Out of the Heart of our community
we welcome ALL
into this safe {and sacred} space.

Out of the Heart of our community
we welcome ALL
to come and know the heart of God.

Out of the Heart of our community
we welcome ALL
to share their lives in service with us
into ALL the world.

It is out of the heart of our collective understanding of God’s complete and unconditional love that we invite, encourage support, love, and welcome ALL in our Bay View, Milwaukee community.

Dear Brothers, Sisters, Siblings in Jesus Christ, 

I pray that all is well with you and your family these days. They have not been easy. They have been challenging, nerve-wracking, unsettling, and it seems that each day changes so quickly. As you know, our congregation has not been publicly worshipping for the past two weeks due to Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order in response to Covid-19. The days seem long, and our houses, while places of refuge, can also start to feel like a deserted island. Yet, we are a resurrection people. We have hope. We choose joy. We will overcome. Always. 

Two weeks ago, we met as a church and made the decision not to hold Sunday services as we see how this all plays out. Today, we know that we are weeks away from opening the church again. It saddens my heart, but this means we will not be worshiping inside our sanctuary during Holy Week or Easter Sunday. This is very disappointing for all of us. It will be disappointing for me because my first Easter at Bay View UMC will be postponed. However, I understand the vital importance of Evers’ order and staying at home. This is neither a drill nor a bad dream. This is reality, and everyday it costs people their lives and families their future. We have hope. We choose joy. We will overcome. Always. 

Now, while one might think that the church has stopped being the church, let me tell you this good news! The church still exists, and the church is, I believe, doing more than ever before. Each day at 10:00 a.m. on www.facebook.com/BVUMC, I am offering a devotion based on a scripture passage. On Thursday nights, we have a Bible Study offered online. Our worship service is on Sunday mornings at 10:45 again on Facebook (linked above). It is full of hymns, scripture, a message, and prayer, and, soon, it will be on Youtube. For the past two weeks, over 100 people have been reached by the devotions and worship service. While this might be friends and families of the church, there are some who, without a doubt, are not yet connected with Bay View UMC who are tuning in to hear about God’s love. This is so important and so exciting. 

Today, I am writing to tell you that the ministry of Bay View UMC continues as strong (if not stronger than) before. So many leaders of the church are serving in new ways, and it seems that our church has now embraced living into the 21st century with the daily use of technology. I am amazed by the leadership of Bay View UMC. I am in contact with leaders of the congregation daily to make sure that our ministry continues its operations from home and to know that some designated individuals have been keeping an eye on our building during this time. We have hope. We choose joy. We will overcome. Always. 

Again, while it is sad that we cannot worship in the sanctuary on Sundays and especially on Easter Sunday, know that our ministry continues. How is this made possible? Well, it is through your generosity and ongoing financial support, which allows our ministries that touch so many lives to continue. While I understand that this is no easy time for anyone, the church life is impacted greatly, too. 

Since we have stopped gathering, our leadership board decided that we would continue to financially support the staff of the church for as long as we can. I, as your pastor, want us to be able to continue supporting all staff positions because I know that they are continuing to offer ministry to our congregation and community. Many are working harder behind the scenes to make sure we have weekly online worship and communications and Bread and Jam lunches for those in need. I thank them deeply for their continued hard work and service. However, with each Sunday we are not publicly worshipping, meeting our financial obligations becomes a rising fear. In the coming weeks, the Accountable Leadership Board will offer a financial state of the church report, which will be a statement of facts, and a more detailed ask in this time of need. 

This Easter, in hopes of showing our love for our staff and for our beautiful building, would you consider offering a financial gift that is feasible for you and your family, knowing that it is greatly needed right now? Let us celebrate God’s grace and let this be an Easter where we continue to go above and beyond to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior. 

We have hope. We choose joy. We will overcome. Always. 

Pastor Kevin