Women’s Community Bible Study

Women’s Community Bible Study (CBS)

If you’re like most people, you feel like not only has your life has been interrupted, it’s been turned upside down! This is the best time for the women of this community to study ‘Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted’ written by Priscilla Shirer.

This is what she says, “They shock us, they shake us; they compel us to change. You can’t escape life’s interruptions, but you can change your perspective on them. Dive into the study of Jonah and discover that what you see as an interruption may truly be God’s divine invitation to a life so much bigger than you can imagine.”

The Women’s Community Bible Study’s 7th week of summer study will start on Wednesday, May 13th at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm via online classes using Zoom. Since small group meetings with safety measures in place are now allowed, we decided to offer ‘in person’ classes at 10:30 am. The ‘in person’ class meets in the Fellowship Hall – disinfected and socially distant! Even if you’ve done this study in the past, you will find God has new things to teach us all about life’s interruptions and His plans.

Because we will not be meeting together in person at the start of class, you will need to purchase your own book. Please order it soon so you will get it in time. We do have a couple of extra books if anyone needs one.

There is no other charge for the class.  To register, please email leslieberlin@jpg.com.

Finance Information

Wesley Finance Letter

April 16, 2020

Dear Wesley Family,

Little did I know the challenges we would all be facing when I was asked to join the Finance Committee at Wesley for 2020.  Not only that, I somehow got deemed the Chairman of the Committee!  Thankfully I work with a great Finance Team (Vickey Paggio, Jan Grover, Marilynn Harrigan) with Connie Pruitt’s guidance.

Not only are we faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, but our community, nation, and in fact the whole world also faces severe economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus.  Of course, Wesley is not immune.  However, we will survive and be okay!

I wanted to share some of the steps we have taken and are taking in concert with Ernie, church leaders, and the Administrative Board:

  • We got approval to make interest only payments on our mortgage for at least three months.   We inquired about deferring mortgage payments altogether, but this is not currently an option. 
  • Applying for a loan under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) which is part of the federal Coronavirus legislation known as the Cares Act.  This loan is forgivable and need not be repaid if certain very achievable requirements are met.  We have committed to continue to fully pay our church staff at least through May.  We will review our situation in coming weeks, and this loan could help us keep this commitment into the summer at least.  Our Bridges colleagues also benefit from these actions.
  • The Florida Conference is paying half of our pension expense for the next three months.  We will also receive at least partial reimbursement for the expenses we have incurred in implementing our livestreaming functionality.
  • Reviewing all of our expenses including asking for discounts or concessions where possible, and putting off or eliminating non-essential purchases.

What can you do?

  • First and foremost, pray.  Pray for physical, emotional, economic, and especially spiritual healing.
  • Continue to meet your pledge commitment if you are able.  In fact, for those in a position to do so, consider pre-paying some of your 2020 pledge, and / or making a one-time additional offering.
  • Again, if you are able, consider sharing some or all of your government stimulus check with God and Wesley United Methodist Church.
  • Sing!  And keep praying!

We will continue to update you on our financial condition as we move forward.  Remember you can give via text, mailing in a check, going to the church website, or calling the church office.  Feel free to reach out to anyone on the committee if you have any questions.  God bless you, and stay safe.

Steve Olson, Finance Committee Chair

Good News from Promiseland

Good News from Promiseland

Although we cannot meet physically with our Promiseland children, I have sent out weekly messages to the kids (that the parents are reading to them).  I was cheered to have received feedback from several parents who let me know that the messages have been encouraging to their kids as well as for them.  Each message is set up like the show we normally provide during our meetings, but it encourages them to participate.  I also sent out songs in videos that they are familiar with and can dance to and always provide a craft! This way, their minds are focused on good things and their bodies are kept active with physical activities.
Early during the quarantine, postcards were sent to the children encouraging them to pray and stay healthy, strong and to let them know that they are missed!  I hear that they had fun getting mail.
During Holy Week, a daily message was sent to the children explaining what each day of the week meant and why we should spend special time with Jesus.  It also contained an Easter craft related to that day and music links!  My prayer was that the parents would spend time with the children reading through, discussing the messages and learning together!  My prayer was answered! I even had one parent share that he did not know the significance of each day and was so happy to understand the importance of each day.
The Sunday before Holy week, one of our fantastic volunteers, Amber, put together Easter bags and distributed them at the church!  The kids were so excited to receive goodies.  We shared the information to our Promiseland kids, on Facebook (ours and a posting to Bay Crest) and word of mouth!  40 bags were given out to children in our community!
And in the closet of our Promiseland room, there were some cards that former Promiseland Alumni created…I thought what better time to use them – those cards are being mailed to our Wesley Family to let everyone know that they are loved and missed!

Stay Safe during the quarantine!  Love you all and look forward to the day that we can fellowship together again!–

Rochelle L. Mock
Children’s Director
Wesley Memorial UMC
6100 Memorial HighwayTampa, FL  33615

50 Surgical Caps

50 Surgical Caps

Wesley is Amazing! I was able to send 50 surgical caps to my cousin in NJ for her to disperse among the nurses there in the hospitals in her county.  The ladies in the church who were so kind in availing their time, resources, and talents in  making these caps are Betsy Danielson, Kathy Gruver, Jean Rowe, and Janice Small.

Gail Parker

Women’s Community Bible Study

Women’s Community Bible Study

A couple of months ago, who could ever have imagined that the Women’s Community Bible Study would be meeting in a virtual environment? Well it is now. Thanks to Zoom, the Community Bible Study has been able to continue its weekly bible study. 

We have about 80 women meeting together on Zoom every week. Once we taught everyone how to use it, the meetings have been running very well. We start in one big group, then split into small groups, then come back together for the teaching.  This method has worked well for our fellowship of women and we have been enjoying fruitful bible studies as a result.

Besides the 80 women, our Leaders Council of 16 members meet on a regular basis too.

Leslie Berlin

Wesley Youth On the Move!

Wesley Youth On the Move!

Wesley Youth is still meeting virtually! 
Following the Spring Break, we have had 1 -2 virtual meetings per week.  Also, we invited all of the youth members to Wesley’s Live Facebook Lenten Services.  The good news is that we are certain that about 10 students have been attending regularly.   

We are using the Zoom Meeting App to host our weekly group session.  The first meeting was a bit chaotic!  Just imagine of 12 people talking all at the same time!!! Thankfully, the second meeting ran much smoother.  This time, we were able to implement some structure in our meeting and effectively use the best of our time. It certainly worked out for the best.  Following this structure, we have been able to complete most of the Wednesday night agendas. Even though it is just a shortened amount of time (40 minutes), it is amazing to see how God has created bonds between all of us.  Everyone was so excited to see each other!

Last week, Larry and I surprised the students by dropping off snack bags to their home.  We wanted to make sure they know that we love and miss them.  They LOVED it!!!  It was also great because we got to meet some parents that we never get to see!  We also sent the group words of encouragement through hand written cards.  It has been a blessing to us all to know that we are still united even though we are apart. 

This week we are inviting students to join in on a Bible Study through the You Version Bible App.  We always encourage students to serve one another, their families and communities.  There is always something we can do to lift another’s spirit.  Our theme song is by Toby Mac, “Light Shine Bright.”  The chorus goes like this, “Light shine bright everywhere you go music for the people to illuminate the soul.”  We are always telling them to let their LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT!  Click on LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT! to sing along.

God is good all the time, all the time God is GOOD! 

Nadia and Larry

Stories to Save for Future Generations

Stories to Save for Future Generations

1. While making some surgical caps for nurses to be sent to N.J., I was in constant prayer while sewing, for all our nurses, doctors, hospital help, first responders. It brought to mind how blessed we are to be safe in our homes while so many are out there, helping others and exposed themselves to this virus.  Now, I am making many more surgical caps for nurses at Sarasota Memorial Hospital where my grand daughter-In-Law is a nurse.
2.  We have a neighbor who has never spoken to us until we were all self quarantined.  I was in our front yard, walking our two pups, and he got out of his truck(parked in his driveway) to ask if we were doing o.k.  I was so surprised!  That led to more conversation and I was able to invite him to join in our Live Stream services.  Hopefully, he did!
3.  As we go out for groceries or necessities, it is always an opportunity to talk to others about God and how He has everything under control.  His Grace is sufficient!

Jean Rowe

Shepherding Team

Shepherding Team

As we struggle with the unknown of self-distancing and sheltering in place we as Disciples of Christ have an opportunity to change Fear into Love. I believe we can continue to be servants of God through our outreach programs by serving the Homeless and Pack A Sack but what other opportunities do we have as Christians during these restrictions and limitations?

In answer, we have created a Team ready and able to make calls and deliver the message of hope and love to all members of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.

A Shepherding Team member will call members once a week to connect with them, check on their safety and health, and what things they may need. A simple script has been developed along with a list of members and contact information. We also have a Road Runner Team to secure and deliver whatever needs are identified.

If YOU would like to be a part of this Team and help bring light into the darkness, please contact Tom Edwards at tedward6@tampabay.rr.com or text to 813-624-3816 today.

Steps that You Need to Follow to Watch the Livestream Sunday Worship Service.

Steps that You Need to Follow to Watch the Livestream Sunday Worship Service

Before all, thank you for showing us your interest of watching the Wesley Memorial UMC Livestream Service thru Facebook at this time. For those individuals who are interested in joining us on Facebook and would like to know how to navigate to the Livestream Service, please follow the steps below.

1. If you have already created a Facebook page, go to Step 6.
2. If you haven’t created a Facebook page, you must first ‘Create a New Account’ with Facebook at ‘facebook.com’.
3. Fill in the required information and then click on the green button ‘Sign Up’.
4. Your Facebook page has been created.
5. If needed, refresh Facebook.com and then use your login information to access your Facebook page.

6. From your Facebook home page, type  wesleymemorialtampa/ in the ‘Search’ field and press enter. The Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church page should display on your screen.
7. Verify that the photo is the same as the one that appears above.
8. Once you’re there, click ‘like’ and ‘following’ the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.  
9. After you do this, the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church will be added as one of ‘Your Groups’.  
10. Going forward, from your Facebook page, all you have to do is click on the ‘Your Groups’ icon and select Wesley Memorial Methodist Church. 
11. Then, to watch the scheduled livestream presentation, you only have to be present when the livestream begins at the scheduled time.
12. IF you want to watch the recorded presentation, look for the ‘Videos’ button and click on it.
13. From the Videos page, you search for the Livestream Worship Service that you choose to watch. 

Coronavirus Update

Dear Wesley Family,

Well coronavirus is upon us and has started affecting our church.  Here are a few things for you to consider:

  1. Fear is the predominant force surrounding us on all sides and we know fear is not from God.  God tells us, “do not be afraid,” so in your home and neighborhood, exhibit the one thing that conquers fear, “love your neighbor;” because, “perfect love casts out fear.”
  2. We will be livestreaming church starting March 22 and making it a permanent addition to our ministry.  All you need to do is join facebook and make Wesley Church your friend.  It is as simple as that.  God is still alive at Wesley and we will have worship services throughout the crisis.  We will livestream the service at 11 am each Sunday, so gather a few friends and worship in your living room and tune into the livecast.
  3. Our finances are taking a big hit.  Clients have cancelled renting the gym, Bridges has been closed and attendance has been down.  So please remember Wesley each week.  You can mail in your giving or give by text 813-699-4304.
  4. To help with the finances, leadership has agreed to make interest only payments on the mortgage for the next three months.  This will make our payment about half of what it is and will begin April 1.  We will revisit this in three months.
  5. Since the church is going to be closed an extended period of time, we are going to have to furlough non-essential personnel and limit office hours and custodial work.  We hope the time away will be short and we can get right back to work for the Lord.
  6. I will be your pastor through this crisis.  I may not be allowed to visit but I am still available.  Please call me to let me know if you are needing prayers, having surgery, experiencing grief.  Each week I will lift up our prayers during our service.  My number is 813-352-3204.

For me this is a part of my current journey to joy, so I close with my key Lenten verse:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13  Be God’s agent of hope you were created to be.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Ernie