Pastor's E-Letter

Pastor's E-Letter

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Pastor's E-Letter 3/13/20

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A couple of weeks ago in our first Lenten Journey class, we discussed the importance of the spiritual discipline of fasting. We talked over what it might mean to give up ice cream, electronics, even food for a couple of days, or even a week. While we know that fasting can be difficult for folks with eating disorders and other health issues, we discussed the spirituality of such a choice. Finally, we asked a doctor in the room how long one could go without food or water.

They told us that we can survive without food for about forty days before it is an emergency. (That length of time is lessened by any health issues we may have.) However, we can only survive three days without water before it is an emergency.

Three. Days.

Water is necessary for our life. It is almost as essential as air. It is the reason why scientists look for water as a sign of the possibility of life on other planets: water is not just important for us as humans, it is necessary for almost every form of life. It is why, here in Brevard, we hear so much about protecting our waterways and oceans. We know that without clean water, we would all be in deep trouble. This is also why we all rush to buy water before a hurricane, worried that if our water went out or was contaminated, we would be in deep trouble before the storm passed. The list goes on and on.

Water is necessary for our life and our flourishing.

In our Scripture passage for Sunday, Jesus has a lot to say about water. In knowing how important water is to our lives, it is no wonder that Jesus would compare his salvation to God’s living water.

In his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus is making a radical statement about the character of God, and God’s living water. First, the grace God offers us is necessary for our survival and our flourishing. Jesus offers it without hesitation, and we are promised we will never be thirsty again. The second message of Jesus in this moment is that the water is offered to us at our lowest point, when we are furthest away from God’s loving grace. The woman at the well was there at noonday because she had been rejected by her community and had lived a life that she was not proud of. She was beholden to cultural forces of rejection and scorn, and in this hot, dusty moment, Jesus offers her the promise of love and grace that will never run dry.

Where is that dry and dusty part of your life? Where do you feel lowest, rejected, the least lovable version of yourself? Know that Jesus meets you here, and offers his living water, from a well that will never run dry and a promise that we will never be thirsty again.

I can’t wait to continue to explore this scripture passage with you Sunday- we’ll see you then!

Peace,
Pastor Allee

Posted by Allee Willcox with

Pastor's E-Letter 3/6/20

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Like you, the staff at Suntree UMC has been keeping track of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. We have been, and will continue to, carefully monitor the coronavirus through the Brevard County Health Department and Florida Department of Health and provide further guidance for everyone as we walk through this uncertain time. Below are a few things to keep in mind:
 
There are currently no plans to cancel services. Should this become necessary, we will certainly communicate that change.
 
For now, we are recommending that we all follow CDC guidelines to not only help prevent the spread of this disease, but to also practice good personal health habits. The CDC recommends:
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
-  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • If you come into contact with an individual who has recently traveled to an area that the CDC has issued a level 2 or level 3 health notice such as China, Italy, south Korea, and Japan, there are protocols in place:
-  Immediately contact your local county health department upon developing symptoms, before visiting a doctor.
-  Individuals can be evaluated at any local hospital. ANY local hospital is equipped to handle COVID-19. Testing will be conducted in Jacksonville, Miami or Tampa.
 
We also want to continue to encourage everyone to greet one another with a warm hello and a smile rather than a handshake or a hug.
 
We also have posted handwashing instructions in all our restrooms.
 
All communion servers will be using hand sanitizers, as was done this past Sunday. We will also investigate individual communion elements that are sealed for our next communion service.
Again, we strongly encourage you to follow these practices to keep every safe and healthy. We will continue to closely monitor the spread of the virus and post updates as it develops. To keep up to date with our latest communication, we encourage to check out our website (suntreeumc.org), follow us on Facebook, and continue to read our weekly E-Letter.
 
All of that said, this Sunday in worship we will continue in our Lenten journey, "The Landscape of Lent". This week we will focus on Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus found in John 3:1-17 and explore Jesus' what it means to embrace Jesus' words, "The wind blows where it chooses..." the "wind" being another word for Spirit. What does it mean for us to embrace a faith, a love, a grace in Christ that cannot be contained or controlled? Where do you feel the wind of the Spirit blowing in your life? What is the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in you, in our church, in our world? What does it mean to embrace and God who loves the world so much that God gives and gives and gives again? I hope you will join us in worship this week as we continue to explore the landscape of Lent together.
 
In the meantime, please be safe and remember to wash your hands!
 
Pastors Annette, Allee, and Augie
 
 
*Below is a list of resources for further learning and updates:
 
 
 

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