Dear West End UMC Family,
Greetings, my dear friends! I hope that today you are finding some way to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, even if it means simply looking out a window for a few minutes as you take a break from your daily tasks.
This week’s update includes a lot of information about opportunities for worship, study, fellowship and fun. I hope you’ll participate in as many ways as you can, as we strive to stay connected in this season.
As restaurants and retails stories begin to open in some places around our state, religious communities are asking questions about how to move into Phase 1. I participated in three conversations this week: one with large UMC churches in Middle Tennessee, one with local leaders, and one with UMC pastors across the country. As a congregation our first priority is to love our neighbor and do all we can to promote the health and safety of our members and our community. We are committed to John Wesley’s first of Three Rules: “Do no harm.”
We know that it will be many months before we can open our doors to anyone who wants to come, many months before we can stand side by side and sing, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” While we grieve the separation, we believe it is a powerful witness of love for our community.
Nevertheless, it is time to begin preparing for that day when we open the doors again. We need to pray, think and plan now. To help us begin to think through what “reopening” might look like at West End, I’m putting together a small Task Force for Reopening that includes some of our health professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic and can guide us as a large church in an urban area.
I look forward to being with you on livestream on Sunday morning as we hear Jesus’ words in John 14: “I will not leave you orphaned.” Please join us. And send the link to a friend! As always, I am grateful for the many ways the Spirit keeps us connected every day!
Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon, Senior Pastor
Livestream Worship // Sunday, May 17 // 8:45 a.m.
Livestream is available via westendumc.org/livestream and on our Facebook page. Links to bulletins and hymns will be provided. An email and Facebook post will be sent Sunday morning at 8:15 a.m. to prepare you for worship. Following the “live” service, the replay will be available anytime throughout the day at the links above and the full service will be available on westendumc.org later in the day. There will be NO Sunday School, childcare or public events on campus either Sunday.
West End Transitions
- Jane Moore Crawford and her family are mourning the death of her mother, Winifred Saunders Moore, who died on May 8. A private interment was held on May 15th in Clarksville, TN. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Building is Closed, Staff Continues to Work from Home
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper's "Safer at Home" Order, our pastors and staff will be working remotely from home, and our building is closed at this time. All staff are available by email, and you can call the main church number to reach a pastor for an emergency.
All gatherings in the church are cancelled or postponed at this time.
West End Preschool
WEUMC Preschool will reopen in a limited capacity on May 18th.
Online Sunday School Options
Pastors Brandon, Maggie and Emily provided a resource for everyone to use for a home Sunday School option. You can find it here.
We will continue to be meeting remotely for the foreseeable future. If your Sunday morning class, Covenant Discipleship group, or other small group has not yet begun meeting online, please consider doing so. Contact Pastor Brandon for help setting up the appropriate online tools so your group can maintain connection. Email Brandon at email@example.com .
Youth Sunday School will meet at 10:00 am and Small Groups at 5:00 pm. Youth Council is meeting at 4:00 pm – all youth are invited! Don’t have the zoom links yet? Email Emily Robbins for the Zoom links at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New! Interactive Interview Series Continues Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 PM
Join us on Facebook Live or Livestream for an interactive interview series where ministry staff will host special guests to learn more about their lives, their areas of expertise, and their experiences adapting to the COVID-19 era. This will be a chance to hear from some of the amazing members at West End UMC as well as special guests from the greater Nashville community. Each interview begins with conversation between the host and special guest and then proceeds to include questions provided by you, the viewer, via the streaming comment section. Interviews will continue every other Thursday night at 7:30 PM.
Our second guest is West End attendee and NPR Radio Host, Rachel Iacovone.
Prayer Meditations at Noon Continue On Wednesdays
Our daily noon prayer meditations have moved to once a week on Wednesdays at noon. A member of our staff will go onto Facebook Live to host a brief time of prayer to keep us connected in the Spirit. We'll be praying together and trying out different prayer practices.
Online Giving More Important Than Ever
Please continue your giving to the church as you are able during this time of uncertainty. Here are ways to give:
Give online at westendumc.org/give. Here you can make a one-time donation or set up a recurring gift.
Text to give. You can text "Give" to 615-697-4010, and the prompts will help you set up from there. Once you get registered, you can use this option easily going forward.
Contact Cindy Siemer (email@example.com) to set up an automatic bank draft.
Mail a check to the church at 2200 West End Avenue, Nashville 37203. Our mail will be held at the Post Office and a staff member will pick it up twice a week.
Livestream Taize Service This Sunday
Join us by livestream on May 17 at 5:00 PM for our Taizé Service of Prayer and Healing. Contemplative in nature, this worship is one way we can get in touch with our mystical selves in the company of others with a similar intent. Prayer that is silent, spoken, and sung forms the basis of the liturgy in a space of quiet beauty. You are invited to sing and pray along with us, and even join in a time of anointing with oil. If you want to participate in the anointing, you will need to find a bit of oil (olive or essential) and cotton balls/tissues. We hope this service will be a special time of divine comfort in these difficult days.
Camp W.E. 2020 Update
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new recommendations of the CDC and the Nashville Mayor's office, we belief it is in the best interest of our families and visitors to cancel in person Camp W.E. this summer. We are so sorry to miss having this time with your families and friends. If you have questions, please contact Maggie Jarrell firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Communal Read: How to Be an Anti-Racist
West End UMC is a member of NOAH (Nashville Organized for Action and Hope). A member of NOAH, Irwin Venick, will be leading a communal reading of Dr. Ibram Kendi’s most recent book How to be An Anti-Racist, which directly targets NOAH's goal of combating systemic racism. We'd love for West Enders, even those not directly involved with NOAH, to take part in reading this important book and will host a virtual book club gathering for West Enders separate from the NOAH event on Thursday, May 28 at 6 PM. If you are interested in participating, email Stacey (email@example.com) for the zoom link. Participants are encouraged to read the entire book before the discussion on May 28.
Through a shared book reading experience, Dr. Kendi will enlighten us with his concept of anti-racism which can re-energize and re-shape our conversation about racial justice in America. If you would like to join the NOAH sponsored How to Be an Anti-Racist community wide read, please contact Irwin Venick, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Organizer Jerome Moore, at email@example.com. Copy Stacey on that email so we will know how many West End folks are participating (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Missions and Outreach Opportunity - Glencliff Food Box Supplies Needed
We have been overwhelmed by the response to the snack bag request! Thank you! There were several boxes of items delivered both to Will and to the church and we are grateful.
We now need to switch our attention to our partners at Glencliff UMC. Glencliff is serving as the metro southside drop off for food and supplies for neighbors without housing. It's not a walk-up site, but a place for outreach workers or pastors to utilize supplies and resources for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. They are running low on food and have asked us to donate. Find more information on our website about what is needed and where to have it delivered at westendumc.org/glencliff.
God Loves Everyone Masks
Get your very own "God Loves Everyone" Mask! West End member, Deb Smith, is making masks with our Bedrock Belief across the front according to the Deaconess Hospital instructions. They do not have the metal wire at the top and are backed with a flannel like material and are microwavable to kill germs.
Masks are limited to the first 25 to order them and are available at westendumc.org/masks for $10 each. Profits beyond our shipping costs will go to sanitation supplies for our friends on the streets. We hope to ship these by midweek next week. Please be patient as Deb is in the process of making these.
Passing The Peace
We love seeing your faces each Sunday during our virtual passing of the peace. We need more of you to send in your videos to us! Email a short video to email@example.com and watch for your face to appear on Sundays.
Care Packages for Homebound Members
We would like to send our Homebound members some love and cheer from our congregation! We've put together an Amazon Wishlist for care package items. You can access the list here:
In addition, we'd like to include notes of encouragement from the congregation. This is also a great opportunity for kids to draw pictures for our homebound members! If you'd like to purchase any of the items on our wishlist, or send a card or picture, please mail them or have them sent to Heather Helton, our Congregational Care Intern. She will be putting the care packages together.
3829 Woodmont Lane
Nashville, TN 37215
Summer Mentors Needed
Bethlehem Centers anticipates being able to hold their regular summer camp with some modifications for appropriate physical distancing and taking precautions according to the guidelines of Metro Nashville. This means that our Junior Internship program is on for this summer and we need to find mentors for our junior interns who will be working their first job at Bethlehem Centers' summer camps. Mentors "meet" one on one with their intern once a week, getting to know them, answering questions, helping them with problem solving related to work, and being one more adult in their corner. We need ten mentors this year and mentorship may need to look a little different. If you are part of a vulnerable population and would like to be a mentor, Steve Fleming at Bethlehem Centers can arrange to do your weekly check-ins by phone. If you are able to come to Bethlehem Centers, there's an opportunity to be outside, six feet apart, from your mentor. If interested, please contact Lindsay Singleton for details at 615.545.4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to the Flower Fund
Each Sunday, we have gracious donors who provide the beautiful flowers for our altar. Did you know these flowers are donated to the Flower Committee at Richland Place on Sundays that our donors do not desire to pick the flowers up? If you would like to be a donor or donate funds to the West End United Methodist Flower Fund, please email Allison Wills Brooks and Jamie Flick at email@example.com. Many thanks to those who have donated altar flowers and contributed to the flower fund in the past!
Webinars About Social Injustices and Covid-19
The UMC is putting out a series of webinars about the way Covid-19 has "revealed societal injustices that already existed. This pandemic has magnified familiar societal, political, and economic disparities—now with the added urgency of a public health crisis." We invite you to join us in watching them for a deeper dive into justice issues that we are called to care about as Christians. For more information - click here.
Family Trivia Night, Wednesday, May 20 at 7:30 pm
West End Families - We have a Family Trivia Night just for YOU! We will gather over zoom on Wednesday, May 20th at 7:30 pm. Come prepared for fun and PIZZA! Our winning family will have a pizza delivered to their home! Make sure to download ‘Zoom’ and the ‘Kahoot’ app beforehand on two separate devices and join us at 7:30 pm! RSVP at westendumc.org/gamenight to receive the Zoom link.
Do you know a 2020 Graduate?
We want to honor all graduates. If you are a 2020 graduate connected to West End UMC we'd love to honor you! Please send Pastor Nancy, firstname.lastname@example.org, your name, degree, and college and we will celebrate you in our upcoming newsletter.
In this season when we are being encouraged to practice "social distancing," it is important for our community of faith to make sure that those who are most vulnerable among us are receiving the care that they need. If you are at high risk for covid-19 and are in need of food, medication, or supplies, please contact Rev. Erin Racine. Additionally, we encourage everyone to reach out via phone to those who are at high risk for covid-19 to make sure that they have what they need. Please forward their names to Erin so that she can coordinate our congregational response.
Finally, if you are not at high risk, are not exhibiting symptoms of the virus, and you are willing to run errands or make deliveries for our members who are unable to leave their homes, please contact Erin. Erin can be reached at email@example.com or 615.321.8500, x8838. If you are in need of spiritual or emotional support during this time, please reach out to one of our pastors.
Creation Justice Tip
Numerous climate justice organizations are doing excellent work. Explore them to continue to educate yourself. You may also choose to sign advocacy petitions, which will be sent to appropriate policy makers, or to support the organization’s work financially, knowing that you—through these groups—will continue to make a positive difference. Some examples are Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) and 350.org.
And always remember: "God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God!"