Holy Week 2020
April 5 - 12
March 27, 2020 1:00 PM
Do you remember how the first Easter began for the Disciples? They were huddled together in a home. Sound familiar? Luke 24 says when the women returned from the empty tomb, the eleven remaining disciples were together in one place. While it isn’t what we had planned, celebrating Easter from our homes is, in a sense, returning to our roots.
Much like that first Easter, we may not expect the blessing and wonder heading our way, but rest assured, Easter is coming. The greatest day of the year, Easter is unbridled hope, a true and lasting testament that sin, mourning, and evil will not stand. On Easter, death dies, fear falters, and life springs anew, eternal. While we won’t be able to responsibly gather in person this Easter, we will celebrate together with great joy that Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Sunday, April 12, Ebenezer will offer six opportunities for the Easter worship celebration: 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 AM along with 12:00 and 6:00 PM. Not only do I hope you will join in worship, but I pray you will also invite your friends and loved ones to tune in as well.
Our team is working on a couple of fun and creative ways you can be invitational which we’ll share with you next week. Also, please plan to tune in for Palm Sunday online services at 8:15, 9:45, 11:15 AM and 6:00 PM. On Good Friday, April 10, we’ll worship at noon and 7:00 PM. All services can be accessed by going to live.ebenezerumc.org.
Like you, I am saddened we won’t see each other face-to-face on Easter. Distance may separate us for this season, but the power of Christ to unite us is far greater. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Take heart, for God moved heaven and earth to prove his love for us. Yes, Easter is coming.
Online Worship | Worship online at 8:15, 9:45, 11:15 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. this Sunday
Our office remains closed, but there is a staff person available to take your calls at 540-659-1349 between 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM during the week. Please let us know if you have any needs we can help with using the form below or by giving us a call. In case of a pastoral emergency after hours, please leave a message and a member of our Congregational Care team will reach out to you.
Prayers at Noon | Join Pastor Monica Monday - Friday at noon on Facebook Live for a short time of togetherness and prayer.
In addition to moving to online worship, we are suspending all other activities on the campus until at least June 10. During this time, our professional cleaning service has accomplished a deep clean of the inside of our facility and outside implements such as our playground equipment. Our office will remain closed, but there is a staff person available to take your calls. Contact us using the button below.
Many of us find ourselves struggling to find peace based on constraints due to COVID-19. The time we spend interacting with our loved ones could become strained because of the new stresses that we are experiencing. I would like you to know that you are not alone in these struggles. I am available to meet with you through a virtual meeting room. We can partner with the Holy Spirit to help you address what is on your heart and figure out the best course of action as we move forward. If you are interested in meeting with me, please contact me using the button below.
– Keith Priest
Our Christian Counselor, Kieth Priest, is hosting open conversation sessions every Tuesday and Friday at 3:00 PM via Zoom. It’s an opportunity for everyone to discuss how we are feeling about the current environment.
Email Keith using the button below to join the Open Conversation Zoom Meeting.
The Office of Stafford County Sheriff is offering support for elderly and at-risk Stafford County residents. With elderly citizens and those with underlying health conditions facing significant risks from the spread of the coronavirus, they will have deputies available to pick-up and deliver medicine and basic necessities to our elderly and at-risk citizens who cannot leave their homes.
If you or someone you know could use a helping hand, please contact The Office of Stafford County Sheriff at 540-658-4400.
Each of the four school districts has come up with plans to offer to-go meals to feed kids the breakfasts and/or lunches they may miss due to the closures. Below are links to more information for each school district:
Are you experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus Pandemic? If so, we may be able to help. Ebenezer Church does not provide cash donations, but we can help you with your bills if you are falling behind or connect you with community resources for food or shelter. Please contact Tina by email using the button below or call 540-659-1349, to start the process.
At-Home Learning Activities from Stafford County Public Schools
Prayers at Noon | Join Pastor Monica Monday – Friday at noon on Facebook Live for a short time of togetherness and prayer.
If you are not already giving in this way, please consider going to ebenezerumc.org/give to make your contribution to the ongoing work of Christ through Ebenezer. Your regular and consistent giving makes it possible to provide ministries such as online worship and other means to connect even when it may not be possible for us to be together in person. Thank you for your commitment.
Severe Blood Shortage, Donors Urgently Needed. Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide lifesaving blood products to patients. Learn more about donating blood through the American Red Cross.
Learn more about how you can continue supporting S.E.R.V.E.
Share your passion for our mission during this time of need by hosting a Virtual Food Drive. Virtual Food Drives allow the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank to purchase their most needed items.
Learn how you can help support our healthcare workers.
Per Gov. Northam’s decision, EUMC Preschool will close for the remainder of the year. Teachers will be emailing parents the lessons for the days that the children would be in school. They will continue with their monthly themes that are posted on their calendars. Teachers will also do some video lessons so the children can still see them.
Do you need a boredom break during this COVID-19 Quarantine? Exciting news … Ebenezer UMC Preschool’s Book Fair has finally arrived! Practice social distancing with a good book. We truly appreciate your support. 25% of rewards will benefit our preschool. Orders are shipped to your home address. Free shipping for book-only orders of $25 or more (a non-book item in the order voids this offer).
Like & Follow Ebenezer Preschool on Facebook to Get Updates
Like & Follow KidzRock on Facebook to Get Updates
High School students can join us for some deeper time in the Word on Monday mornings at 10:00 AM. Let’s start the week off centered on Him!Join the Meeting
High School Youth Group is going virtual! Join us online at 7:00 PM on Wednesdays via zoom video conferencing. No account needed - just follow the link from any device. We will have a large group teaching and split into small groups for discussion. No need to worry about being too busy - we will help fill an hour of your time! Use the button below to join the meeting. You will need to enter the password: axisJoin the Meeting
High School Students! Join us on zoom Fridays at 4:00 PM for game time! It is a time just to get together, hangout and play games over zoom! Join us!Join the Meeting
Middle School Youth Group is going virtual! Join us online at 6:00 PM on Sundays via zoom video conferencing. We will have a large group teaching and split into small groups for discussion. No account needed - just follow the link from any device that has a microphone and camera ability: smartphone, computer, tablet. Use the button below to join the meeting. You will need to enter the password: TNTJoin the Meeting
The Confirmation Retreat is now going to be a "Confirmation Virtual Experience". We will be meeting online Friday, March 27 at 4:40 PM - 7:00 PM and again on Saturday 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Parents will all receive an email with the zoom info. You can also use the button below to join the Confirmation Virtual Experience. Please make sure students have a Bible, pen, paper, and space away from distractions. Zoom requires a device that has a camera and a microphone. Headphones are suggested. You will also want to be close to a power supply for this virtual adventure!Join on Zoom
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March 19, 2020, 12:00 PM
Dear Ebenezer Family,
Over the past week, all of us have had our routines and rhythms disrupted or completed disbanded. We are certainly in new territory, but we are in it together. It is not lost on me one bit that we are currently in the season of Lent. A season that calls for self-denial and self-reflection. A season that asks us to walk closer with Christ. And even though our regular patterns of interacting and doing ministry must be adapted, our purpose as God’s church never changes. We must adapt the methods but maintain the mission.
I’m thankful that so many of you were able to join us for church online last week. We will continue gathering online only for worship. Ebenezer Church online will be available at all service times at live.ebenezerumc.org on March 22 and March 29. Below is a tip sheet highlighting the features of this service. Click here to downloaded this document.
Our office remains closed, but there is a staff person available to take your calls (540-659-1349) between 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM during the week. Please let us know if you have any needs we can help with. In case of a pastoral emergency after hours, please leave a message and a member of our Congregational Care team will reach out to you.
Additionally, as the Ebenezer Preschool follows Stafford County School’s guidelines, they will be closed until April 15. We are working on additional ways to stay connected as a community and to support each. I invite you to join me daily, Mon-Fri, at noon on our Ebenezer Facebook page for prayers.
I am reminded of God’s Word spoken through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:28
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
God is with us. God will always be with us. And we will always be here for one another.
Blessings and Peace,
March 12, 2020 3:00 PM
In consultation with both healthcare professionals and church leaders, we have made the decision to temporarily but dramatically pear down activities at Ebenezer Church in response to the threats associated with COVID-19/Coronavirus.
Beginning Friday, March 13 and continuing through Sunday, March 22, we have postponed all in-person activities at the church. We will offer online worship at 8:15, 9:45, 11:15 A.M. and 6:00 P.M on Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22. We encourage you to join us for one of the services at live.ebenezerumc.org
In addition to moving to online worship, we are suspending all other activities on the campus until March 23. During this time, our professional cleaning service will accomplish a deep clean of the inside of our facility, and outside implements such as our playground equipment will be pressure washed.
As you might imagine, this was not an easy decision. We believe life change happens every day at Ebenezer. The question was how might we balance the vital ministries of the church with ensuring the health and well-being of the congregation. As this week is Spring Break for Stafford Schools, we were blessed to already have a somewhat diminished operational tempo.
During this period, I have also instructed our staff to work from home to ensure they remain healthy. We will have a very small team present to handle any emergencies or questions.
While we are not meeting in person for this brief season, there are many ways we can continue to be in community together. Noted above, we hope you’ll join us for worship. Parents, if you would like to work through the Sunday School curriculum with your children, download the free Parent Cue App. We also hope to provide ongoing opportunities for Bible study online. More to come on that front. Any time our students are out of school, S.E.R.V.E. our partner in the fight against hunger faces a particular need. If you are interested in donating food you can take it directly to their facility located at 15 Upton Lane in Stafford.
The simple truth is when we do not meet in person for worship, our finances take a dip. For several years many of you have given electronically. If you are not already giving in this way, please consider going to ebenezerumc.org/give to make your contribution to the ongoing work of Christ through Ebenezer. Your regular and consistent giving makes it possible to provide ministries such as online worship and other means to connect even when it may not be possible for us to be together in person. Thank you for your commitment.
I recently read an article about Christians in the third century. A plague struck the Roman Empire and as people were running away from the infected, Christians were regularly running toward the sick, to care for them in every way they could. These acts of selfless love proved one of the most effective witnesses for Christ in history. No doubt, we should respond with wisdom to whatever comes our way in life. Let us also respond in love.
May God bless and keep you safe in this season and always. May God continue to shine the light of love through us to all who suffer and are in fear. Please take time to join me in prayer for anyone affected by this virus, and let us give thanks, now and always, for the tremendous grace and goodness of our God.