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Stay-at-Home Order In Place:
How Does This Affect Benson Memorial UMC?
(March 27, 2020)

SPECIAL NOTE: As an act of love and care for our community, the church office will be closed as of Monday, March 30, in observance of the Wake County Stay-At-Home order. Staff members will be monitoring incoming mail, emails, and voicemail regularly. You can mail your giving to Benson Memorial UMC, 4706 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27612, or visit bensonmemorial.org/give/ to give online. You can reach the pastor on call at (919) 342-8849.

 

CANCELLATIONS:

All on-site activities, events, worship services, and Bible studies until May 18*

Brightsiders Sunday School class until further notice

Coffeehouse on Friday, April 3

Annual Women's Retreat

On-site Gatherings of BSA Troop 214 B and G

 

*Online Sunday worship service at 11 AM is available at www.facebook.com/bensonmemorialumc/

Some of our Bible studies will be offered on Zoom. Please ask Pastor Jeff Babajtis about them.

 

Challenging Days
(March 24, 2020)
Dear Benson Memorial Family,
The Apostle Paul ends his first letter to the church in Corinth with the encouragement to “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous and be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13) 
This is my prayer for all of us in these challenging days:
  • May we keep alert in our diligent care for others as we practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.
  • May we stand firm in our faith, knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love.
  • May we be courageous and strong as we learn and accept new ways of doing things together.
  • May we let all that we do be done in love—our love for God, for one another, and for all of creation.
Below you’ll see a letter from our Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, sent yesterday, March 23, 2020, urging us "to continue the compassionate practice of not gathering for worship, funerals, weddings, studies, or other groups for the next two months.” Following the Bishop’s urging, this means we will not be back together again until at least May 18.
I am sad at the thought of physically being away from our community of faith for such a long time. But, I’m also encouraged by the way you’ve already responded to this challenging time with creative willingness to try new things like live online worship! We will weather this season together, and we will be more unified and assured of God’s presence that can sustain us through any trial.
Even though we are not gathering in person, we are finding new ways of being together and staying connected through online worship, through online studies and small group meetings via Zoom, daily meditations, etc. Please continue to do your part to stay connect, such as how to make your financial gifts online, watch Sunday’s worship service, or listen to the sermon audio. You can always be in touch by emailing the church staff, calling the church office at (919) 787-0789, or the pastor-on-call number, (919) 342-8849, in case of emergency.
We are in constant need of your faithful financial support to enable our ministry and life together to continue. If you have been reluctant to give online in the past, please consider giving online for this season and know you can go back to your preferred method of giving once we are through this crisis.
  
Again, with the words of the Apostle Paul, “My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16:24).
Pastor Kelly Lyn
Dear United Methodist friends,
Grace and peace to you in this challenging time for the entire human family.
 
This morning, I was in zoom conferences with faith leaders, public health professionals and several episcopal colleagues. In addition, with you, I received the directive of Governor Cooper for schools to remain closed through mid-May.  
 
I urge you to continue the compassionate practice of not gathering for worship, funerals, weddings, studies, and other groups for the next two months.
Resources abound on our conference website and beyond to help us and to engender our own creativity in leading groups, classes and churches.
 
Public health leaders are working tirelessly for us, for our families and our neighbors, for our communities and our state and our nation and our world. We give thanks for them and their selfless service. I urge you to help lower the number of people exposed to COVID-19 and to protect your family and also those you may never meet or know. Social distancing, or as a friend re-phrases, distant socializing, is the best way to slow the advance of COVID-19.  
 
I continue to work with the Cabinet, the Conference Staff, and elected Conference Leadership to garner resources for all our life together. I am inspired by your leadership, your creativity, your compassion and your perseverance.
 
Today, I connected with our heritage anew, remembering John Wesley's concern for public health. The double blessing of physical and spiritual health was - and is - a central dimension of Methodist ministry. Like our spiritual forebears, we are convinced that God wants to give us both inward and outward health. Realizing that the least resourced people of his time were without medical care, he recorded his reflection: At length I thought of a kind of desperate expedient. I will prepare, and give them physick myself. The urgency of our founder resonates in the creative and life-giving responses you are offering.  
 
Let us make holy use of this unwelcome time, going deep in our reflection, going wide in our concern, going carefully in our ministry.
 
Thank you for the work of healing grace that you offer in this time, in your community, leading your church.
 
With gratitude to God for all our life together,
Hope Morgan Ward
References from "John Wesley on Holistic Health and Healing" by Randy L. Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School, available online.