Last week, I read something that blew my mind.  The contestants on Big Brother Germany did not know about the global pandemic and producers weren’t going to tell them about it.  Can you imagine leaving the isolation of the Big Brother house to be met by people in haz mat suits only to be told that you had to go right back into isolation, but this time possibly by yourself?  That everything that you knew about the world had fundamentally changed and you had no time to adjust to it?  Fortunately, there was a large public outcry and the contestants were told by producers what was going on outside of the house.  They are all now informed.

You don’t have to be on Big Brother Germany to feel like you’re out of the loop, though.  I’m learning via Facebook, Tumblr, and from phone calls and texts that people are feeling increasingly socially isolated.  People miss talking face to face with friends, meeting up for coffee, and going to the mall.  People miss the normalcy of everyday life.  And this says nothing for those who are weathering isolation on their own: people who are single and live alone, the elderly, widows and widowers, and those who don’t have family nearby.  Community is important.

That is why our church is launching the Family Bulletin Board. This is a place to communicate any words of encouragement, prayer requests, needs you have, services you offer, testimonies you’d like to share, etc. Don’t be afraid to share. We need each other during these uncertain times! We would love to post something from you.

To post on this bulletin board, email our church at adminassistant@vineyardmarysville.org using 3-5 sentences. Also, if you are relatively new with the church, please email me your contact information including your name, email, phone number, and whether you’d like to be included in the prayer chain.  If you didn’t receive email updates last week, it’s a good indication that I don’t have your information.  We want to keep everyone informed, but we can’t do that if we don’t know how to contact you!

Also, when I receive your information you will be added to the Church Directory, which is online and available via phone app.  The directory makes it very easy to call or text others (including the 7 people a week that Pastor Conrad is encouraging each of us to contact) and only people listed in the directory have access to it.  It is a wonderful tool to help all of us stay connected in the days ahead. And finally, we will be keeping Facebook and Instagram updated with announcements, service times, and live-stream information, so be sure to subscribe to our pages.

During this time of increasing change, let us bring some normalcy to your life with timely communication from the pastoral staff and ways to serve and be served.  Ask for help if you need it, offer help to others if you can.  Reach out to those who come to mind via text or phone call; pray for those that you can’t reach, for whatever reason.  And, as always, if you have a need, be it financial, emotional, or you simply need someone to make a grocery run for you, please do not hesitate to contact me through the church email (adminassistant@vineyardmarysville.org) or by finding Pastor Conrad’s, Pastor Vicki’s or my phone number in the church directory. 

Finally, just a quick note: I am feeling better day by day.  I told William the other day during a slight confinement breakdown that the thing I miss the most was hugs, which led to him hugging me until I was, according to him, “smothering him with love.”  Thank you to all who have reached out to me. You are SO appreciated, and I love you all.  

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Tentative Upcoming Events:

Women’s One Day Spring Retreat:  Save the date for the women’s One Day Spring Retreat on April 18, 2020, from 9 AM – 4 PM.  The theme of the retreat will be Romans 8. The cost is $20 with lunch, $10 without; registration information coming soon!

Annual Men’s Retreat: The date for the annual men’s retreat is May 1 – 3, 2020, at Kirkmont Center in Zanesfield, OH.  The cost will be $110 per person which includes all meals and lodging; see Matt Williams for single day pricing (740-272-0153). Save this date! We will grow as friends and strengthen each other in God.

Beauty and the Beast Dinner: At the Beauty and the Beast Dinner, the Beasts serve the Beauties!  Women, come enjoy dinner as the church men prepare and serve you your favorite meal. Look for sign-up sheets soon and plan to join us on May 16 at 5:00 PM for this very special event.  All women are invited; contact Matt Williams if you have questions or would like more information.

Multi-Church Community Service: On May 31, multiple churches will come together at Marysville High School in a multi-church worship service.  Watch here for more details as they become available!