Fruitland First United Methodist Church
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
317 SW 2nd Street Fruitland, Idaho

Newsletter 2020

 

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GREENCHURCH NEWS        

SUMMER 2020

 

Fruitland United Methodist Church

Corner of 2nd and Nebraska, P.O. Box 353, Fruitland, Idaho 83619

Pastor Jim Hardenbrook     

Church Phone: 208 452-3260

For pastoral care while Rev. Hardenbrook is away, call Pastor Letha Essinger 208-412-9029.

 
Services and activities are suspended through the summer. 
Worship is offered online.
Sunday morning fellowship gatherings at Fruitland Community Park, 9 AM.
 
Dear Friends, This is where we usually find a calendar of upcoming events, intended to be hung on our refrigerators, so we can know what to look forward to in our congregation and our community.  So frustrating, isn’t it, that we have no real knowledge of what lies ahead? We will continue to offer online worship services, with a variety of guest speakers.  This has been challenging, but at the same time so interesting, as each Sunday service is designed and presented by a different person.  We owe great thanks to Jay and Leona Whitcomb for coordinating the worship order and preparing the weekly worship guide; to Jeff Ward, who records the service and gets the audio link out to the webmasters for both the Fruitland and Payette congregations.  Thanks also, to our musicians, and to those who have served as liturgists, helping to make it all come together.  So many details!  The Payette Congregation is sharing the expense of these services.
 
Preaching guests for the summer months are:
July 12 Roxie Tolbert
July 19 Jay Whitcomb
July 26 Chase Van Weerdhuizen
Aug 2 Rev. Scott Allen, from Kuna UMC
Aug 9 Jay Whitcomb
Aug 16 Rev. Letha Essinger
Aug 23 Rochelle Killett, from Nampa
Aug 30 Danny Crego, from Payette UMC
Sept 6 Rev. Don Watt, retired UMC pastor, living in Middleton
 

We are pleased to have invited preaching guests with unique backgrounds and experiences.  We have also made sure to have qualified pastors for communion Sundays. 

So be sure to tune in at www.fruitlandfirstumc.org! 

The audio link and worship folder are posted by 5 pm every Saturday. To fill the void created by lack of fellowship time, a small group has been gathering, informally, at Fruitland Community Park, downtown, on Sunday mornings at 9:00.  Stop by and say hello.  If you want coffee, bring your own, and be sure to wear a mask.
 
As directed by the Bishop, Fruitland UMC’s Re-opening Committee has written a plan for Covid-19 precautions to be taken in each stage of re-opening.  This has been submitted to the district superintendent and, with some updates, been approved. Unfortunately, none of those stages have correlating dates.  We have to wait and see how the pandemic progresses, with hopes of re-opening in the fall. At this time, no meetings of any size are allowed in the building or on church property.  A group of no more than 5 individuals are allowed to gather for the purpose of recording the worship service. They are required to wear masks, to maintain 6’ distance, and are not allowed to sing. The church secretary is allowed to conduct essential duties in her office.  The custodian is working each week, wiping surfaces, and doing some other deep cleaning projects, as directed.
 
If you drive by our building, you will not see it looking abandoned or seedy.  Bob Lockner has been mowing and taking care of shrubs.  Joyce Turnbaugh has tended  the roses. 
“317 SW 2nd Street” will be ready and waiting for our return! 

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Thanks to those of you taking such good care of our church and grounds.
  
Pastor Jim Hardenbrook is currently on a mini-sabbatical, which was planned and approved in January.  He and Pam are at their cabin in Alaska, where Jim is working on a focused reflection upon the influence of the African-American experience upon the American Christian church.  Outcomes we can look forward to in the coming year include a 6-part Bible study, and unique worship outlines for the Sundays of Black History Month 2021. We expect to have Jim and Pam back with us, for worship, on Sept. 13. For pastoral care while Pastor Jim is away, call Pastor Letha Essinger.
 
Since the Hardenbrooks purchased a home in Weiser, the Trustees have been working with Pine Valley Property Management to get the parsonage rented.  A doctor, employed by St. Al’s will be moving in.  He has signed a one year lease.
The Trustees have also installed air conditioning in the secretary’s office.  How Kathy Day appreciates that, as we launch into 100 degree days!
 
Fruitland United Methodist Women have not met this summer, due to Covid-19 restrictions. They were pleased to contribute from their treasury to the congregation’s Grocery Gift Card Project.  Regrettably, their Fruitland Over 80’s Celebration, hosted jointly with the women from Fruitland Church of the Brethren, had to be cancelled, but they look forward to the return of this event in Springtime 2021.
All of the United Methodist Camps and facilities in the Greater Northwest are locked up tight, and will not be opening in the 2020 season.
 
 
Kolby, Zoe, Addie, Reese, Ellie, Aubrey, Corbin, Lenlee, Neil, Dani, Hunter, Harley, Hayden, Hayes!  WE MISS OUR KIDS! 
 
Your Administrative Council has been meeting monthly, online, via Zoom.  There is a surprising amount of business to be conducted!  The next meeting is set for August 10, 2020.  If you have items to be brought before the council, contact Larry at lhaley45@ctcweb.net.
 
Even the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference, usually a large regional event in June, was postponed and will be held this year via Zoom.  A special, all-day Zoom meeting is planned for September 16, to conduct essential business.  (One good thing:  This will save our congregation a fair amount of money which was budgeted to send a representative to Annual Conference.)
 
Looking for a way to relieve families in our community who were affected by the pandemic, the
 
Grocery Gift Card Project was initiated early in the spring.   A grant from the Conference, combined with contributions from the congregation made it possible for our church to present 82- $25 grocery cards to be distributed through the school district’s food service.  As we have continued to take contributions, money from this fund has been designated for a small supply of grocery cards and gas cards to be given at the pastor’s discretion; and $200 has been sent to West Valley Church, whose food pantry is offering support to Fruitland  families with food emergencies during the summer.  
 
GIVING TO YOUR COMMUNITY

 
Also, in the interest of our community, a grant is being submitted to offer a free community preschool, 3 afternoons per week, for prekindergarteners whose parents are not able to afford preschool. Sometimes, those children start kindergarten in the fall, and have not had the same readiness experiences as the other children in their class.  We are hoping to level the playing field.  This would involve turning our basement into a temporary classroom and play area. (We’ve done it before.)  If we receive the grant, the preschool will not open until January, but it will be a wonderful mission opportunity for our congregation!
 
 
In Our Prayers . . . We pray for our loved ones who are still locked down for the protection of their health.  Remind us, Lord, to connect with them.       
We pray for those recovering from medical procedures and health issues.       
We pray with those who grieve at the loss of a family member or friend.         
We pray for parents and children, wondering when they’ll be able to return to school, and how that will be accomplished.           
We pray for  all who face housing or food emergencies, and that they will be served as neighbors.    At this time of year, we pray for all who work outdoors, in construction, on farms, and providing many services. As the daytime temperatures rise, Lord, keep them safe.         
We pray for wisdom at all levels of leadership, national, state, local, and congregational, as we grapple with the problems of these times.
Most merciful God, We come to you in our weakness.
We come to you in our fear.
We come to you with trust For you alone are our hope.
We place before you the disease present in our world.
We turn to you in our time of need.
Bring wisdom to doctors.
Give understanding to scientists.
Endow caregivers with compassion and generosity.
Bring healing to those who are ill.
Protect those who are most at risk.
Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one.
Welcome those who have died into your eternal home.
Stabilize our communities.
Unite us in our compassion.
Remove all fear from our hearts.
Fill us with confidence in your care.
We trust in you, Lord.                   
Amen