Pastor

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Rev. Rhonda Kouterick

First United Methodist Church in Horseheads

1034 W. Broad St.

Horseheads, N. Y.  14845

Telephone: (607) 739-1943

Email:  hhdsfirstUMC@stny.rr.com

 

 

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Pastor’s Ponderings:

The Reunion

It was a quandary. What to do? How to do? Whether to do?

We were the planners, the deciders.

Would we hold the 99th Annual Family Reunion or not? Should we? Could we do it safely? Would anyone come? All the planning for the big 100th next summer really needed to begin.

 

And so, we took the plunge and did it. It didn’t look the same; the menu was different; the whole format had changed, we’d never done it that way before. And yet the family came together – Even wearing masks, sitting in socially distanced lawn chairs under the trees, we were glad to see one another; visiting happened even without hugs and handshakes. We served ice cream and cupcakes with bottled water, iced tea, and juice boxes; it was scant fare compared to the bounty normally presented by the many excellent cooks in the family; we smiled good naturedly under our masks for the group picture; (wonder if they’ll discern that, in a century?)

 

We did the work, made the arrangements, held the reunion and afterward collapsed in an exhausted, relieved chorus of “We did it!”

 

It’s a quandary. When to open the church? How to open? Should we open?

What do we need to do to help people stay safe? Would a parking lot service work? Would the kids stay in the cars? Would people be able to hear? Would the neighbors complain of the noise? And not just when, but what to open – which activities can be done safely, legally? Worship, rummage sale, meetings, Sunday School, Nursery School, Scouts? How to meet the requirements of the paperwork? So many questions before us, all the while knowing that mistakes could cost lives.

 

Yet, we’re so much wanting the Church Family to be together. We need fellowship and the joy of seeing each other’s faces even behind our masks. We want to be in worship together and online. It’s been a long summer and a very long six months. We’ve had some quiet time to realize how crucial our faith is to living full, abundant lives.

 

And so, we’re taking the plunge; we have a planning team; we’ve ordered the signs, the hand sanitizer, the disinfecting wipes and all the rest. We’re moving toward opening with social distancing, humming along to the hymns, doing what will keep us safe and well. We’ve ordered special Communion Supplies for World Communion Sunday in October. And at this point we think the opening date will be Sunday September 20 with one service at 9:30 a.m. Reservations should be called in each week to the Church Office by Friday, noon. We will seat as many as possible, and use the Fellowship Hall for any overflow. We’re just getting the word out. For many, the on-line service will continue to be the safest option and so we will continue live on Facebook, and posting to our Website.  

 

Looking forward to being with you soon.   Pastor Rhonda

 

 
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