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UMC Clergy Statement of Solidarity January 6, 2021

We, as United Methodist Clergy in the Central Coast area of California, stand in solidarity against today’s violence at our nation’s capital, and hereby reaffirm the statement of Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church:

Today is when the Congress of the United States certifies the votes of the people. This duty fulfills Congress’s constitutional role in the democratic process.

The peaceful transition of power is a pillar of representative democracy.

Even as we affirm the right to peaceful assembly, nothing must disrupt this democratic process.

We condemn the rhetoric from leaders inciting violence and division. We call on all to work for justice and the common good of the country and our democracy.

We continue to pray for the healing of our nation. Join [us] in praying these words from the Prayer in a Time of National Crisis (from the United Methodist Book of Worship, # 517):

May leaders be led by your wisdom;
May they search your will and see it clearly
If we have turned from your way,
Reverse our ways and help us to repent.
Give us your light and your truth, let them guide us;
Through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of this world, and our Savior.
Amen.

We also reaffirm the message of Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, who professed:

On this Day of Epiphany, Christians remember that the Magi guided by a divine light visited the Christ Child bearing gifts and their souls.

Let us pray for the divine light of Christ to manifest the fullness of his righteousness in this our moment of darkness.

The protests against the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that have escalated to violence at the US and at the California state capitals are truly an expression of darkness based on deception and fear-mongering.

As people committed to a civil society and a democratic process of governance, this is not the way to express differences of opinion. It certainly is not the way to be as people of faith.

Let us pray for our broken society and recommit to being followers of Christ who is the Light of the World.

Gabriel House (Aptos),

Clyde Vaughn (Boulder Creek),

Luke Ham (Carmel),

Patrick Davis (Morgan Hill),

Hwapyoung Kang (Gilroy),

Karla Lundin (Hollister),

Angel Rivero (Marina),

Sanghyun Lee (Marina),

Steve Lundin (Salinas),

Jay K. Pierce (Santa Cruz),

and Robin Mathews-Johnson (Watsonville)

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Ones:

I want to bring you up to date on the status of our church during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

When we got the word late Monday afternoon of the Order by the Santa Cruz County Health Department to close, we took immediate action.  

  • We have closed our building and cancelled worship until April 6, or until the ban is lifted.  
  • We have cancelled all in-person meetings, and others using the church including AA/NA groups, Girl Scouts, etc.  Our church office, Clean Team and NETworX staff, are now sheltering at home.  
  • I am working from home and available via my cell (831) 320-0276, or my email pastor@watsonville1stumc.org. Call me anytime.  
  • A member of our Trustees (Carrye Cheaney) who lives near the church is in charge of keeping the facility safe.  
  • Our Office Manager Erika Bernabe is handling any inquiries or questions you have about procedures via email from our church email address: office@watsonville1stumc.org.
  • We are only opening the building for our continued feeding of the homeless at the Salvation Army, and other necessities.  

But that’s not all.  Although our building remains closed, you can rest assured that our church community is still here!

Our Tech Team and I are exploring our digital options for gathering together online.  There are a lot of legal guidelines which must be complied with, so we are getting up to speed on how best to proceed.  Plus, our leaders are beginning to meet together via Zoom online, which provides a safe way to communicate as a group, either by simple audio (telephone,) or with video capabilities using the Zoom app.  We are communicating with others and making plans on how we can best remain connected.  

Or to put it another way, we are trying to love one another and do Christ’s work in this scary world in new, creative and meaningful ways.  

Your part in this?  Your prayers and support are definitely needed.  Also know we are thinking of you and love you and are praying for you.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are coping, if you or your family need help, and if you know anyone else in our church community who needs our help.

And finally I leave you these reassuring words of Scripture:

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Stay tuned.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson

Watsonville First United Methodist Church

229 Stanford Street Watsonville, CA 95076

Phone: (831) 724-4434   Fax: (831) 724-8602

pastor@watsonville1stumc.org

watsonville1stumc.org

 

 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 2019

Free Backpacks 2018 // Mochilas Gratis 2018