Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

Life as we know it seems to be changing at a pace faster than we can sometimes comprehend. For the first time in most of our lives, we are facing a global pandemic called COVID-19, a viral pneumonia and form of a coronavirus. Although there are tests to determine if someone has it, there is no vaccine to prevent it and know sure cure. It is spreading rapidly throughout the world and, as of the time of this writing, there have been 307,278 confirmed cases and 13,049 deaths. 

Efforts to thwart the spread of the virus range from physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) to mandatory shelter in place quarantines for two or more weeks.  Gatherings larger than 10 people are discouraged. Schools, churches, dine-in restaurants and businesses that require non-essential person-to-person physical contact such as hair and nail salons are being closed, either voluntarily or through state mandates. 

Methodist churches here in Holston Conference have suspended worship services and other gatherings on church properties as well as large events until further notice. God’s work, however, never stops and conference leadership and pastors are finding new and creative ways to continue providing worship and much-needed ministries with the resources available to them.

In our case here at Bethel, we are opting to move our services online. Videos for worship services will be available on our public Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BethelUnitedMethodistSeymour) and here on our website. Thomas Talks will be moving to an interactive online format, most likely through Facebook Live, on or before the second Tuesday in April and will also be going from a monthly gathering to weekly. Other resources will also be made available on our website and through our Facebook page from time to time.

The world around us is in a state of chaos right now, but remember – we are not of this world. This is not our home. God is far ahead of what is happening right now, reshaping the disaster this microscopic enemy name COVID-19 has created and He is leading us into His new thing. He is faithful and ever-present. We are not alone.

Pray for one another, help one another, and keep washing your hands. 

Grace and peace,

Rev. Val