Circles of Care: Reaching Out to the Wesley Family

With the shelter in place order, we could become disconnected
from one another. We can’t come to worship or go to lunch
together. Small groups for study, fellowship, exercise, and fun
are all canceled.
What CAN we do? We can reach out over the phone.

  • Call Pastor Karen if you are willing to call seven people a week.
  • Commit to calling your seven people
  • Check on how they are feeling; body, mind & spirit
  • Pray together
  • If you hear of any needs such as needing groceries, picking up prescriptions, etc, pass on the information to Pastor Karen. There are volunteers who have stepped up and are willing to help.

The lyrics of the hymn “We Are the Church” reminds us:
“The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.”

Let’s reach out and stay connected during these difficult days.
We will always be the Wesley family together.

What is Zoom

ZOOM is a video conferencing webpage.

  • You can log-in with a smartphone, tablet or computer. You will need to download the app. You can then go online to zoom.us
  • Click on “Join a meeting” and input the meeting ID and password listed in the Encounter article.
  • You can also use your regular telephone. Call the phone number listed in the Encounter article, input the meeting ID and password when prompted. You will then be able to listen but not see others.

Wesley Updates

The Wesley Office is closed during the “Stay at Home” order. No small groups are meeting. The staff is working limited hours in the office. You can still contact the office by phone and leave a message or send an email. Pastor Karen is available by phone or email, which can be found in the church directory.

  • The Food Pantry is continuing to give food bags each Thursday morning beginning at 9 a.m. until they run out. They are in need of TOILET PAPER. You can deliver items to the food pantry on Tuesday mornings or call Paula Belden (her phone number can be found in the church directory).
  • Base Camp is serving to-go meals on Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m.
  • The Pink Cow is closed until further notice.
  • The April Encounter is available here. Check it out for more information including “Words from the Pastor.”

Words from Pastor Karen

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who pass the night in the shadow of
Shaddai, say: “YHWH, my refuge and my mountain fortress, my God, in whom I trust!”
3 For YHWH says: “I will rescue you from the snare, and shield you from poisoned arrows.
I will cover you with my pinions; under my wings, you will take refuge; my faithfulness will
shield you. You have no need to fear the prowlers of the night or the arrow that flies by
day, the plague that lurks in the shadows or the scourge that stalks at noon.”
Psalm 91:1-6 The Inclusive Bible

It has been a whirlwind of change these last few weeks. When the news of the COVID-19
the virus began to make the rounds in March we made changes to how the campus was
cleaned. I ordered individual communion cups in preparation for April. Staff cleaned
chairs, tables, and counters with a bleach solution. The news became grimmer. Worship
was canceled. Myra and I scrambled to learn how to Livestream the worship service.
(Think of Livestream like live TV back in the ’50s.) A shelter in place order was announced and we called study groups, recovery groups, and building renters to let them
know they were not allowed to meet in the church. I met with Base Camp & food pantry
leaders to discuss how to go forward with feeding those that are hungry. And each day
the news became more and more frightening. I rested in the knowledge of the promises
of Psalm 91.

Verse 4 reads “I will cover you with my pinions; under my wings, you will take refuge.” The
pinions of a bird are the outermost section of the wings. It is under the wings, under the
pinions where the fluffy, soft downy feathers may be found. Here is where YHWH calls us
to rest. In the coming days when the news is frightening, when you grieve from all you
have lost, when it seems there is too little hope, remember that under God’s wings we
find shelter.

Peace,
Pastor Karen

United Methodist General Conference to be Postponed

Commission on the General Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2020

Nashville, Tenn.: The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference has been notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota and the Mayor of Minneapolis to postpone or cancel events involving 50+ people in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. As a result of this decision, the Executive Committee is announcing that the General Conference will be postponed and will not occur May 5-15, 2020 as planned.

Out of concerns for the health and safety of all affected amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Executive Committee has been monitoring the situation for some time and had scheduled a teleconference meeting of the full Commission of the General Conference for March 21 to discuss plans for the event. Only the full commission is able to set a new date or decide on an alternate plan. That meeting will go forward as scheduled, although it is not known at this time how quickly they will be able to announce new dates.

“This news is not unexpected based on the current guidance from health officials and we expect to move forward with new plans as quickly as possible,” said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission.

While the Commission was already considering many requests to postpone the event due to the growing pandemic and processing the complexities which would result from that decision, the announcement by the convention center that those dates will no longer be possible means that the church will not incur significant financial penalties for cancellation of the contract. 

“Our focus in this moment is not solely on the gathering of the General Conference for the work we have been called to do, but is on the individuals, families, churches and communities around the world whose lives are being impacted by this pandemic,” said Simpson.  “We recognize the struggle to deal with the physical, emotional and spiritual needs which come with the unknown. We are confident that local United Methodist churches will be finding new ways to be in community with their neighbors and meet their evolving needs.”

For more information, visit https://www.umc.org/en/

Important Campus Updates

We have shut down the Wesley campus as the city of Fresno has called for a shelter in place order beginning Thursday, 3/19 through until March 31. 

  • The office will be closed and all group and class meetings suspended. Pastor Karen will be checking for messages. You can also reach Karen for emergencies. Her phone number is in the Instant Church Directory.
  • The Food Pantry will continue to give food bags as long as they are able. They are in need of Ramen noodles and toilet paper.
  • Base Camp has been temporarily canceled but hopes to re-open soon.
  • The Pink Cow is closed at least through April 14.
  • The United Methodist General Conference has been postponed though no new date has been set yet.