Staying Connected

A Post-Easter Message from our District Superintendent

Beloved Northwest District,

We begin many graveside services with the ancient words: “In the midst of life, we are in death.” I imagine that first day of resurrection, as the women made their way to the tomb, felt a little like that. Life went on as usual. The city sounds and smells after Passover must have been as they had been many years before.

The sun rose as it does every day. And yet everything was different from the moment they encountered the Risen Christ.

Outside my window, spring has sprung as it always does. Birdsong fills the air. Tulips and daffodils, hyacinths and new grass nod in the warm breeze.

And yet this year, everything is different. Like Mary, perhaps we may not recognize him at first. But the Risen Christ is here, awaiting our attention, speaking our names.

Everything is different. We have discovered ways of worship that do not require buildings. We have reached people who would not have walked through the door. We have learned that being a little less busy may be a good thing. We have discovered concern for neighbors who are out of work. We have made life-altering decisions, such as staying home for days on end, for the sake of others. We, who usually go-go-go, live the experience many of our homebound people have every single day. We neighbor.

Everything is different. This week (true stories):
  • A deployed National Guardsman was able to join his home church for a staff parish meeting this month.
  • Retirees who fled to Florida to escape the cold participated in worship with their church family in Indiana. Grandchildren were engaged in ministry, helping their family members navigate online tools.
  • The church gathered became the church disbursed, the body of Christ everywhere we are.
  • We learned in a new way what John Wesley meant when he said, “The world is my parish.” Our communities are our church, and they worshiped with us on Facebook and gave as well as received food for deliveries.
Please God, let us not go back. Let us continue to see those who are homebound, those who have no work, those who are ill, those who live down the road or across the globe, as our neighbors. Let us look for ways to use what we have learned to extend the gifts of Sunday gatherings into every hour of the week and every home in our communities. When we can gather again, let us not lose the knowledge that we are the church, everywhere and always, and people can join the Body of Christ on our mission without ever darkening our doors.

God have mercy on us for ever forgetting that the Risen Christ is WITH US.

He is risen indeed.


A Loaves and Fishes Ministry

Recently, Lisa Eaker shared some words with Pastor Chris on the rise of the Woods Edge Meal Ministry in this time of COVID-19. Here is an excerpt from her experience:
. . . As soon as the announcement was made for the schools to go remote learning, I knew we had to do something, that these kids who rely on breakfast and lunch five days a week weren’t suddenly going to have meals at home. I knew that the panic buyers would not include their parents, able to stock up for multiple weeks and wouldn’t have the storage even if they had the funds. Every year for VBS we rely on a corporate connection to do bulk food ordering so I approached that source to see if we could again order some protein and canned goods cases of fruit to throw together enough lunches to last for a week, maybe two. We were blessed with a yes. Next I reached out to someone younger than me, not in one of the more vulnerable risk groups, to see if she would be interested in helping in the kitchen. Raysha Honsowetz said yes immediately; she has a passion for feeding these kids as well. Scott agreed to handle the distribution side, he reached out to tutors already in the program and found a core group who would be willing to pick up at church and take out to a designated spot at Woods Edge.

Honestly, I thought we would be doing this for one, maybe two weeks. I assumed we were just filling in the gap until the school system could get a plan together. I am not too proud to admit I was wrong! We just completed our sixth delivery, have provided 2700 meals and see no immediate end in sight.
This ministry has been blessed with donations of cereal boxes and granola bars and canned goods and craft kits, and books and games and Easter eggs and tortillas. Members of our congregation have added something to their grocery delivery and then dropped those items on Raysha’s porch. They have mailed in a check or used the online giving feature to allow us to keep ordering proteins and fruits. They have scoured their basements and sheds to find mason jars for cookie kits, they have extra cheese or yogurt, the really good kind, and they share huge packs of toilet paper and sugar. St. Andrew folks are giving their best stuff, not the old lima beans they weren’t going to eat anyway.

Even more amazing is that folks who don’t know us are giving. Someone who loves our COSA program and the hope it can bring, has raised over $500 and mails those checks into church. My sister-in-law who works as an ICU nurse in Indy, a hotspot, dropped off a trunk full of peanut butter and pepperoni, canned goods, and Rice Krispie treats. She filled our freezer with meatballs and chicken nuggets and individual mac-n-cheese cups, so much more I can’t even list it all. My niece heard my call for jars and ordered them from her home in Indy to be delivered to my porch. A connection Raysha has through the foster system ordered craft supplies and another of her friends mailed items from her own pantry. 

The truth is that God is bigger than this virus. We are being challenged to share what we have to feed those without any. We don’t know from week to week what food we are serving; it all depends on what is given. Truly, we are operating a Loaves and Fishes kitchen. We have yet to run out of food. We will continue on until God says to stop.

Items needed for
Woods Edge meals: 

canned goods
granola bars
instant potatoes
peanut butter
blocks of cheese
other shelf-stable goods
financial contributions

Worshipful Wednesday 

Please join us for an evening by the campsite as Greg Deason and friends share their musical gifts. You can view either by: 

Thoughtful Thursday

Join Pastor Chris and Pastor Annettra on Facebook Live Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.for some inspirational words and prayers to help you get through the week. 
Prayer Requests ~ Click Here
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St. Andrew: an open community growing in the ways of Jesus, sent out daily to share the healing love of God.
St. Andrew UMC 4703 N 50 W West Lafayette, IN 47906 USA | 765-497-7755
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