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E-Circuit Rider

A publication for making disciples of the family and friends of
Courthouse Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach, VA.


Friday, September 24, 2021
Dear <<First Name>>,
The first appointment that Kevin and I had right after graduating from seminary at Candler School of Theology, Emory University was to Messiah UMC in Springfield, Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C.  We tried to go into D.C. to enjoy the museums and see the cherry blossoms, but we did not stop and experience living so close to the capital as we often wish we had.  We did enjoy driving out to Skyline Drive every chance we got to just be still in the majesty of the mountains. It did not matter what the weather was like, we even went in the winter!  It just gave us a chance to stop and get away.  

At our next appointment, we moved to Chester, Virginia and I served Bermuda Hundred UMC and Kevin served a 2-point charge in Prince George County.  We lived near beautiful hiking trails along both the  Appomattox and James Rivers.  We loved to take Grace, Sophia, and our dogs on long walks exploring God's creation so we could slow down to notice the beauty around us.  

When our family moved to Virginia Beach in 2016, Kevin and I decided that at least once every other week no matter the weather, we had to make sure we walked on the beach.  Our feet needed to touch the sand and we needed to hear the waves and feel the breeze and smell the salt. 

In the beginning, I did pretty well with this.  I had a dear friend who I met up with each Friday after dropping off the girls at school and we would walk on the beach together.  After my friend moved in 2017, I waned in my accountability for a bit, but soon developed a practice of going to the beach every Friday,  with the dogs and sitting in silence for as long as it took. 

Some days it was a minimum of an hour. 
Other days, I sat there for hours, in glorious silence. 
I just sat still for … as long as it took. 

As long as what took? 

As long as it took for me to stop. 
To stop listing, thinking, wondering, planning, researching, idea creating, worrying, etc… to just stop and be still with God. 

I would just stop going so that I could be still. 

When the pandemic hit last year, I still got some of this time, but my rhythm and routine became strained and chaotic.

For all of us, the routines that often gave us sanity were ripped from us. 

I love to go to the beach and walk with my family and our dogs. 
Kevin and I still try to take the dogs at least every other week. 
But one of the routines I have longed to return to is that time just to be still… as long as it takes. 

This is a practice I must return to because it is one of the ways I practice resting in God. 
The Early Church Father Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

When we are still, Jesus can calm the storms that have been brewing. 
When we are still, we can stop worrying about how to deal with the storm.
When we are still, we can remember that we cannot fix the storm, nor are we required to.

Jesus can tell the storm-- and maybe sometimes.... the storm is in us-- to Stop, To Be Calm, To Be Still. 

I pray that you are finding some moments -- and maybe more than moments-- maybe… as long as it takes, to Stop and Be Still. 
    
My sermon for this Sunday is "Stop.  Be Still"  based on Psalm 46: 1-11 and Mark 4:35-41.  

I hope to see you Sunday in person or online for worship at 8:30 am (Online/In-Person) 9:45 am (Online/In-person), or  11:15 am (In-Person).  

In God's Love,
Pastor Beth
We will have five opportunities to worship this Sunday!  

You can worship ONLINE for the Traditional Service at 8:30 am

You can worship ONLINE for the Contemporary Service at 9:45 am

You can worship IN-PERSON Indoors for the Traditional Service at 8:30 am and those who are Fully Vaccinated may worship without masks. 

You can worship IN-PERSON Indoors for the Contemporary Service at 9:45 am and those who are Fully Vaccinated may worship without masks.  

You can worship IN-PERSON Indoors for worship at 11:15 am.  Those who are Fully Vaccinated may worship without masks. 

We will continue to utilize our Health Acknowledgment Screening. 
 We ask you to be able to answer Yes to the following statements when you come to worship as we follow best practices.  

1) I am not experiencing two or more symptoms of COVID-10. 
2) I have not been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 
3) I have not tested positive for COVID-19, nor am I awaiting test results. 
4) If I have tested positive for COVID-19 I have complete resolution of symptoms OR (if asymptomatic) I have completed 10 days of self-isolation. 
5) I will immediately notify the pastor if within 5 days after attending this event I develop 2 or more symptoms of COVID-19. 

We will not be asking people to show proof of vaccination, we will rely on the mutual trust we hold in one another as sisters and brothers in Christ and children of God in this worshiping community to love and care for another. We ask that if you are not yet fully vaccinated, that you wear a mask for the care and protection of those who are most vulnerable.
To view the bulletin for this Sunday, click here!
On Tuesday, September 21, the PRG (Post-COVID Reentry Group) met to discuss the rising delta variant and concerns regarding COVID infections.  

The PRG Team is updating masks signs to reflect the following guidance: 
Mask Preferred for Vaccinated 
Mask Required for Unvaccinated

The PRG team asks leaders and volunteers to model these mitigations as much as possible to encourage safety for all.

To see the complete history of the mitigation process and the Mitigation Assistant Plan (M.A.P.)  for Courthouse Community UMC outlined by the PRG please click here.




Last week we had 155 people worship with us in-person, and 39 people worshiped with us on Facebook Live*! The church also received a total of $8,414.66 in giving both electronically and in person.

181 individuals were helped by the Storehouse Food Pantry and Midweek Meals returns this week! Praise God!

Thank you for joining us and for your continual support - see you on Sunday!


*The way we are collecting online views has been updated.
During this time when we are physically distant from one another, we are still joined together in prayer.

Click on the image to the left to open our current prayer list!
The deadline for submissions to the E-Circuit Rider is Wednesdays at 10 am. Please send any submissions to stepht@ccumc.net. Any submissions received after that time will be added to the following week's email.
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