Church in Clewiston offers safe way to worship with online services

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
First United Methodist Church of Clewiston provides worship videos and online services while we all stay safer at home.

CLEWISTON — While so many routines have changed suddenly, amidst this pandemic, churches throughout our community stand strong, in support, as they always have. Working quickly to make sure to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible, local churches are experimenting with ways to provide worship in a different way — with social distancing in mind.

One of those churches, First United Methodist Church of Clewiston, recently posted an update on their Facebook Page, that included an excerpt from the bishop’s recommendation from flumc.org. It read:
“We realize that the seas may be choppy but, we know the Captain of our Ship and His name is Jesus! Beginning Sunday, March 22nd, we will suspend our physical church services and post a new worship service video at our website, FUMCClewiston.

To: The People of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church
Subject: Guidance for Ministry in this Season

In order to be in partnership with others and to prevent the suffering that is upon us through the coronavirus (COVID-19), I offer the following guidance to our clergy and churches:

We recommend no public worship through the month of March. This is in response to the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation of the postponement or cancellation of gatherings of more than fifty persons. Our motivation is grounded in the call of Jesus to love our neighbor (Matthew 22).”

“We have been holding online services at churchonthecouch.org,” says Pastor Jeff Smith. “Church on The Couch” features worship music, prayers and a biblically based message. But that’s not all our churches are doing to help out. They are working tirelessly to make sure everyone feels supported and that no one is forgotten.

“We are feeding families in need with grocery boxes. We are posting articles of encouragement online. We are sending cards and programs to members and others in the community to offer hope. We are calling and texting our most vulnerable to love up on them and to provide help when it is needed. We are learning new ways to share the love of God with those near and far away,” said Pastor Smith.

First United Methodist Church of Clewiston is located at 331 W. Osceola Ave., and their phone number is ‭863-983-5269. They can also be reached by messaging their Facebook Page.

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