316 North Main Street, Ulysses, KS 67880, US

(620) 356-2305

Embracing the love of Jesus through ministry, mission and witness

Embracing the love of Jesus through ministry, mission and witness

Embracing the love of Jesus through ministry, mission and witnessEmbracing the love of Jesus through ministry, mission and witness

services of worship

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Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary.

     

     Other services may include:

     Weddings

     Funerals and Memorial Services

     Baptismal Services

     Baby Dedication Services

GREETINGS FROM PASTOR KELLY

Greetings in Christ Jesus!

Last month I wrote this:
“Some things it seems don’t change. While we don’t have the dramatic and devastating dust storms of the past, the wind and dust still blow with depressing frequency. Another thing that hasn’t changed is the small-town atmosphere that keeps many of us living here. The range of activities has changed, but the “looking out for each other” attitude remains.That attitude is also what makes church life so great; we care for each other and make sure we are there to lend a hand when needed. The term “church family” is sometimes overused, but I believe it holds true for our congregation. We are like family and that is a comfort. I hope you think so too.If you know of others in our community who need a church family, why not invite them to ours?”


What a difference a month makes! None of us realized the extent to which this new virus storm would blow through our lives and how important our church family would become. Who knew that when asked the question, “What are you giving up for Lent”, our answer would be, “Gathering together for our Service of Worship”? And yet, here we are, doing our part to hopefully slow the spread of this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us.


I wish I could tell you how this all will finally play out and when we can back to “normal”, but that would seem an irresponsible guess at this point. A few facts, as I understand them are:

  • Positive cases are increasing daily in Kansas and surrounding states.  
  • The increases seem to correlate to the increase number of tests, leading one to believe there likely are more cases out there than we know.
  • The social distancing requirements will stay in place until the spread of the virus is better known and on the downslope.
  • We don’t know for sure when we will return to gathering for services. Today (3/30) the decision was made to cancel services through the end of April.  We will continue to evaluate the situation and make decisions as appropriate; we will let you know.


A few things that I’m guessing:

  • This may last longer than we wish it would.
  • We will get better at worshiping at distance, if for no other reason than I will be more used to preaching to an empty church in the weeks to come.
  • When we emerge from this very strange time, we will be a different church, in a good way. Why do I say that?
    • We will appreciate, so much more, our time together; absence does make the heart grow fonder.
    • We will understand that “church” can happen in different ways, some radically different.
    • We will have learned some new technologies and feel more comfortable using them.
    • We will have witnessed God’s Holy Spirit at work in our lives in ways unimagined.


    But, what about Easter? That is a good question. Here are some thoughts on Easter at distance. I’m going to miss the Sunrise Service and breakfast following. That doesn’t mean I can’t get up and watch the sunrise on my own while I contemplate the meaning of the day, and then have breakfast. If you have been waiting for Easter to make an appearance at church, sorry about that.


    Most importantly, from my perspective; The Lent/Easter season is, in many ways, a dark season, at least right up until the end. It is only the resurrection experience that shines a light during these dark days of self-reflection and examination.  


    Think about it. Before and after the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples were filled with fear bordering on terror and locked themselves away from the world. Only the appearance of Jesus in their midst loosed the grip of fear on their lives. Does that sound familiar? Here at this Easter season, we find ourselves figuratively and literally locked away from each other in anxiety and dread of contracting a novel, deadly virus. The parallels are a stark reminder that no matter the forward march of technology, what essentially makes us human, remains the same.


    Here is the Good News. Just as the disciples found hope beyond their locked doors in the light of a resurrected Jesus, we find our hope, knowing that God fills us with the intelligence, talent, and tenacity to find our way to the other side of this pandemic. There is light out there. And while we may not be together on Easter morning, gathered in the sanctuary of the church, we will be together in the sanctuary of God’s love, mercy, and never ending grace.  


    We will celebrate our Easter together whenever the day comes that we are gathered in one place. Remember what the old song says, “Every morning is Easter morning, from now on.”  Let us live these days with that joy in our hearts.


    Join us Sunday on Facebook for Worship Lite!


    See you Sunday!

    Grace and Peace,Pastor Kelly