Home Happenings

November 6, 2020

Covid-19 Update

Church Family, 

Starting this Sunday we will be returning worship to online only and invite you to join us on Facebook at our streaming page, NL Methodist Streaming. All small groups and meetings are to be held virtually as well until further notice. Our candlelight event is POSTPONED as well. 

The last few weeks of opening church and following all of the rules and guidelines has not always been convenient, but we have chosen to joyfully follow them. There is no way that we would have been able to do that without the support of so many of our church members, and on behalf of the church leadership team I just want to thank them for all of their hard work. 

We want church here to be safe for everybody. Not just to be safe, but to feel safe as well. We hope that this has been the case for those of you who have joined us in person for worship services. We really enjoyed meeting in person and still being able to stream online. 

As you know, the transmission levels of COVID-19 in our area are increasing daily. At the recommendations of our Bishop, and in review of reports by leading epidemiologists in Iowa, analysis of updates from medical researchers and public health organizations across the state and nation, and in discernment of resources including the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Iowa Governor’s office, our re-entry team has made the decision to move our church back into the red zone. The guidance from the Conference Crisis Response Team and the 3-2-1 Reentry Plan states that when your county is in the Red Zone (as Johnson County currently is), we are to refrain from public gatherings, including indoor worship and other in-person activities. 

We recognize that this might be a disappointment for some, but we hope that you understand that our decision that we’ve taken is not made out of fear, but out of love and care for each other. We anticipate this transition to last for a minimum of 3 weeks, at which point the re-entry team will meet again to re-assess the COVID-19 situation here in Johnson County. 

Our mission statement calls us to Follow Christ, and invite others to follow Him also. I want to encourage you that we can still do this, even though we are pressing pause on meeting in person. I encourage you during this time to reach out to others and let them know that they are loved by you and loved by God. No matter where we meet, there is always power in the gospel of Jesus. We are still a church that gathers together, whether in person or online, and you belong here. We are here to support you, encourage you, and pray with you in all your needs. This season won’t last forever, so let’s keep growing together and looking to Jesus to light our path on this journey. 

In Christ,

Rev. Beth Graham

On Behalf of the Re-Entry Team: 

Margaret Adams, Suzette Betts, Connie Bryant, Beth Graham, Elaine Hernandez, Jesse Hernandez, Alecia Hilmer, Dale Ingle, Lynn Jansen, Cindy Malott, Betty Mitchell, Lyle Muller

November 3, 2020

Christmas eve candle lighting on November 8

YES… on Sunday night, November 8, at 5:30 PM we need you to bundle up and come be part of our Christmas Eve Candle Lighting service!  Since we won’t have in-person multiple packed out services, the Worship Team decided to take a video of us coming together outside to film in advance the Silent Night candle lighting ritual. We will use this video on December 24! Your household will join others as we line our driveway and parking lots with everyone. We want to record our joy as we pass the light one to another. Long term forecast says 50 degrees, so don a sweater or coat for the filming.

Here’s how it will work. After you park your car, we will hand you your candle(s). Then you go take the next spot in line. Members of households can line up shoulder to shoulder. Households will be two arms lengths apart. Greeters will be there to help you find your spot. We will start filming at 5:30 PM, so arrive about 10-15 minutes prior.

Imagine if you will, our annual Christmas Eve service on December 24. When we get to the singing of Silent Night at the end of the service, can you envision seeing all the faces from our congregation moving across your screen? We may not be physically together, but we certainly will be reminded of being together.  Please mark your calendar as we prepare for the birth.

NEWS FROM PASTOR ALECIA’S STUDY

LEADING CAUSES OF LIFE

With Deuteronomy 30:19b serving as our guide, I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live.  We will continue to look at scriptural strategies that remind us to say “yes” to live in Christ.  Even in the midst of the storms of 2020, God calls us to live by the power of the Spirit. 

Nov.  1 Generations of Love:  Blessing John 1:16

Nov.  8 Stewardship Sunday

Nov. 15 Not Just Wishful Thinking:  Hope Psalm 31:24

Nov. 22 Let Your Life Be About Life Eph 1:18-19

Nov. 29 Make Ready A People:  #morehope Luke 1:5-25. 57-80

Join us in worship on-line or on-site on Sundays at 10:00 AM.

WORSHIP ONE OF THREE WAYS

As a people of faith, we are called to worship. We are excited to offer:

On-Site — Worship with others from the congregation in the sanctuary at 10:00 AM.

Live-Stream – Worship from your home at 10:00 AM.

Recorded  — Worship at a time convenient for your schedule by watching the live recording.

All three give us an opportunity to participate as a church body in the act of worship.  To access either of the last two options, go to Facebook and type in either option: NL Methodist Streaming or First United Methodist Church of North Liberty. If you need additional help, contact the church office for assistance.

If you are attending worship in-person, on-site, just a reminder that masks are required.  Also, we open our main entrance doors at 9:50 AM, which allows our worship team time to make their preparations prior to your arrival.  The first three weeks had on-site attendance, including the worship team, of 32, 45 and 30.  Our NL Streaming is holding steady with the number of views.

We are excited to offer these three ways to worship, after all… isn’t that the main thing!

FALL 2020 STEWARDSHIP

What a year 2020 this has been.  COVID-19 has brought so many challenges to our lives and how we live and worship. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed, isolated, afraid, or in shock.  So much feels and is different. 

And yet some things remain: the abiding love of God, the connections of friendship and prayer within our congregation, member care, and our commitment to reach out in service to our neighbors and community. Our pastors and ministry teams are still just as active as before the pandemic – maybe more so!  

While we’re anxiously waiting to get back into our newly renovated church building at full capacity, monthly expenses continue such as utilities, insurance and mortgage payments. During this time of upheaval, I invite you to remember your church financially. I hope your circumstances will enable you to continue your usual contributions. If they have changed, please know we understand. Conversely, if you find you are able to make an additional gift beyond your normal amount that would be wonderful! 

This fall the Stewardship Team will not be mailing or collecting Commitment Cards towards next year’s giving. Please know that your gift, no matter its size, empowers us to carry out our church’s ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

Debbie Carter and Todd Hilmer, Stewardship Area Leaders

October 1, 2020

Staff Perish Relations Committee –Personnel
Volunteer and Communications Coordinator
The North Liberty First United Methodist Church is recruiting for a Volunteer and Communications Coordinator who will work alongside the Associate Pastor to expand our social media presence. Additionally, this position will coordinate individuals volunteering time to use their gifts and passions within a ministry
setting.


Qualifications and Aptitudes:


· Must be proficient in use of: Website design, Website maintenance, social media engagement, Excel, Word, Adobe Pro and other computer applications as needed.
· Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, conflict management skills, and current computer skills.
· Must possess a history of effective ability to work cooperatively with large groups of people such as our congregation, diverse individuals, and develop cohesive teams of volunteers.


This is a part time position (8 to 12 hours per week) which would occur at the church during business Hours and on Sunday morning during worship service.


Office Manager

The North Liberty First United Methodist Church is also recruiting for an Office Manager who will be responsible for overseeing daily office activities and performing related administrative duties. This person should have an understanding of church operations, be detail oriented, and a self-starter with little supervision from the Pastor(s).


Qualifications and Aptitudes:


· Must be proficient in use of: Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, Outlook,
· Must be willing to become proficient in Adobe Pro and Power Church and other computer applications as needed.
· Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, conflict management skills, and current computer skills.
· Must possess a history of effective ability to work cooperatively with all persons on an individual basis and with large groups of people such as our congregation.
· The ideal candidate is detail oriented, personable, can work independently with little supervision, takes initiative to start or complete necessary tasks
· Print, copy and scan.


This is a part time position (12 to 16 hours per week) which would occur at the church during business hours.
Ministry Purpose for both positions: To be an active participant in working toward the Vision and Mission of North Liberty First United Methodist Church.
Interested parties can send their resume and cover letter to SPRC Chairperson, Wendy Fahlgren,
wfahlgren@msn.com

A Place At The Table –
Thank You Church!!!!


Last month, our sermon series and church family focused on “A Place At The Table” — reaching out beyond our walls and the entire month was a wonderful success! Each week, we had a special opportunity for our congregation to “drive-thru” the church parking lot to share something special….
Sept. 6: We brought in place settings for the Inside-Out program, which helps people coming out of prison receive a few kitchen essentials that they need. Richard Grugin said “So far, we have made 20 kits of 2 or 4 table settings with many more boxes of new, unopened sets, as well as more boxes. There are some larger sets we will give to families.” He guessed our church donated about 50 place settings. Additionally, “We used $$ donated to add towels, dish rags, scrubber sponges, and dish detergent to each kit. Additional $$ will be used
to buy toiletries for the backpacks we prepare.”


Sept. 13: We were asked to help supply masks for children who would be going back to school and couldn’t afford masks. Pastor Beth reported we got donations of @ 100 masks. Sept 20: We were asked to help support our NL Food Pantry with donations of food and toiletries. Emily, the Pantry Volunteer & Service Coordinator, shared that we were able to supply the pantry with 403 1/2 lbs. of food and 114 1/2 lbs of toiletries.


Sept 27: COMMUNION — it was an opportunity for us to come to the church and take communion and/ or pick-up additional communion for others who could not get to the church. We had a number of people stop by and partake of communion as well as taking some to share with others for a total of 68.
What a wonderful church family to reach beyond the usual giving and help with each of these very important ministries. If you still want to contribute, feel free to stop by the church office and drop off for any of these ministries! THANK YOU CHURCH-you truly made “A Place At The Table”!!
Lynn Jansen

NEWS FROM PASTOR ALECIA’S STUDY…
EXPANDED 10:00 WORSHIP IN OCTOBER

Starting October 11, at 10:00 am, we will be offering expanded worship
opportunities at First UMC:
· We will continue Live Stream coverage of worship which you can find at NL
Streaming on Facebook

· Pending approval from our District Superintendent, On-Site participation in the sanctuary for up to 100 people.
While the Live Stream will look familiar, there will be some differences in the On-Site experience from prior to the pandemic. If you are coming to the On-Site, we will open the doors at 9:50 AM. An usher will greet you and help direct you to your seat To be in the On-Site service, masks are required. We will have extra masks available if you have forgotten one. Seating will be reduced to 100 and spread throughout the space to allow for distancing. We won’t be handing out bulletins; however, you can download one to your phone if you like! Prayer requests can be filled out and placed in the offering boxes, which will be located at the doors. The coffee bar will be closed; however, you may bring in your own! Passing of the Peace will now be Waving in the Parking Lot! The nursery will be closed. We will start with worship only at this time. Praising God is still happening!
Watch for a video walking you through the new format.


For the Sake of Life
This is a season of saying ‘yes’ to life. While one season shifts to another, if we
look we will find flourishing and abundant life all around us. This we do instead of
focusing on what isn’t working. Saying “yes” to life in Christ offers us the
opportunity to see the assets that create possibility and that create new ways of
flourishing together in this world.

WORSHIP ONLINE WITH US.  Beginning March 22 join us online for worship!  At this time we will hold one service at 10:00 AM.  We invite you to stay at home! Here is the link:  www.facebook.com/108329567465372/videos/ 

Each worship will be a full service, conducted by a team of 6-8.  There will be opportunities to sing, pray, listen and serve.  If you have children, invite them to participate as well.

So grab your cup of coffee, your Bible and expect to find God’s presence with us this week.  God’s church is alive, well and re-imagined!

Head on over to our COVID-19 UPDATES tab to find more information on all of our ministries online offerings.

NORTH LIBERTY FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH POSITION STATEMENT ON THE 2019 GENERAL CONFERENCE 
TRADITIONAL PLAN DECISION 
This is The Position Statement that was passed by church vote on January 26th, 2020.
” North Liberty First United Methodist Church is a gathering of individuals from a diverse and evolving community with varied backgrounds and lifestyles. We recognize the abundance of God’s amazing grace and that all of us have unique gifts and relationships with God. We believe and affirm that all human beings are individuals of sacred worth, created equally in God’s image. We strive to recognize God in everyone. Therefore, we welcome everyone to be fully included in the life of our church. 
Our faith calls us to support all who seek the blessings Christ makes available. It is why we, the members of North Liberty First United Methodist Church, reject the 2019 United Methodist Church General Conference decision to adopt the doctrine known as the Traditional Plan. It is why we affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning persons, including those choosing to marry before God, choosing to preside over the weddings, serving as United Methodist clergy or serving in church leadership. 
Our faith calls us to be driven by compassion, mercy and the love of Christ. We are the hands and feet of Christ, serving each other and letting our actions speak loud and clear in North Liberty, in God’s church and in God’s world. We support each other in our journey of faith and encourage one another to reach beyond our comfort zones to follow and invite others to follow Jesus Christ. 
All are welcome in our church. 
Our Mission Statement: To follow and invite others to follow Jesus Christ.”

Upcoming Important Dates :

May 2020, Scavenger Hunt Challenge Winners!! Thank you to all teams who participated in spreading God’s love !


Save The Date!