Dear Desert Skies Family,
What a roller coaster ride this pandemic has been! While we had a beautiful Sunday of worship last week, and all the safety precautions we put in place were well-received and well-executed, it is clear that it is time to take the next step to do our part to “flatten the curve” and hopefully help this virus run its course with the least amount of damage.
Seth Godin puts it well: “For members of the public, staying at home and sheltering in place isn’t selfish, it’s generous. Social distancing helps keep the virus from infecting others at the same time that it flattens the curve of the spread of the pandemic, giving health facilities a chance to provide care over time.”
The Governor of Arizona has closed all the schools in Arizona for two weeks, and the CDC recommends that all groups over 50 be suspended (over 10 for people over 60—a good share of us here at DSUMC!) Therefore, all in-person meetings, small groups, Sunday School, Youth Group, social events, and worship services will be suspended through the month of March. We are hopeful we will be able to worship for Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday on April 5, but we will follow the schools schedule in order to be a contributing factor to safety in our local community. We will be live streaming the worship service at 10:00 am on March 22 and 29. The link to join us and the instructions for its use will be sent later this week. Please pray for those who are figuring out this technology for the first time!
For those who chose to stay home this last Sunday, here is the link to the sermon, “Amnesia and the Big Picture”:
Now more than ever, we also need to be intentional about our giving, as we won’t be gathering in person, but our expenses continue at current levels. Here are the ways you can continue to give to the church during the pandemic.
1. Write a check and mail it to the church: 3255 N. Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ, 85749. Write ATTENTION Larry Dunlap on the envelope.
2. If you have Bill Pay, enter pay to: Desert Skies UMC, and the street address (3255 N. Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ, 85749). If an account number is requested enter ANY number you choose but NOT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER! The payment is made by check via USPS within a few days and the tellers will credit your payment as we do with any check. Your donation will appear in your online account or in your next bank statement.
3. If you do not have Bill Pay, set up online banking with your bank or credit union. There is no charge for this service! Then go to #2 above.
4. You can also give on our web page by credit card, but the provider charges us nearly 3% for the convenience! We prefer to keep the full value of your donation, so we encourage you to use #1 or #2 above.
UMCOR Sunday THIS Sunday, March 22
Each year we take an offering for UMCOR Sunday (it used to be One Great Hour of Sharing), which funds ALL the administrative costs for this relief agency of the United Methodist Church. That is how ALL the funds we give for any emergency goes directly to those efforts. You may either put a check in the mail, mark it UMCOR Sunday or you may give online through our website by clicking on this line: https://desertskiesumc.org/donate/#top
Please note, this is different than our UMCOR Flood Bucket Lenten Offering, which is ongoing through Palm Sunday!
These are trying times, for sure, and it’s not easy cancelling and changing things we have been planning for months. I appreciate your love, support and patience as we all navigate these waters together. As always, I am available should you need pastoral care and support. The office will remain open and day-to-day operations will continue to function. We will be doing all we can to keep us connected and to share God’s love!