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 As we begin these summer months, I can’t help but think about where we were a year ago.  If the weather was decent, we were able to come together in the north parking lot to worship.  We then went back to on-line only when the weather turned bad in the Fall.  Fortunately, the COVID numbers came down and we were able to come together and worship in the Sanctuary.  Yes, I know that it was in a limited capacity, but I am very pleased with our leadership here at CLUMC as they have throughout this whole time put the well-being of the congregation first, even when other churches in the community were fully open.

 I want to share with you that the Ad Council at their May meeting changed some of our COVID Protocols.  You will find it later in this issue of the Chimes in an article with the changes that have been adopted effective May 30th.  What is exciting in one way is that if you have been fully vaccinated, masks are optional for you during worship.  If you haven’t been vaccinated, masks are still required.  My friends, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are on the honor system when it comes to masking or not.  I ask you to remember that throughout all of this we have been operating under the Three Simple Rules passed down from John Wesley – “Do Good, Do No Harm, and Stay in Love with God.”

 I’m also excited about what will be taking place the last Sunday of June, July, and August!  In the past we have had a joint worship service in Molly McGowan Park with 1st Congregational and Galilean Lutheran churches.  After last years’ service, Pastor Harlan and myself had a couple of conversations about how well received and enjoyable it was to come together and worship.  Out of those conversations, we made the decision that the three churches would come together during the summer months of June, July, and August on the last Sunday of each month.  I have to admit that I am very excited about joining with our brothers and sisters from those two churches to worship the God of us all.  Pastor Harlan and 1st Congregational will lead the service in June, we here at CLUMC will lead the service in July, and Galilean will lead the service in August.

 I’m also excited to share with you that we began using our new camera system for our livestream of worship on May 23rd.  I want to thank those who served on our Virtual Ministry Task Group for their work in getting this project done.  Also, this group has been working on building a new and improved website for the church.  If you will allow me to say this – there was a silver lining in this whole COVID situation.  We have joined the 21st century in our technology!  I also believe that during this time we have also become aware of how important it is to be in fellowship with one another.  I will admit that during this time I had come to take for granted some of the personal visits, the in-person face time, and just being around people.  I now cherish even more so the time I can have with people in-person.  I hope and pray that each of you will have come to that same conclusion.

 Why do I say that you ask?  Well, God created us to be in communion, to be in community with one another.  We were never created to be lone wolves.

 In closing I want to share intentionally this benediction-

 “May the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always!”

Shalom – Pastor Dave