Saturday 5/23

May 23, 2020

Hello Manteno Church of the Nazarene!

It has been….too many days… of Shelter at Home. I cannot even remember what it is like not to Shelter at Home. 66 days ago we held our last on site church service. It has been 0 days since I haven’t thought about shooting the cardinal outside my window!I hope you are managing better than I am or cardinals and pastors everywhere are going to get shot!

Myself, and the rest of your church staff thank you for trying to stay connected with each other. Please do not quit these efforts. In fact, try to include even more people in your circle in the coming days! Have any of you made new friends and have been able to encourage people in your neighborhoods?

The Church Board, myself and the rest of your church staff also thank you for generously supporting the church with your tithes and offerings. Giving is down but steady. We know some people in financial difficulties cannot give right now but those who can have been and we appreciate it. The easiest way to give is to online. Please go to our website, www.mantenonazarene.org, and click ‘Give’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Thank you for your support and for trying to stay connected with each other.

I have two items I want to share with you. 

First, we have the opportunity to help feed children and families that need help at this time. Manteno Public Schools have been feeding kids every day during this Shelter at Home. That stops Friday, May 29th. Eight churches in Manteno are joining together to pick up that service. On Monday, June 1st, we begin. We need volunteers and we need money to pay for the meals. There are two ways to help pay for these meals for families. 

  • Go to our website, www.mantenonazarene.org, click ‘Give’ in the upper right hand corner and then contribute to the fund ‘Kids Meals’. 
  • Text the words ‘MCN GIVE’ to the number, 77977 and then follow the link. Contribute to the fund ‘Kids Meals’.

To volunteer, go to our website, when the banner scrolls across the screen, click on it to sign-up to volunteer.

Lastly, we all look forward to being able to safely gather again in corporate worship. Being together matters! But we all want to know we are safe and that others are safe to be around. I will not venture into the political debate on this. I do not and your Church Board does not make decisions for the future of our church according to political debates. We are listening to the CDC, medical and science professionals, our Church of the Nazarene officials, and our government officials at all levels. 

Each day we act responsibly moves us one day closer to being able to re-open up new areas of our lives again. Each day we think about the other person, we move us one day closer. I am not worried about my rights. I am thinking about how I impact others with my attitudes and decisions. 

Our Chicago Central District Superintendent, Dr. Larry McKain, issued a statement on May 23rd concerning our churches. It is posted on our website under VIRUS Updates. 

Below is a diagram that we are working on as we cooperate with the CDC, Church of the Nazarene, State of Illinois, and Village of Manteno. Hold on. Be diligent. If you can’t hold, call me or someone else and say HELP. We need to be here for each other!

Hold on! Help someone through this!

Pastor Ken Garner

Church Gatherings Schedule 2020

Saturday 5/23

unnamedMay 23, 2020

To the Chicago Central District:
 
President Trump issued a statement on Friday, May 22, that deemed all houses of worship as “essential” and should be allowed to reopen as soon as this coming Sunday. We so appreciate our President’s regard for religious freedom and recognizing the vital role each of our churches play in the community. As you can imagine, this has raised many questions for our pastors, leaders, and congregations about if, and when, we can reopen. While we all want to be together as soon as we are able, we probably won’t remember years down the road which Sunday we resumed meeting together. But a church that gathers too soon without taking proper precautions may be seen in a negative light in the community if our actions unnecessarily spread illness and death.
 
For this reason, I, along with the unanimous support of our District Advisory Board, am recommending that churches not hold in-person services at this time. Continuing to hold online services or drive-in services is encouraged while we remain in Phase 2 of the Restore Illinois plan. We encourage every church to be taking steps right now to build their reopening plan for the next 3-4 months so that, when the day comes, they will be ready to gather safely and responsibly.
 
The decisions we make are not based in fear, but in love. Our goal as pastors, church boards, and congregations is to preserve the unity of the church. These are challenging days, but we will make it through together. Hebrews 12:14 reminds us to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” In these days, let us be known as a people of peace. Let us lavish grace on one another when we don’t see eye to eye. Let us be known for our kindness and care, so that by our actions, others may come to know the joy, love, and hope of Jesus Christ. Thank you for serving so well. Love and appreciate you all more than you know.
 
Larry McKain, Superintendent
Chicago Central District

Wednesday 4/15

From Pastor Ken's Barber's Chair...

I bribed Pastor Jack McCormick for it!

Read Luke 24:13ff about the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus joined their walk. It reminds me that no matter how strange this Easter was and this roller coaster pandemic is, that the Resurrected Jesus joins our Road any and every time we journey with people.

Jesus said that every time we take care of someone, we take care of him. He said where 2 or 3 gather in his name, he is there is our midst.

Every time we take the time to be with people, we take the time to be with Jesus.

Call someone today. Text them. Something. Let Jesus join you and someone else on your journey today!

Seriously, call someone right now!

Together in Christ!

Monday 4/13

From Pastor Ken's Loft...

He is Risen!

But in John 20:24-25, the disciple Thomas did not believe it because he was not present the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples. He did not believe Mary, the 1st evangelist, and he did not believe the other 10 disciples. He needed to touch Jesus' wounds himself.

Yesterday was Easter, Resurrection Sunday. Did it 'feel' like it while sheltering-at-home? Where were the baptisms? Where were all the people I could join saying, 'He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!'? Maybe you could not be with family yesterday. All of Easter's traditions gone in one Pandemic. Maybe we needed to 'touch' the Body of Christ yesterday and remember how Jesus Christ has delivered all of us to new life over the years. Just being physically present helps us do that sometimes. But it was not to be yesterday.

Or was it? Thomas found out that Jesus was alive. If our world ever needs to know and to see the wounds of Jesus risen from the dead and living in its midst, it is today. I hope you see the wounds of Jesus on his triumphant body and realize that in the midst of 'different' and 'challenging' He Has Overcome!

You Will Overcome!

Jesus is alive in your woundedness and He will help you help someone else to overcome!

Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ! Romans 8:37-39.

Together in Christ!