Holy Week Update from Pastor Chris 4/9/20

Dear Congregation and Friends of Asbury UMC,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I must admit that Holy Week has felt different this year.  It is strange knowing that we will not be in physical community to remember the death of Jesus and to celebrate his resurrection.  Yet, I encourage you to remember that though we are in isolation, we are not alone.  We belong to a great, worldwide community of believers who will be celebrating this amazing demonstration of God’s love and power.  I encourage you to take part of the worship experiences and worship with joy and praise as people who live resurrected lives.

As we enter the weekend, I provide you with the following updates:

  • All in-person worship services have been suspended through April.  At the end of the month, we will evaluate and make a decision regarding services in May.
  • Tonight, April 9, I invite you to participate in our Holy Thursday communion service at 7:00 P.M.  In our separation, I would still like to allow you to experience the grace made available in the body and blood of Christ.  This is different but it is temporary until we can gather together once again.  Have your bread and grape juice available and I will consecrate them remotely during the service.
  • Tomorrow, April 10, you are asked to participate in our Good Friday Tenebrae service at 12:00 P.M.  This service will walk us through the final hours of Jesus’ life as we enter the darkness of his death.
  • On Easter Sunday, April 12, our service will be posted at 6:30 A.M. so that you can still participate in a Sunrise Service at your home with a cup of coffee on your back deck.  If you are not an early riser, the service will be waiting for your viewing later in the day.
  • All of our worship services will continue to be accessible online. I encourage you to visit our website (http://asburyop.com) and Facebook page for the link to the video.  You will be able to pray, sing, and listen to the sermon as if you worshiped with us in-person.  I would also encourage you to create a Facebook Watch Party.  This is a virtual party through Facebook that allows you invite Facebook friends to watch the video together.  This is a great way to involve any of your friends who might not attend a church.
  • I encourage you to continue to give your tithes and offerings.  We may not be gathering weekly but the church is still active.  We are still supporting our ministries and missions in this time of great need.  To help in your giving, there is a link on our webpage (http://asburyop.com) that will allow you to submit your tithes and offerings via a credit/debit card or transfer from your checking or savings account.  You will also have the ability to check a box on the form to offset the processing fees associated with this method.  Of course, you are also welcome to use Bill Pay through your bank or mail a check (16 College Dr., Orange Park, FL 32065).
  • In light of the stay-at-home order, the church office is still closed.  Bethany and I are still able to be reached by calling the church phone number or by email.  The church phone number has been forwarded and will be answered.  Emails will be answered.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I announce that Zenaida Andone passed away on the afternoon of April 8.  She was a faithful follower of Christ and had a joyous spirit that was infectious.  If you would like to send a card to Hernan, his address is 989 8th Ave NE, Largo, FL 33770.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to the church by phone (904.272.0110) or email info@asburyop.com.  You can also reach me by email (pastor@asburyop.com).

I encourage you to stay safe and follow the instructions of local health officials and the CDC.  May God continue to bless you with the grace and love that is greater than our fears!

In Christ,

Pastor Chris