Friday, April 3- Posted by Pastor James
How are you doing today? Does it feel like its almost Palm Sunday in your neck of the woods? This Sunday morning we invite you to join us online for our Palm Sunday Service. You can access it through our webpage at www.unionpresbyterianchurch.com. Just hit the big red button labeled Sunday Worship.
If you would like to have palms to wave during the service we invite you to stop by the church tomorrow, Saturday the 4th sometime after 12:00 noon. Palms will be in a vase next to the wooden cross by the road. Take as many as your family needs. The palms will keep better if kept cool or in water. The cross will also be decorated by Sherry and so please drive by and be blessed. Also, while you are getting palms you may also wish to pick up worship music CDs and DVDs (for adults and children). These will also be at the foot of the cross.
During Holy Week, feel free to stop by the church. Although the church building may be closed, our outdoor grounds are not. We will have our Easter Flowered Cross out in the front of the Sanctuary that you can decorate, you could take a walk through the cemetery, or take a few moments in one of our gardens.
During Holy Week we also encourage you to check out the daily video devotion Pastor James will be posting. I hope your Palm Sunday and Holy Week will be be ones filled with joy.
Friday, March 27- Posted by Pastor James
Session has communicated by phone and determined that at this time, the church will comply with Gaston County's Stay at Home Order. Our interactive worship bulletin (including liturgy, songs, scripture, sermon, and pastoral prayer) will be online early Sunday Morning so that you are able to worship as a congregation from home. If you are more at risk for this virus due to age or health issues, the session strongly encourages you to stay at home… please call the church- even if you just need something from the store. A church Elder is MORE than willing to get you what you might need.
If you would like some Christian home entertainment. Sherry has made available numerous copies of several of our recent VBS DVD’s and CD’s for children and some worship music and church anthems on CD’s for adults. This music is available in a basket for any interested at our church’s main entrance.
Because we are in such uncertain times and there is a lot of anxiety and fear out there… I thought it only fitting to end this message with one of my favorite Psalms. This is Psalm 62: 5-8.
5 For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
May we all find our true refuge in Christ during this challenging time. Be safe everyone.
Tuesday, March 24- Posted by Pastor James
How to continue to give during the Covid-19 crisis.
As I have been calling some of Union's more vulnerable members of this recent Coronavirus, I have been asked by several people on how they can still give to the church during this crisis. I just wanted everyone to know that we have 2 ways that you can still give. You can give by mail or you can drop off tithes or offerings directly to the church.
Our mail will be checked daily in the coming weeks, so if you mail in your giving in to our address: 5615 Union Road- zip code 28056- your giving will be fairly secure.
Another option you have is to bring your giving to the church. The finance committee has attached a locked mail box to the rail outside the children’s wing entrance. Feel free to drop off your giving to this box. It too will be checked daily.
Thank you, and please call the church office if you are in need of anything in the days and weeks to come.
Monday, March 16- Posted by Pastor James
This message is for Union Presbytery Church. It is Monday March 16.
After hearing the recommendations from the state and county, advice from our Presbytery, and after being in communication with other local churches, the Session of Union has made the following decisions…
First, all church programs going forward have been postponed for the foreseeable future. This includes choir, youth, Sunday school, Bible Study, women’s circles, men events, and committee meetings. The one exception for this is the church work day for this Saturday. This event will still happen from 9-12 because it is outside. If you would like to lend a hand but would like to do it when there are less crowds, please contact Jason Cabe or Charlie Nelson to see what you might be able to do before Saturday.
Second, until the circumstances in our region change dramatically our plan moving forward is to have worship only on upcoming Sundays at 10:00 am. We plan to have worship outside in the field in front of the youth building (rain or shine). We invite those willing and able to BYOC (bring your own chair) and BYOUIN (Bring your own umbrella if necessary). For those unable to attend worship, there will be a link on our webpage to the Scripture, sermon, liturgy, bulletin, and music every Sunday afternoon so you can worship from home.
Also, for the near future there will no longer be dedicated office hours at the church. However, our phones will be monitored every day. If you are in need physically or spiritually (or just would like someone to talk to) please call the church office. If you call anytime in the morning or afternoon, you will get a call back by the evening of that same day. For whatever reason, if you have needed to isolate yourself or family, our elders can help by bringing you some of the staples that you might need and try to be of assistance in any way they can.
Finally, we invite you to check out our webpage or facebook page every day. I will be posting a daily devotion which you can use and there will be a prayer available for you to incorporate into your daily devotion time. During this troubling time, we are encouraging every church member to take a moment at 7:00 pm to pray. It’s a way for us to be together, even when we can’t physically be together.
Friday, March 13- Posted by Pastor James
I am sure that if your household is anything like mine- there is a great deal of concern about the continued growth of the current coronavirus, Covid-19, here in the United States. It is something that the Session of Union Church has also been taking very seriously.
Because there have still been so few cases found in immediate region of Gaston, York, and Mecklenberg counties- Union worship services and events are still on as scheduled this Saturday and Sunday. This includes:
-Blade sharpening and vehicle checks Saturday the 14th
-Sunday school and worship on Sunday the 15th
-FFF luncheon following worship on the 15th
-Please note that Bingo at Terrace Ridge has been cancelled Thursday, March 19, due to the extra caution being taken at our local assisted living facilities.
However, at all upcoming church events we are encouraging people to stay home if they feel sick or have compromised health conditions and for those who are able to come we encourage them to wash hands often and thoroughly, to refrain from shaking hands (consider bumping elbows instead), and to put a little extra distance between family units at these events.
The Session will put a firm plan in place this Sunday for dealing with the effects of Covid-19 moving forward. The plan will have details on (a) how the church will function differently when there are more cases in the area, (b) what we will do if schools in the area are closed and if our community is more "locked down," and (c) how through this entire troubling time the church will make itself available to help and care for church members and individuals in our community who need to be in isolation.
This is not a time to panic, but it is a time to be concerned, to plan/prepare, and to pray. Thank you and be safe out there!