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Greetings from The Downtown Church! This is a bi-weekly email with information about events, updates, and other fun things from the leadership of the church.

What do you do on a snow day? The answer is as varied as we are. For those in healthcare, the snow didn't prevent most of them from finding a way into work. For our first responders, their work escalates, it is not diminished when the roads are icy and people are warming themselves with space heaters. For those needing shelter and food, it's a whole other thing than I have ever had to face. I find myself praying and grateful for The Downtown Church’s commitment of resources and volunteers to the Council of Churches and Rare Breed that are on the ground to help meet these needs.

And for me, in my warm house, I know I am fortunate that a snow day simply becomes a day to read, my favorite pastime. Although some better organized pastor’s may have already done so, I spent this morning reading through resources for us to use during the season of Lent. I find it hard to think too far ahead these days, even though there is another Sunday coming every week. It is better for me to think and plan a few weeks at a time rather than months and months ahead. The past two years of cancelled plans and cancelled church and cancelled vacations, I feel it’s easier to move more nimbly if I hold my plans loosely and expect change. Just when we have a vaccination, delta hits. Loss of loved ones, disappointments and surgery in 2021. Just when it was looking better and a new year was starting, omicron appeared. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s the need to take a deep breath, hold plans loosely, and be ready for change.

Which brings me to what I was reading today. I was sitting with theologian Amy-Jill Levine’s new book on those who were part of the events that happened on the Friday we call Good. Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John, Mary, Mrs. Zebedee, Simon of Cyrene, Joseph of Arimathea, the prisoners crucified on either side of Jesus. For a few hours my mind traveled with them as witnesses to the death of Jesus. And I find myself grateful to plan for something almost 12 weeks away. Easter Sunday is coming. Yes, change will happen between now and then. Yes, life will throw us all some curveballs. Yes, for some the road ahead seems dark and lonely. And the resurrection is coming. We can plan on that.

See you Sunday,

Our Sunday morning group is diving deeper into our new series on the book of Ruth. This short book in the Old Testament is a story of family, love, loss, and redemption. Join us as we discover new ways to discover God. The Sunday morning group led by Jim Millsap starts at 9:15am, online or in person, with childcare available at church.
Bishop Robert Farr has written a letter to the United Methodist Churches in Missouri about the current concerns and misinformation regarding disaffiliation from our denomination. To read it, please click here.
With all this snow and cold weather, we just wanted to remind you all of church policy regarding winter weather. If Springfield Public Schools close, The Downtown Church office will also be closed. If there is a need to cancel events or worship, we will be sure to post updates on social media, and generally send out an email as well. Stay warm and safe out there!
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