Greetings friends,
Holy Week is upon us. The five week Season of Lent cumulates with the events of Holy Week which begin on Palm Sunday and end Easter morning. We have special music provided this Sunday “Palm Sunday” and Palm fronds will adorn the altar.

Our Maundy Thursday Service, April 1st, begins at 6:00 p.m. and is known to be one of the more meaningful services of the year. Holy Communion will be served that evening according to COVID safety precautions. For those who are reluctant to congregate in the evening, there will be a drive through Holy Communion at the front of the Church on Maundy Thursday from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Easter morning, the greatest event on our Christian calendar will be celebrated with great joy and I encourage everyone to invite a guest to this important service. We are asking everyone to bring flowers from your yard or purchased flowers to the Church at 8:30 a.m. Easter morning where the Worship Committee will receive them to adorn the cross outside in front of the Church. Everyone is welcome to take photos in front of the cross after the service on that morning.

Church Council Meeting: Our next Church Council meeting will take place Monday, March 29th at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. All church members are welcome but only Council members have a vote on any issue. There will be updates regarding the United Methodist Church and their global status. COVID precautions are in effect for all meetings.

We are well on our way to achieving herd immunity in our Church. We have had many of our Sunday morning attendees develop antibodies through getting the vaccine or from having the virus itself. Many folks are feeling safer and more secure because of this. However, we are not out of the woods yet. There are variant strains emerging and Florida is a vacation mecca for the world. Therefore, we will continue to exercise mask-wearing and social distancing until such time as we are comfortable relaxing this standard. Masks must be worn properly over the nose and mouth to attend any service. I have empathy for those who have the antibodies and don’t feel a need for precautions anymore but I ask your cooperation with our policy for a little while longer.

Pastor’s Office hours: I will be resuming office hours Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 a.m to 12 noon starting on April 5th. Appointments are recommended but not required if you want to come in and chat. Regular office hours are still Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. However, the office will be closed tomorrow Friday, the 26th.

The new floor for the Fellowship Hall and hallway will be completed today (the 25th) and we are excited about the clean new look. Gratitude to our Trustee Chair Lonnie Mead and his team for getting this done so expediently. That’s all for this week. I hope everyone is taking advantage of the beautiful weather to get some sunshine on his/her face. It is so good for the immune system. Until next week God bless and stay safe.
Pastor John

Hi everyone,
As the weather starts to warm up and the vaccine opportunities are suddenly becoming more numerous, we are starting to look at more ministries and fellowship events. For now we are still observing strict CDC protocols but as more of us acquire immunity we can schedule more activity. If you haven’t received your vaccination yet, please get your name on one or more waiting lists so you can get it at the earliest opportunity. 
This Sunday is Holy Communion Sunday. If you are watching from home, please have a beverage and some bread or crackers nearby so you can also partake in this blessed sacrament. Holy Communion for April will be served only on Maundy Thursday, April 1st. More details on that Communion to follow. 
Monday, the 8th, at 1:00 p.m. the United Methodist Women will be holding their monthly meeting in the Fellowship Hall. Martha Roberts will be showing a film called, “A Call to Prayer and Self Denial”. This is especially fitting for the Season of Lent. For more information, contact Kathy Hardy. 
This past week we lost Barb Jones, one of our long time members. Barb was so faithful to Gulfview and so supportive of the leadership and we will miss her very much. Her suffering is over and ours must go on a little while longer. We will meet again some day.
Last Sunday we had a snowbird named, Bill, minister to us with his beautiful voice. We are asking everyone to help us find folks with singing or playing talent who would be willing to minister to us on Sunday mornings. If you or someone you know of might be interested please contact the Church Office. 
We are nearing the end of our isolation ordeal and I would encourage you to get outside and bathe in the sunshine. That good ‘ol Vitamin D production is so important especially now. May God bless you all with an extra helping of faith and security.
Love, 
Pastor John

My dear friends,
   There will be no mention of any virtual meetings this week because the last forty or so mentioned should be sufficient. So we will skip a week with just a reminder to contact the office for the login information to any of our Bible Studies or meetings.
   There has been a lot of misinformation spread around social media about the COVID vaccines. The truth is this. These vaccines are as safe as any others we have taken in our lives and everyone should seek to be vaccinated as early as they can. It is also true that some folks are experiencing some side effects particularly from their second shot. However compared to the actual virus itself the side effects are an acceptable risk. With more and more retail outlets contracting with the State of Florida to distribute the vaccines, the time in the waiting line will be substantially less. So please persevere and get your name on the list. 
   A few folks have talked with me about the possibility of more ministries for Gulfview even while we are still taking COVID precautions. I agree that there are things we can do safely and I would encourage you to bring your ministry ideas forward. I think we can still serve God under any condition. 
   We are still looking for folks who would be interested in performing a song during the Sunday morning Worship Service. If you play an instrument or sing we would like to talk with you. None of us are professionals. We just do the best we can in serving the Lord. If you feel the spirit leading you to this ministry please contact the Church Office. 
   In the earlier weekly updates last summer I asked you all to remember to call others in the Church so that we may stay connected. I would like to remind you to remember to do this again. A simple phone call or a card from you makes a huge difference in a person’s day. We will continue to pray for each other but we can do more than that by staying connected. I want to personally say a huge thank you to all of you who have sent cards or messages of encouragement to Melanie and me. We have felt your love and support and it is very humbling to serve such good hearted people. 
Yours in Christ,
Pastor John

 

My dear friends,
Let’s start with our COVID update. As of last Monday our numbers have decreased in Bay County but we’re not out of the woods yet. Vaccines are going to be made more available in more places so if you have been frustrated, be patient and I am confident you will have yours sooner than later. For those under 65 we will have to wait a little while longer. Meanwhile, our Zoom meetings continue with Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening Bible Studies. We also have Men’s Fellowship Time on Thursday morning. To join in any of these meetings please contact the Church Office for login information.

The United Methodist Women were very successful in their Souper Bowl food donation campaign. They received a whopping 658 cans of soup for the needy. Congratulations to all those women who worked so hard to make this event a success.

Next Wednesday, February 17th, marks the start of our Advent Season. The first day is called Ash Wednesday and we will observe that day with two opportunities to receive ashes. The first will be from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. in a drive through event at the front of the church. I will administer ashes in a safe manner as you sit in your car. The second service will be at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This will also be broadcast virtually. The application of ashes will be done safely there as well and symbolically for those at home. Also because of the service there will be no Bible Study that evening.

There have been several of our flock expressing a strong desire to be more effective as a Church in ministry and in mission. I am in favor of any new ministry that can be done safely in our Church. If you have an idea for a ministry the next step is to make an appointment with me to discuss the logistics and to make sure that the ministry is appropriate for this Church and consistent with our social principles. Please be in prayer about what the Lord may be leading you to do.

This coming Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Though the day originally focused on the “eros” love between couples, it has been expanded to observe love between friends and neighbors. Please look for opportunities to love those who might be in need in your community or in your own neighborhood.

Don Gedeon is seeking anyone who would like to sing or play an instrument during our Sunday morning worship. If you are that person or know somebody that might want to share their talent, please contact Don Gedeon or the Church Office.

That’s all for this week. Like the Apostle Paul would say, “keep fighting the good fight”. God is with us; we are not alone.
Love,
Pastor John

February 4, 2021

Good morning church,
It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you that our dear friend and brother, Bill Weber, went to be with the Lord on Thursday afternoon, January 28th. Bill was such an integral part of everything we do here at Gulfview and many have formed strong friendships with him. The grief has touched all of us so please remember to pray for Thresia and the family but also prayer for our Church as we go forward in God’s service.

The funeral service for Edgar Champion will take place Saturday, February 6th at 1:00 p.m. at Kent Forest Lawn Cemetery. This will be a graveside service and the family wanted me to express that everyone should exercise caution in their decision to attend. They completely understand if everyone would air on the side of safety instead of attending.

Our recent COVID stats in Bay County show a small improvement. As of this past week we are at 16% positive tests (down 4%) and 73 are in hospital with a primary diagnosis of COVID 19 (down from 84). We do however have new strains that are appearing in Florida so we are not out of the woods yet. I would encourage everyone to get the vaccine as early as you possibly can. Trust your Pastor on this. These are safe vaccines and it is a no-brainer in making the decision to get one.

This Saturday is Souper Bowl Time! The United Methodist Women are accepting donations of soup, meaty meal type and pop top lids, on Saturday morning, February 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the front door of the Church. This is a drive through event. If for any reason you can not contribute on Saturday, you can bring soup to the Church on Sunday for service.

This Sunday morning is Holy Communion Sunday. If you are not attending in person then I would encourage you to have your cracker or bread and a beverage nearby during the virtual service so that we might all partake in communion together. As a reminder we start our Church Service live and virtual simultaneously at 10:00 a.m.

We do have a Prayer List at the Church that is updated weekly. If you would like a copy of this Prayer List sent to you, please contact the Church Office. Prayers are so important to the one praying, to the Church, and to God.

That’s everything for this week. Don’t forget to sign up for a vaccination. In the meantime, stay masked, stay distant, and wash those hands!
Love,
Pastor John

 

Latest Church News

Hi everyone,

Well except for the COVID precautions our Church is starting to operate as they have in year’s past. By that I mean the Snowbirds have rolled in and local ministries are in full swing. That having been said we have a NEW MINISTRY: We are now taking names of volunteers who would be willing to drive somebody to and from their COVID vaccination appointment. Requirements for volunteers are as follows:

  1. You must have a valid driver’s license and insurance.
  2. You must have either had the COVID 19 disease or have had your first COVID vaccine at least four weeks ago.

If you fit these criteria and are willing to help, contact the Church Office, 850-234-2889, and you will be added to the list. You will only be driving people in your area should you volunteer. Once we have a few volunteers we will spread the word that Gulfview is offering this ministry.

It seems like people are getting more comfortable with the Zoom meetings because our Bible Studies and Men’s Fellowship are growing. As a reminder, there’s a Bible Study Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The Men’s Fellowship is Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. Please contact the Church Office for the login information to these groups.

I don’t normally ask for prayers during this update because we have a Prayer List but I’m going to ask this week. Please pray for Bill Weber and Glenna Thomas, both of whom are in serious condition in the hospital and for Bob Jones who is working hard in rehab to get his breathing back to normal. Also please pray for the families of these people because visitations are either limited or non-existing.

Mark your calendars Ash Wednesday service will take place at 6:00 p.m. on the 17th of February in the Sanctuary. The administration of ashes will be done safely. In addition to this we will offer a drive-through administration of ashes at the front of the Church on that day from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. Both times are available to everyone whether they are church members or not.

That’s all the news for this week. I encourage everyone “65 and older for now” no matter how frustrating it is to sign up for a vaccine as early as you can. In the meantime continue with the masks and distancing and washing of hands. Let’s stay safe and stay focused and the Lord will see us through.

Blessings on you all,

Pastor John