Just a Thought or Two

The Auburn Open

January 08, 2021

Earlier this winter I was walking down a street where a row of shops were flying red, white and blue flags that said "OPEN." I walked up to each store, on that cold day, and found a smaller sign on each door that said "Closed." They said they were open but the lights were out and the door was locked.

As we begin a New Year, we want to let you know that while we're not meeting for in-person worship your church is OPEN. 

A Lebanese friend tells me that when she was a little girl, Epiphany (Jan 6th) was a major Christian festival. This moment on the Christian calendar celebrates both the visit of the magi, and the baptism of Jesus, as moments when we see in the Carpenter the presence of the living God. People would stay awake through the middle of the night, my friend says, believing that Jesus would pass by. So people would stay up in the hope that they would catch a glimpse of Jesus.

So here are some ways you can "catch" a glimpse of Jesus this winter (even if COVID-19 makes in-person worship a risky, unloving experiment) through First UMC:

  • Join us for worship on-line beginning at 8:30 a.m. this Sunday (the service will be on our website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel). We're beginning a new series of messages titled By ANOTHER ROAD.  We'll spent three weeks exploring how the Jesus community operates by different values. Our life is guided by the truth of Christ which means that the world may look at us and see us as being odd and very different! So join us for worship this week as we celebrate Holy Communion.
  • You may gather your own Communion elements at home for worship OR you may stop by the church this Sunday morning from 9:30-11:00 a.m. when Pastor Mark will be offering the elements and a blessing to those who drive up. Come in the drive off East 7th, drive under the carport (at door 13), stay in your car, and the pastor will share the elements (self-contained packages) with you and offer you a blessing.
  • If you need to talk with a pastor, please call the church office (260-925-0885). One of our pastors will speak with you, listen to you and pray with you over the phone, via Facetime, or you can come to the church and meet with them either in the Commons or the Sanctuary (masked and at a socially safe distance). The point is you can have a face-to-face conversation with one of your pastors even during this difficult season.
  • Sign up for Pastor Nikki's online study "Liturgy of the Ordinary." You can find more information here.
  • If you have a prayer request, feel free to submit it using our prayer request button at the bottom of this page or email Prayer@auburnumc.church.
  • Please watch for more information about an upcoming NEW MEMBER CLASS and a midweek, online Lenten Bible study to be offered by Pastor Mark.
  • Finally, look for opportunities to bless others as you live your life. Send a card to a friend, call someone who may need to hear a voice, ask a neighbor how they are doing and how you may pray for them, shovel a walk, volunteer where help is needed, give extra money to our "Communion Fund" to help with emergency needs, or pick up the meal of someone/a family at a restaurant. Keep your eyes open, see a need that is -in fact- an opportunity. 

My friend would stay up, as a young girl in Lebanon, to get a glimpse of Jesus as Jesus passed by. We want you to know that there are all sorts of opportunities for you to see Jesus this winter despite the COVID-19 challenge. We may not be meeting in-person for worship BUT WE ARE OPEN!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Mark


First United Methodist Church
1203 E. Seventh Street | Auburn, IN 46706
office@auburnumc.church | 260.925.0885