May 4th Weekly Updates
Dear Friends in Christ,
Here’s another information-based weekly update for you. Sorry for all the details but we want you to be informed!
1. Pastor Joyce, Pastor Linda and I await news from both the Governor and our Bishop to find out how we will all finish up our time in the Prairie Spirit UMC parish mid-June. Assuming that we’re back meeting “face to face” for worship again by then, we’ve got times set up on May 31st, June 7th, and 14th for the congregations to say goodbye to their clergy. Honestly, this looks very unlikely that we’ll be back together by then! Also, we’d likely not be able to do the traditional “reception” that we all think of when a pastor is leaving - even if we do have permission to gather for worship. We’ll all be sad to go, in part because we leave with hearts of gratitude. It’s hard to not be able to do this leave-taking in a normal way. We’ll figure out “new-normal” and operate accordingly. Thanks for your understanding!
2. As you know, Pastor Lisa Vick will be starting her time in Owatonna soon. Hurray! There will likely be a charge conference announced to finalize her compensation package that the SPRC sub-committee members have already consented to, that Lisa has agreed to, and that the Bishop has approved - which has been brought before the Council of Stewards, as well. The protocol for us is to have a charge conference to officially approve this. Obviously a vote could result in not approving this package. That would have consequences of their own. We’ll just take things one step at a time and acknowledge that this is the orderly way we operate, making sure that everyone is informed. For now, we’ll wait for official word, at OUMC, of when this charge conference will occur. Please be in prayer for Lisa as she prepares to be your pastor in Owatonna and as she leaves her two congregations in order to be able to do this work here.
3. In terms of the call/appointment process for the Dodge Center UMC, the call committee of Trinity Lutheran (including representation by D.C. UMC) has voted to recommend to the Trinity Church council to call a Lutheran pastor to serve both churches (Dodge Center UMC and the church in West Concord – Trinity Lutheran). As things likely move things forward, this pastor is reportedly excited about the direction things are going. More updates will be forth-coming as to whether or not this process will result in this particular candidate being called/appointed to this new Lutheran/UMC ministry partnership. The UMC has its own approval process that this pastor will undergo - because he’s a Lutheran.
4. The Administrative Council of the Dodge Center UMC and the Council of Stewards at OUMC both have meetings set up. The OUMC one is 10:30 on Sunday May 17th. The Dodge Center UMC Admin. Council will next meet at 6:30 pm Tuesday May 19th. They’ll continue to provide the best leadership as possible in regard to the tasks set before them.
5. Pastor Linda, Pastor Joyce and I continue to make phone calls each week to members of our parish. Not much of an update there. Prayers for our membership at both churches would be really helpful. From the calls I’m making, people are getting “stir-crazy”. It’s good that folks are giving voice to their emotions. These conversations between the people and their pastors are precious. We’re grateful for the opportunity to hear the joys and concerns of our parishioners.
6. Check out the information that Pastor Linda included on the other side of this paper in regard to National Day of Prayer!! I know that our prayers are pleasing to God. Speaking personally, the bonus is that I’m peaceful when I pray.
7. Financially - not much new news here. As was said before, there have been some encouraging gifts sent in to the offices for both congregations – yet both churches are running behind their budgets. It’s crucial that we continue our spiritual support for our churches in this time in prayer. Giving in financial ways to support the ministry of our 2 churches is also essential. We’re grateful for the generosity of the members of OUMC and the Dodge Center UMC. The Lord loves a cheerful giver! Please know that if you’ve been hit hard, economically, you should only give as you are able.
8. And finally, as I prepare to serve at Riverside UMC in Park Rapids, I thought I’d share my schedule with you. I’ll head “up north” on Saturdays in the mid/late afternoon to stay overnight in P.R. each week. I’ll be in worship Sunday mornings with the people of RUMC - they’re having outdoor “driven-in” worship, so I know we’ll be gathering – I just don’t know if it’s indoor or not. I’ll head home early Sunday afternoon and be home Mondays. I’ll head up Tuesday mornings and work/stay in Park Rapids until early Thursday afternoons. I’ll be home on Fridays. As I said, I’m excited about the new opportunity that awaits me! It will be an adventure and a unique challenge for me to balance having time in this new church/community as well as having time back in Hastings with family and friends. Stay tuned!
National Day of Prayer – Prayer Cruise/Thursday, May 7th
Because we are unable to gather face to face for prayer this year as result of stay at home orders, we are going to have to find an alternate way to celebrate National Day of Prayer. The idea for this is that we travel to the “4 corners” of Owatonna and pray for our community, state and nation. People would drive to the start and then would “cruise” to each of the other stops. Everyone stays in their car (no carpooling) and prays from there following a guide they would be given at the start. One leader might get out at each location and pray. A suggested path would look like this:
Thursday, May 7th
Start 5:30 PM – Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church
Adoration – praise for who God is and what He has done Confession – prayer of confession and asking for forgiveness Thanksgiving – prayers to thank God for His blessings, care and love Supplication – pray for churches, church leaders as the seek to teach, guide and care for people in this time. Pray for other ministries in our community (Young Life, Rachel’s Light, Hospitality House, etc) as they minister to others in this time.
Stop 1 – McKinley School
Pray for schools (all levels)
Pray for teachers, students
Pray for childcare providers
Stop 2 – Owatonna Hospital
Pray for health care providers
Pray for first responders
Pray for healing for the sick
Pray for an end to the pandemic
Stop 3 – Owatonna Armory (or somewhere near there)
Pray for Armed forces and military
Pray for our businesses and industry (since we are near industrial park area)
Pray for unemployed and for economic recovery
Stop 4 – West Hills
Pray for city leaders
Pray for county leaders
Pray for state leaders
Pray for national leaders
End with National Day of Prayer – Prayer for America.
Services on Cable
Jaguar Channel 900
Charter Channel 181
Tuesday’s at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s at 10:00 a.m.
Sunday’s at 12:00 p.m. (Noon)
*Tune in to view Owatonna United Methodist Church’s worship services. You may also view the services online at www.owatonnalive.com. You may view the Pastor’s sermons online on facebook by searching for “Owatonna United Methodist Church” or on YouTube by searching “Scott Jakel”.
Our April 30th American Red Cross Blood Drive was a huge success!
55 units were donated—21 more than our goal!
Donors received a coupon for a pint of Culver’s frozen custard and an emailed $5 coupon from Amazon.
Our next drive is scheduled for August; however, we need a volunteer to coordinate with the Red Cross. If you think this might be a good place to share your time and talent, call Pastor Linda for a description of how simple the task is.