmed or concerned about leading, please contact me. We want to support you and listen to you. Let us know of any changes in the status of your group.

· Re-establishing normalcy

We encourage you to meet (virtually) at the same time that you currently do. You can adjust the time in order to view live stream worship.  Consistency like this can be healthy.

· Families with school-age children

Those with young children will be thrown for a loop as schools and daycare close. Families like mine are having to care for, teach and entertain our kids, while also working from home. There will be distractions, but also opportunities to include others in the family.

· Loneliness

There may be people in your groups that, before this pandemic, were already feeling a sense of social isolation due, for a number of reasons. It hurts to feel like their church has been “taken away.” Consider those who may need that extra phone call, video chat, or handwritten letter. If you sense that you or someone in your group may be depressed or considering suicide, contact a pastor and we can help you find the resources you need.

· Additional contact

Beyond a weekly virtual meeting, consider sharing a weekly devotional or calling each person in your group once per week to see how they are doing and pray for them. You can also share with them the content that our church will be putting out.

· Grow your group!

People are longing for a community of grace. Invite others to join your group! They could even live in another city or state.

· Emphasize prayer

We all need a lot of it right now. May this be a time to encourage your group to pray more for each other and for the world.


Psalm 27: 1-3


drive thru mustard seed