March 22, 2020

Dear Ones,

This was supposed to be United Methodist Women’s Sunday.

We will definitely do this service again. Our unit of the United Methodist Women is such an important part of who we are as a church. So we will celebrate their ministry when we are able to reconvene as a worshiping community.

Today I want us to remember all the foremothers and forefathers who went before us building the church into what it is. While the building sits empty today, the spirits of those who have gone before continue to encircle us with their presence through their witness.

United Methodist Women and, in the past, United Methodist Men, have been at the forefront of doing ministry work in this community for over 150 years.

This work continues through the men and women who continue the work today.

This week the Chatfield Community Food Shelf has been very active. New clients have been enrolled and we are keeping the shelves stocked with food in anticipation of new needs emerging. People have brought medical equipment for others to use. Weekend Food Bags have been assembled and made available whenever the building is open so parents can get food to our community’s children whenever it is convenient for them. And a Home Bound Food Delivery program has been set up so that senior adults in the community can be paired with people who will bring them groceries should the need arise.

All of this happened from the walls of this church that you call home.

We are still very much being church. Because the church isn’t the building. It is the people who work within the building to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.

Our scripture text this morning is so appropriate, as it always seems to be.  Jesus said to those who were feeling inadequate in a time of trial and tribulation because others seemed to be getting rewarded, “The truth is, whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones just for being a disciple will not lack a reward.”

All it takes to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is a cup of cold water given to the neighbor who longs for it.

And we need cups of refreshing news today, don’t we? Cups of cool refreshing water of life and laughter and hope.

Reach down into your well and find that one cup that you could share with a neighbor. Through a card, a phone call, an email, a text, a funny story.

Maybe your well is feeling a bit dry right now. I bet there is still one cup of cold water in the bottom you could share with someone else. Look deep within to find it.

But if not, if you are truly in despair, ask someone else to share with you. For by doing so you are helping them be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Which may be the best gift you can give someone today.

The church building may be empty today, but the church is alive and well wherever you are.

It has been for 150+ years here in Chatfield and it will continue to be as long as you offer even just one cup of cool water to someone, anyone.