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         Weekly Update!

Welcome to our weekly update, which is planned to arrive weekly on Tuesday or Wednesday. If anyone you know would like to receive the update, please direct them to http://grayumc.org/news


Worship services and gatherings have been suspended indefinitely at Gray UMC, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes all Sunday School, children and youth activities, and Bible Studies.  Please watch our worship service on Facebook starting at 10:30 am Sundays.  We will update with more information as it becomes available.  Thank you!

 Click here to be taken to our Facebook Page. 

From Pastor Dennis 

 
What to Do in “Anxious Times”



    As COVID – 19 continues to threaten people’s health and jobs, the havoc on the world’s economy, and the isolation created by our need for social distancing to slow the spread of this virus, it seems a bit of an understatement to call these anxious times.  Let me offer “five” things that can help you.

•    Read the Holy Scriptures.  Take your mind off your anxieties and feed on God’s written Word.
•    Meditate the Holy Scriptures.  Meditate on what you read.  What is God saying to you?
•    Pray the Holy Scriptures.  Let the Scripture text itself show you how and what to pray for now.
•    Worship with the Community of God’s Church in Online Worship each Sunday at 10:30 am.
•    Text with the Community of God’s Church and stay in conversation with each other. 

          “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” … Philippians 4:6 – 7 
 

News and Events

What to expect during our Worship time this Sunday

 Sunday, March 29

 

We will worship together ONLINE Only.  This week you will see the video on Facebook as a premiered video at 10:30am, and later on our Vimeo site.

http://facebook.com/grayumc
 
New Opportunities to re-imagine what it means to be the church



In the midst of these unsettled times we have a wonderful opportunity to re-imagine what it means to be the church.  We have several in our community of faith who are especially vulnerable to the effects of the Covid-19 Coronavirus.  In an effort to limit their exposure and vulnerability to the virus it is necessary for them to refrain from visiting food stores, pharmacies etc…  however, this remains a critical need that must be met.  

To address this need we will begin to provide “Shoppers” for these individuals.  If you, or another member of the Gray UMC family you are aware of, would like to take advantage of this ministry you simply need to call Dawn Rambo @ 423-477-3792 between the hours of 9am-2pm Monday through Friday, and she will put you in contact with one of our volunteer “Shoppers.”  Once you have made contact with your “Shopper,” he or she will make arrangements with you to form an item list, payment process, and a plan for drop off.  If you would like to be added as one of our Gray UMC “Shoppers” you need only call Dawn and she’ll add you to the team.  Let us continue to be the church😊 

Financial Giving to the Church


How?
       One of the challenges for churches who do not meet and gather in their sanctuaries for public worship is “how do we support our church financially?”  Many of us still give to the church by placing our offering in the offering plate that gets passed on Sunday.  What do we do now?  Well, let me tell you what not to do first.  Don’t hold your offering and wait until we gather again in public worship in the sanctuary.  We just don’t know how long we will be doing only online worship.  The current suspension is for two Sundays, March 15 and March 22, but given the CDC recommendation for schools to be out 8 weeks, our suspension on services could be elongated.  And there are still bills to be paid and salaries to be paid.  So, what are your options?
ONLINE GIVING

       Gray United Methodist Church provides an ONLINE giving option on our website and this may be expanded to our FACEBOOK page, if we can make that happen.  It is easy to use, and you can set it up for one-time gifts or do weekly or bi-weekly or monthly ongoing gifts.

https://www.grayumc.org/give/


MAIL CHECK

       For those who like to write checks, you can write a check and mail it into the church office.  The office is open Monday – Friday from 9 am to 2 pm.  Here is how you make out your envelope.

Gray United Methodist Church
P O Box 8068
Gray, TN 37615
Attention:  Connie Helton

BRING CHECK TO CHURCH OFFICE
       Again, the church office is open Monday – Friday from 9 am to 2 pm.  Dawn Rambo is the Administrative Assistant in the front office.  You can drop your check off at the office with Dawn anytime Monday through Friday from 9 am – 2 pm.
       If you have any questions about how to give online, just call the church office and talk with Dawn.  She will walk you through it over the phone.  Thank you for your continued support of Gray UMC during the Coronavirus.
Online Bible Studies

Due to the church closure “The New Testament You Never Knew: Exploring the Context, Purpose, and Meaning of the Story of God” Bible Study has been cancelled.  Pastor Dennis and Pastor Bryan are both leading online Bible Studies through Right Now Media.  Pastor Bryan’s has started this week; Pastor Dennis will begin his at the end of the week.  If you have questions about these studies, you are welcome to call either of the Pastors or the church office.
Youth Group Volunteers



Adrian is looking to establish a regular group of volunteers in the youth program. There are a variety of ways to get involved from providing food to helping facilitate activities. If you would be interested in volunteering in any capacity, please email Adrian at Adrian@grayumc.org
The Three Rivers District United Methodist Women “Day Apart Service” scheduled for Sunday, March 29, 2020 has been cancelled.
Holston Home 5th Sunday Offering is March 29



Please consider giving generously to Holston Home for Children this Fifth Sunday, March 29 so that young people will continue to experience God’s grace, love, and hope for a future.
Pending Administrative Board approval, we will have a Community Meal on Thursday, April 2, 6-7 pm.     Since the church building is closed due to the coronavirus, this meal will be a drive through/takeout only.  Our community neighbors will drive up, and church volunteers will take the meal to their cars.  We welcome help with financial donations for these meals; if you wish to donate, please mark “Community Meal” on your check or envelope.  For more information contact Emilee Little.



Community Outreach:  Every first Thursday each month (sponsored by G.O.D.S. Small group).
 
Free-Free-Free Community Meal, April 2, 6-7 pm at GUMC Family Life Center.   The first meal will be spaghetti, bread, salad, dessert. We welcome help with financial donations, dessert (cakes, pies, or cookies) help with set up and take down of tables/chairs.  This is a great way to fellowship with our Gray Community!  For more information contact Emilee Little.
 
THANK YOU to everyone who donated Sunday, March 8 to the Holston Conference Response to Tennessee Tornadoes.  We were able to send $ 625 to help our neighbors in need.  Thank you for your generosity!

Food Pantry



Food Pantry News:


Food Pantry News: Effective immediately, Alex Beverly has graciously accepted the role as Food Pantry Coordinator!  Alex has played an integral role in our recent pantry initiatives, and is well acquainted with our policies, procedures, and great volunteers!  If you have any questions/concerns regarding the ministry of the Gray Food Pantry they can now be directed to alexbeverly2011@hotmail .com.   Thank you Alex for your willingness to serve!

Our food pantry has remained open, Mondays and Fridays, 10 am to noon.  Our volunteers meet those in need of food assistance at the front door of the church, and help them carry the food to their car, if needed. 

The most urgent needs for our Church Pantry this week are condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard), cooking oil, canned chicken, pasta sauce, sugar, and flour.  Also needed are laundry detergent, toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Thank you for all your donations!


Thanks again to all of our volunteers!  If you’d like to get involved, simply email pastorbryan@grayumc.org



 
The Food Pantry Volunteer Schedule
for the remainder of March and April is:
 

 

Friday, March 27th – Bryan Orchard

Monday, March 30th – John/Joanna Baker

 

Friday, April 3 – Laura Weaver, Becky Olterman

Monday, April 6 – Alex Beverly, Wendy Brock

Friday, April 10 – Bob and Sandra Denney

Monday, April 13 – Connie Ripley, Connie Helton

Friday, April 17 – Dennis Zollinger, Jean Holt

Monday, April 20 – Randy and Cathy Humphries

Friday, April 24 – Rev. Bryan Orchard

Monday, April 27 – John and Joanna Baker

Our Prayer Requests for the Week.

These prayer requests were collected by our prayer team, and we ask that you include them in your prayers this week.  Prayer is very important in our lives, and we believe that praying together as the body of Christ is essential.

Please remember these people as often as you can this week.


The prayer requester is listed first, followed by the person they are requesting prayer for.

From Sue Hall for Sarah Lowe Banner (severe pneumonia; no COVID-19 at this time) 

From Bo Sheffey - Aunt Vira - stir crazy @ Cornerstone Village 

JB - all of those who are afflicted with Aunt Vira's confinement malady

Helen Copas
 

Thank you for your prayers.

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