WORSHIP ONLINE AT SHILOH THROUGH JAN. 2
A WORD FROM PASTOR KEN:
Greetings Shiloh faithful,
One of the hardest worship decisions I have made as a pastor came in the early 2000's. Countryside UMC in eastern Illinois had a beloved 11 pm Christmas Eve service that was typically packed. It was my favorite worship of the year. One year a blizzard hit with blowing snow, underlying ice, and the visibility problems you get in the flat prairie of Illinois. I reluctantly decided, in consult with my Trustees, that it was too dangerous to hold that service. As we find ourselves in a storm of a different type we have made an even more difficult decision for Shiloh UMC. We will discontinue in-person worship at Shiloh Church until the beginning of 2021.
The decision to continue online only worship at Shiloh through January 2 was a difficult one. As you know the Bishop sent a letter in November ordering churches to suspend in-person worship for four weeks. The Administrative Council met in late November and decided to send a letter to our Bishop asking for more local say in keeping our in-person worship, which has been very successful in keeping participants safe while meeting their spiritual and communal needs. The Bishop moved in his next pastoral letter to "strongly recommend" churches continue online worship only. Shiloh Administrative Council met again on December 14 and decided, after a thoughtful and lively discussion, to postpone reopening in light of the situation.
Here are some of the key factors that went into the decision.
1) The unprecedented numbers in our local area of church and family members who have recently contracted or died from covid 19.
2) The fact that as much as 30-50% of those attending our Christmas Eve service come from out of town, increasing the difficulty of keeping our vulnerable people safe.
3) The views of our Illinois Great Rivers Conference Bishop that we should be online only.
4) Our realization that this is just a season and our worship will resume in the near future.
5) The recognition that the restrictions we have to operate would mean a Christmas Eve service at this time would not be like our past ones despite our fervent hopes and desires. We would still be in masks, still have to distance, and still require limited capacity.
The Administrative Council and staff of Shiloh recognize the strong needs for spiritual and communal connection at this time. We will offer a quality online worship experience for Christmas Eve and the upcoming Sundays. We will also use creative ways to connect with you, our beloved people of Shiloh, to make this time of our Lord's Advent special. Watch your mail and screens for some great ways we as the people of Shiloh are blessing our community during a time of crisis.
Christmas Eve service was the time we collected our annual Good Samaritan offering. We are concerned that our community outreach that flows from that offering might suffer from not worshipping in person. We will make a special online appeal to continue the generosity that is dedicated to the needy among our congregation and in our Shiloh School District primarily.
Thank you for your understanding in this decision. It is not one that I or our church leadership have taken lightly. We know other churches have chosen differently. We hope you will be careful for your own health and continue to stay connected to Shiloh Church. If you have questions or would like to discuss things further please know you can contact me directly or through the church office.
Pastor Ken D Hutchens
During this time of pandemic and disruption we need your prayers, support and an ability to communicate with you. The church will be posting important COVID-19 items, updates on the life and ministry of the church, and our virtual worship services are HERE on our website or on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theshilohchurch/. You can tune into our worship service online, Sundays at 9:00 am.
We are Reopened! CLICK HERE for details.
Our office will remain open from Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Please do not come by in person unless it is essential. We are doing our part to contain this virus and protect all of our people.
OUR MINISTRY STAFF:
We will continue to minister to the needs of our Shiloh family and community. Much of this will be online with content for adults, youth and children on the respective Facebook pages listed below. We will also be offering delivery of essential things to our Shiloh family. If you have needs in those areas please contact the church office at (618) 632-6913 or Marie@shiloh-umc.org. You may also contact Pastor Ken at PastorKen@shiloh-umc.org.
HELPING OUR COMMUNITY:
We understand the deep uncertainty and economic implications of this time. We have stopped all non-essential (not focused on ministering to people, paying staff, or keeping up ongoing utility and mortgage bills) spending at Shiloh. We will continue to focus our Good Samaritan Fund on helping those in the Shiloh School District. If you have particular needs we want to do our best to help you as part of our church family. If you are in a position where you have secure income and the ability to give please continue to remember your church family and perhaps give a little extra. You can give online on our web site, by mail or electronically from your bank. If you need help with giving please call our church office. This is a time when the hope and love we give as a church of Jesus Christ is vital for all.
Shiloh Church partners with Spring Valley Baptist Church to provide much needed food items for the Village of Shiloh and Scott Air Force Base. In these unsettled times the need for food pantry items has increased. Shiloh usually collects items the first Sunday of every month. With no in-house service, collection has not been available. Well that’s about to change!
Our missions team is going to have a food collection at the church, and continue this the first week of every month. Drop off days will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9AM-1PM. We will place containers outside of the church for food collection. Please be respectful of social distancing guidelines if someone else is there dropping off their donation.
Food items needed but not limited to are:
Canned goods: vegetables, fruit, soup, beef stew, ravioli, Chef Boyardee, tuna and chicken. Noodles: flavored noodles, ramen noodles, pasta, pasta sauce, mac & cheese, rice, flavored rice and mashed potatoes. Peanut butter, jelly, crackers of any kind, and hot and cold cereal.
CHURCH MEETINGS AND BIBLE STUDIES:
Limited in person meetings are resumed and noted on the church calendar or on our Reopen page. To schedule a meeting, please contact the church office.
Our Shiloh UMC Zoom account is available for church meetings or virtual Bible studies of all types. For instructions or to schedule a group/meeting please call the office.
What a great staff we have at Shiloh! We discussed ways to stay in touch, upcoming Easter celebration plans -- including a safe way to make and distribute Easter bags for kids, helping out the local food pantries, staying connected with the people of Shiloh of all ages in quarantine and much more.
RIGHT NOW MEDIA:
As part of Shiloh, you have FREE access through our church membership to Right Now Media with thousands of videos from children's programs to adult Bible studies to movies. If you need help accessing your account, or need an account setup, please email Rachel@shiloh-umc.org and we will get you connected. They have Veggie Tales!
AVAILABLE LINKS FOR QUICK CONNECTION:
Shiloh UMC Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheShilohChurch/
Shiloh UMC Children’s Ministry Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/293633517335270/
Shiloh UMC Youth Ministry Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/839745936160102/
Shiloh UMC Women’s Ministry Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/680388712040259/
Three Springs Preschool: https://www.facebook.com/threespringspreschool2004/