The United Methodist Church of Enfield
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

 


Kingdom of Heaven Yeast Rolls

 

11 November 2020

 

To all of God’s people in Enfield and beyond:

 

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-4)

When Paul wrote these words to the followers of Christ in the town of Thessalonica in Greece so long ago, he wrote to affirm and encourage them in their faithfulness to Christ despite the challenging circumstances of their time.  I give thanks to God for the congregation of UMC-Enfield, for their many works of faith, labors of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ throughout this tumultuous year of our Lord 2020. 

The two words that characterize this last year of our life together as a faith community are change and steadfastness. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, we abruptly shifted from in-person to online worship, from meetings in the Blue Room to meetings in the Zoom program, from ministries in many locations to ministries in a few locations. The Holiday Fair was cancelled, and along with it the annual labor of love to make hundreds of pies and thousands of cookies.  The Thanksgiving Day Meal we offer to the community, free to all, was removed from our list of ministries.

And yet…God still found many new ways for us to engage in works of faith, labors of love, and expressions of hope.  One new work of faith included the sewing and distribution of masks to keep ourselves and those around us safe from the coronavirus. People all over the country received masks from the makers of UMC-Enfield.  One labor of love included the application for a federal relief program available to businesses to help with payroll expenses during this difficult year.  The detailed application and documentation of expenses took many hours of time.   Our hope found new expression in online worship. Who knew the pastor and music director would learn so much about online worship? Who knew the Holy Spirit could also work through modern technology!  God did!  What a joy it was to share the gospel with people we knew, and people we didn’t know who found us on the internet. 

            Throughout all of these changes, and so many more, people in the congregation held onto the steadfast love of God.  You continued the work of maintaining the building and taking care of the grounds, in the sure hope of gathering together again in person one day. You continued to find ways to pray for each other and with each in times of celebration and concern, in the sure hope of the power of Christ to work in and through our lives.  You continued to give faithfully and generously throughout the year, in the sure hope of the future of the church. 

Above all else, you continued to belief in the hope and peace we can only find in our Lord Jesus Christ – even when all the world around us is chaotic.  I always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in my prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your works of faith and labors of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.   Thanks be to God! 

 

Peace & grace,

Pastor Janet