Good morning,

I am proud of us.  We are doing the right thing.  We are staying at home.  We are limiting our exposure to one another.  We have given up some of our comfortable habits, and all this is making a difference.   The incidence of coronavirus is still on the rise in our state and probably will be for a while, but it has not spiked and hopefully, it won’t as we continue to limit contact.  We are helping our health care workers do their jobs, and we are increasing their safety. 

I believe we are saving lives. 

Good job friends!

What we are doing is prevention and prevention is hard to assess.  Prevention is about what doesn’t happen.  Prevention is not a big spectacle; it is simply less of a bad thing.  It is harder for us to measure in our everyday lives, but it does mean our communities are safer and healthier. 

Do you remember Jonah in the bible?  God called on him to do some prevention work.  God wanted to send him to Nineveh to tell the people to change their ways to save them from catastrophe.  Jonah didn’t care about the people of Nineveh.  And instead of obeying God, he headed in the other direction.  He faced a storm at sea, ended up in the belly of a whale, and was eventually spit out on dry land.  It took all that just to convince him to do as God asked, to go to Nineveh and prevent catastrophe.  Finally, Jonah went and he warned the people. They listened.  They changed their behaviors and calamity was averted. 

And what does Jonah do then?  Gets angry and pouts.  I think he was disappointed.  He had his priorities wrong.  He wanted the big calamity.  He lost sight of the fact our God wants to save lives, not destroy them.  He didn’t trust the ability of people to listen.  He didn’t realize the power of grace to work through our hearts.  He didn’t believe that people could respond and change, but they did. 

Prevention is like that.  It is about bad things that don’t happen, so that good things can happen.   Maybe less exciting, but lots more goodness for everyone. 

And that’s what we’re doing.  Caring for others by changing our routines.  Preventing suffering by spending more time at home.  Enduring inconvenience and boredom so that others can remain healthy. 

And I think it is working.  

How long will this last?  That’s a question we are all wondering about.  Last week I preached that Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness.  And if he did, we can too.  Maybe that is our Lenten walk this year, 40 days in the wilderness with Christ.   For me, this wilderness walk with Christ began on March 16, the first real day of quarantine.  At the end of these forty days, if God needs us to quarantine for another 40 days, I believe we can do that too. 

We are making a difference. And we can do this because Christ is with us. 

I am proud of us. 

Blessings to you,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman

West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
515-279-0826

Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.orgThis Sunday we will Livestream one worship service only at 9:30!  See you there! 

This Week At WDMUMC!

Worship This Sunday! This Sunday was scheduled to be Youth Sunday.  Jerry, our youth group leader, is working with high school seniors in the youth group and they are putting together the service.  They assure me that they will use safe practices and not expose one another to the virus.  We will Livestream one service only at 9:30.  After the service, it will be posted and you can watch again and again. 

Worship Next Sunday!  Next Sunday is Communion Sunday!  Have some sort of bread and juice ready.  As we live stream, we will share in communion in our homes together while we are apart from the church.   

The Little Food Pantry Ministry continues.  Jane continues to keep a steady supply of food for our neighbors. 

#Just Read with Just Cindy.  Pastor Cindy is reading Esther.  You can catch it on our website. 

Two A Days Call Ministry!  Please call two people per day, just to check in!  If you would like to call one of our church people who live alone, let me know and I will give you a name and a number. 

Sweet Gossip!  When we come to church on Sunday, we share sweet gossip.  Sweet gossip is not the nasty kind that cuts people down.  It is the little day-to-day stories of our lives that reassure people that we are ok. Now that we cannot gather, I am looking for your sweet gossip and I want to include it in the Link.   A few rules about sweet gossip:

·         I will include first names only.  I am including first names so that we know these are real people. 

·         I need your permission to post it. 

·         It has to be sweet positive stuff that reminds us that life goes on. 

Here are a few examples (with permission!)

Berneda has been playing Yahtzee on Facetime with the entire family—all nine of them from across the country  No report on who won. 

Dave and Cindy’s granddaughter had her first piano lesson this week.  A pianist is launched and the music begins.  The lesson was held over Zoom. 

Send me your Sweet Gossip! 

One last thing, this is for our children from Pastor Cindy,

Hi kiddos,  I am missing you and thinking of you.  I am sure you are missing school and your friends.  I hope you are not afraid.  This may all seem scary, but there are a lot of adults at work to make things better.  God is with us too.  Do something kind today.  Create something beautiful.  Help out the adults in your life.  They will appreciate that.   I am thinking of you and you make me smile.