Pastor Linda Settles
The work of the Church is pandemic proof
Dear Friends of Green Trails:
It continues to be challenging to not be in face-to-face community at least weekly. We miss your faces. We miss your hugs. We miss your smiles and the sounds of your voices..both in talking and singing in Praise to our Creator!
However, we continue to know that this is the best course of action for now. We can’t gather according to the guidelines for St. Louis County, and we are advised by our Bishop Farr of the Missouri Annual Conference to follow the most conservative guideline provided. To that end, the good sense of knowing that we are not quite ready to gather in any size group until the curve is flattened to insure the safety and health of all, remains our foremost priority.
That all being said…gathering does not define a Church. We’ve been challenged for years to “get out of the building.” We’ve worked very hard for that goal…whether it be our work at Green Trails Elementary, the Parkway Pantry or Faust Park. And turns out, that work is pandemic proof!
Here’s how Green Trails Church, and you its steadfast members, continue to be the Church:
Porch Drop Tuesdays. Green Trails Church has really resonated with the work of serving the food-challenged in the last few years. Through our work with Circle of Concern, we learned that “hunger hides in West County,” and we’ve made it our mission to go to the hiding places. Though Green Trails Elementary is closed, and therefore we can’t not do our weekly work with Friday Food, we can work with Parkway Pantry. During the school year, Parkway Pantry serves about 160 families per week. At the last family box distribution on May 5, the Pantry provided supply boxes for nearly 400 families—roughly 2.5 times the regular need. We played a small part in that by contributing diapers and wipes, and for the April 14 box, we contributed special needs foods: gluten free noodles, nut-free butter, and vegetarian soups.
In a normal year, Circle of Concern is stocked up for summer on food products and personal care items by two major collection drives by the Postal Service and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Neither of those drives were conducted due to the concerns of Covid-19. So, in the middle of a pandemic and when the need for food and personal care products is skyrocketing, the food pantry does not have it’s main supplies. We created Porch Drop Tuesdays as a sanitary and safe means to contribute to this cause and do the work of the Church. So for the past two weeks (May 5 and May 12), we have collected “Anything by corn and green beans” and soap and clothes detergent. Seems a simple gift, right?
For those of you that could not get out to deliver or “porch drop”, we are so grateful for the monetary donations..over $700 for Parkway Pantry, and at least $300 for Circle of Concern! Also remember that Instacart and Shipt can deliver to the Porch Drop as well!
Donut Ministry When Covid-19 Quarantine began, it quickly came on Business Manager Zufan Halimariam’s heart to honor the health care workers. At that time, the idea was a bit overwhelming. How do we do that as a small Church and are restaurants open and working to partner? We soon learned that our partner, Donut Palace, was doing just that..taking donations to health care workers all over the County. So, we asked them if we could direct our weekly budget for donuts to donations to workers at St. Luke’s hospital. They not only said yes, but offered to match our donation! On May 3, they delivered our donation to the Respiratory Therapists. On May 10, the donation went to the ICU. We’re schedule for a delivery to the Emergency Room on May 17! If we can’t gather in ministry, may our ministry give joy to others! Check out the Zoom interview with Donut Palace owner, Ann Saladin, here!
Covid-19 Zoom Diaries Since we can’t gather, we decided to stay connected by finding ways to connect. What are you doing as members during our time in Quarantine? Thus, Covid-19 Zoom Diaries was born. The premiere episode featured Dr. Stephanie Kuhlman, who is working on the front lines of the Mercy Covid Testing Center. Check it out on our website at this link, and be sure to tune in for the next episode!
Mozambique Covid-19 has certainly arrived in Mozambique, but there are no testing centers and no health care on every corner, nor transportation to the health care centers that do exist. We directed our Easter offering to the efforts to get transportation for those needing health care. This is made more challenging by the threat of civil war. Please continue to pray for this signature mission!
Worship Your Worship team has worked diligently over the past 8 weeks to bring Worship to you in some meaningful manner. Worship is recorded on Thursday morning, edited, and made available on the website, Youtube, and all the social media outlets. by no later than 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. To get notified when Worship is available, contact Amee Colvin for text messaging. We also notify via our social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are on Social Media, please share the links to worship, and or direct folks to umcgt.org. This is another fantastic means of Outreach! If you don’t see the weekly video when you tune in at 9 a.m., be sure at hit refresh on your webpage. It should pop up! Be sure to tune in this week, as I will share the great testimony we learned about our ministry at Porch Drop Tuesday this week when I do our Welcome!
Thank you for all your work to continue to be the Church. We will gather again soon. But the work of the Holy Spirit has not been quarantined!
Blessings, peace and good health,
Director, Outreach Ministries