From Pastor Phil:

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have all been following the rapid progress of COVID-19, the Corona Virus. We have been studying how to be the church during this crisis.
On March 11, the disease was listed as a pandemic. On March 12, I listened to Governor Hogan’s new conference about the actions our state government was taking to lessen the spread of the disease. Our Bishop, Bishop Easterling has sent out a letter recommending that all Maryland United Methodist Churches not hold services on March 15 and March 22.

Baldwin Memorial UMC will have one service on Sunday, March 15 at 10:30am to celebrate the Baptism of Ruth Hiltner. We will not hold worship on March 22. All church sponsored activities will be canceled until March 30 at which time we will evaluate the need to postpone activities. Hopefully and prayerfully, we can gather for worship for a combined 10AM service on March 29 in fellowship hall.

In my 30+ years in the ministry I was not taught how to be a pastor during a pandemic. Here is what I will be doing during this time of social distancing:
• Praying daily for our congregation, the world, for those who have the disease and for care givers and health providers, for those who mourn lives lost to the disease, and for researchers working for a cure and vaccines. I will be praying for those for whom this disease will mean loss of income and jobs.
• I will also be praying for each one of you. We will explore the possibility of offering some kind of worship experience outside, with prayer at our outdoor worship space.
• I will be available by phone or e-mail, please keep me informed and do not hesitate to call.
One of our concerns about not worshiping together on Sundays is that we lose offering. This has always been because of “snow days.” Consider giving electronically on line or sending your offering in by mail.

Baldwin Memorial UMC is a loving church and social distancing is not our thing! We will learn to reach out in new ways and continue to be a people who loves God because God first loved us.

What joy and privilege to serve God and you as your pastor. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Blessings, – your Pastor and Friend,