'Sheltered in grace' is reality and messaging for Bartlett United Methodist during COVID-19 season


Bartlett United Methodist Church is SHELTERED IN GRACE. (Submitted photo)

By Rev. Jason W. Jones
Senior Pastor, Bartlett United Methodist Church

When Bartlett United Methodist Church in Bartlett, Tennessee (near Memphis) recognized the pandemic would keep us physically separated from one another and our usual ministry for longer than initially expected, we knew an emotional and spiritual toll would be taken on our church and community.

We knew negativity would abound. So we decided to shape another narrative: one that would help us and our neighbors retain a measure of hope in uncertain times.The reality is we're sheltered in place; the bigger reality is we're sheltered in grace.

We’ve conveyed this in numerous ways, including:

  • Creating yard signs, shirts, and a banner to witness to this good news
  • Serving 136 families in 4 weeks with our food pantry
  • Ministering to 45 families with a "touchless" visit from the Easter Bunny
  • Creating a community Share Shack filled with games and puzzles
  • Stocking the community Blessing Box with small food and hygiene items
  • Posting videos to remain connected with our preschool, children and youth
  • Posting music videos to keep us inspired and praising
  • Livestreaming weekly Bible studies and daily Holy Week worship
  • Sharing online worship services each Sunday morning
  • Creating virtual participation for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday

How is your Memphis Conference church/congregation adjusting & adapting to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic? What new ways have you found to worship, share devotions & hold Bible study? How are you continuing to serve & reach out to your community? What new technologies are you learning & embracing to communicate & maintain your connection? Share your stories & pictures! Any word count is acceptable, but 100 to 200 words is ideal. Please include who, what, when, where, why & how. Email communications@memphis-umc.org

Memphis Conference COVID-19 Resource Page: CLICK HERE