April 2020  
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Lenoir, North Carolina

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Thanks to the Western North Carolina Conference, we are offering a temporary online giving option for those who are not comfortable mailing a check with supporting the church via snail mail. You can access the giving portal by clicking here or you can select "Online Giving" at the main menu. Your donation will be processed by the conference and submitted to Colliers UMC at the end of each month. 

 

 

In continued consultation with church leadership, I have decided to cancel all activities at Colliers UMC and Whitnel UMC until further notice (as of 3/24/2020). We believe that this is the best course of action moving forward. Not only is it in keeping with Bishop Leeland’s strong suggestion to suspend worship gatherings, it also aligns with Gov. Roy Cooper’s request to suspend large public gatherings. By suspending face-to-face worship, we will eliminate the temptation for hugs, handshakes, and the unintentional spread of any germs or sickness.

“26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:26-27)
Above all else, I value the sanctity of human life. That being said, the well-being of others is at the heart of every decision I make. As a pastor, I have been granted the awesome privilege of shepherding multiple congregations through the good, the bad, and the ugly seasons of life. Currently, our nation is under great stress and strain as we watch the news reports about the global and local spread of the COVID-19 virus. In times like these, normal life is often interrupted so that systems are not overwhelmed, the sick may heal, and those who are disadvantaged may have an opportunity to simply keep up. There is a lot that goes into decision making for the masses, and I do not claim to have all of the answers for every situation. So, like you, I am watching and listening for direction and advice from experts and organizations that specialize in healthcare crisis and disaster response.
On Thursday afternoon, news broke that Bishop Paul Leeland issued a request to all churches in the Western North Carolina Conference to suspend worship for two weeks in response to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. My initial reaction, like many of my colleagues, was that this was a knee-jerk response to the growing panic sweeping the nation. After consulting with church leadership and other pastors in the area, I came to the decision to hold worship services at Colliers UMC and Whitnel UMC; this decision was in step with my ministry partner’s decision to maintain a regular worship schedule at Gamewell UMC. Our decision was based on the fact that there are currently no documented cases of the virus in our area. Given the likelihood that conditions will eventually worsen, we decided to move forward with our normal schedule and reassess on a week by week basis; our thinking was that two weeks may extend to a month or month and a half long period of disruption to our regularly scheduled events (including worship, Bible studies, choir practice, meetings, etc.).
Shortly after making this decision and activating prayer chain/phone tree at both Colliers and Whitnel, I realized that my spirit was not settled with this decision. I needed to reassess and continue to seek counsel from others. After several conversations regarding the cancellation of sporting events, the preemptive closure of several local school systems, and the local restrictions in place at multiple facilities in the area (including nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice), I came to the decision to cancel all church activities.
As we continue to live our lives with self-imposed restrictions and a heightened awareness of the risk we bring to others who are above the age of 65, immunocompromised, or already sick, my hope is that you will join me in prayer. As we take our concerns to God, we can trust that the Lord will provide. Though we may have no control over the virus, we can control our personal and collective responses moving forward.
Borrowing from others, I have a list of practices that I hope you will join me in embracing:
- I plan to eliminate handshakes and hugs. As we share greetings, be respectful of personal space and especially wary of invading someone’s “bubble.”
- I plan to wash my hands… a lot, and I’ll use hand sanitizer when the sink isn’t close by.

-If I’m sick, I promise I’ll stay at home; I would hope that you will do the same.

- I will only visit hospitals and nursing homes in emergency situations and will follow the rules and guidelines set forth by their administration.

- I will continue to pay attention to the CDC guidelines, the Western North Carolina Conference of UMC recommendations, and information provided by local health officials regarding any additional changes in our schedule at both churches and I promise to communicate those to you as they become necessary.

- I will continue to pray for all who are impacted by this pandemic and for those who are trying their best to lead us in the most effective way.

- I am here for you as I have always been and am only a phone call, text or email away. You will continue to be in my prayers and in my heart.

- I will continue to financially support Colliers, Whitnel, and Gamewell churches and I truly hope that you will do the same.

 

 

Contact Information  
Colliers United Methodist Church
2625 Clarks Chapel Rd.
Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Phone (828)758-1658
Announcements
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Regular Schedule  

Sunday

  • Sunday School for all ages
    – 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
  • Worship Service
    – 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM
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