September Stirrings: First UMC In-Person Gatherings

09.03.20 | by Troy Howell

Dear Friend in the Messiah,

We’ve missed gathering, one with another, as the Body of Christ in our connection at First United Methodist Church, Hershey. In my two months with you, I have met with various leaders, committees, ministry staff, parishioners, and small groups. Now it is time – providing the COVID19 Pandemic situation remains stable –for us to explore some more intentional in-person gatherings for prayer and worship. These “September Stirrings” are detailed below and on our events page. First, however, I want to share that your FIRST UMC Leadership – (Trustees, Stewardship & Finance, and Council) – has approved purchase/installation of a “live-streaming” system in the Sanctuary. This is a vital step for ministry, and for our eventual return to some form of Sunday morning indoor worship. Installation of cameras and a video transmission system will enable us to “televise” worship services in real-time for those uncomfortable or unable to attend in-person worship. At the same time, live-streaming will allow us to move “worship activity” (organ/piano music, preaching, prayer) inside the sanctuary. The reality is that the outstanding video production of worship services packaged for on-line participation cannot continue when we return indoors for sanctuary worship (not without additional staff support, that is.) Shawn Gingrich is already serving sacrificially, and cannot be expected to resume “live” Sunday worship responsibilities while producing the “packaged video” worship. So stay-tuned. We will be on a waiting list for the equipment to arrive, and then for the installation to occur. It will not happen in the next month, but we will keep you updated.

In the interim, the “in person gathering” opportunities are listed below. Please review and contact the office if you desire to attend. It is important that we adhere to participation limits in the first two events, and that in each of the events we practice distancing and face-covering guidelines, as well as recording those in attendance should there be a need for contact tracing.

Together, let us gather one with another, and let us do so in the spirit of Jesus’ sacrificial and servant-hood love, and let us lean into these “September Stirrings” that can guide us in future gatherings. God’s Embrace In the Deliverance God Surely Is Seeking to Give Us …

Pastor Troy Howell

Sept. 16 @ Noon – A Meditation & Music Gathering in First UMC Hershey Sanctuary

Sept. 20 @ 5:30 p.m. – Outdoor Gathering for Community & Worship Acts in Chocolate Town Park 

Sept. 27 @ 5:30 p.m. – Outdoor Gathering for Community & Worship Acts at Camp Catherine

Click the link for each event for more information.