Pandemic Ministry Highlight
Check out what Pastor Bill Carroll of the Still Pond- Betterton Charge reports about the churches’ ministry in Kent County, MD on the Easton District.
Still Pond UMC & Betterton UMC
Our ministry changes since March 19, 2020:
1. Established a weekly teleconference call for 20 minute worship service at 9:00 AM Sunday mornings, beginning March 22nd. We blasted out invites via email, text, Facebook and phone calls to invite people to call in. Weekly, we average between 120-130 listeners, which is about 2x our normal church attendance in the sanctuaries. Callers have reached the service from over 10 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Missouri & Texas.
2. After the call-in service, I record a video message and upload it to YouTube, where our webmaster embeds it to our churches' website.
3. We revamped the website to include a page for the video messages, including an archive. We've also created a page for music, where our ministry of music (Dan Blakeney) records & posts videos of songs relevant to the weekly message.
4. We established donate buttons through PayPal for online giving and have seen a welcomed response, especially since many of our listeners are calling in from long distances. I won't have the final numbers until next month's board meetings, but I believe our gifts have actually grown during the pandemic.
5. The church laity have stepped up in many ways: food shopping & delivery for the elderly, mask making, escorts for elderly to doctors, errands, yard work & trash collecting, and, as always, prayer.
6. Our laity refused to allow the virus to stop our annual Mother's Day breakfast. This year, we made 2-serving size (precooked) meals for folks to pick up on the Saturday evening before Mother’s Day at the Betterton Volunteer Fire Company. No charge for the meals, but a boot was available in the drive-thru for people who wished to make donations to the fire company. We made 200 meals for the community.
7. Because of the response to the teleconference broadcast and the 150 views of the videos, we're working towards a radio broadcast each week, developing a 30 minute podcast and incorporating live music in the program. Our thoughts are to record each week's message for broadcast early Sunday morning and link the podcast through our website to the radio station's website.
8. Our Men's group Bible study resumed two weeks ago via ZOOM.
9. Technology is limited in our neck of the woods, even for cell coverage. (My cell phone doesn't work inside the sanctuaries of Still Pond & Betterton churches.) Many of our elderly do not have internet capabilities, hence the teleconference worship service. Since a dark fiber cable has been recently installed in that area, we're reaching out to the provider to set up a free WIFI access point at each church. (Cost dependent)
|Rev. Dr. Shirlyn H. Brown|
|The deaf ministry distributing food at Grace UMC (Suzanne Cook and Karen Miller).|