News

Pastor Anne wants to meet you

Pastor Anne wants to meet you

Starting next Friday, August 28, Pastor Anne will be hosting both virtual and in-person opportunities for hour-long meet and greets so that she can get to know members of the congregation better and you can get to know her. These will be held at several times on Fridays (morning and evening) and on Saturday mornings throughout the month of September.

Each session will be limited to 8 people and you can click here to sign up for a spot. She wants to meet the children and youth of Crawford, too! If the times all fill up, we’ll add more. If none of the days/times work for you or if you would like to set up a private time to meet, drop her an email at anne@crawfordumc.org and she’ll work that out with you directly.

Playground Update

Playground Update

Reed Solomon, a senior Boy Scout in Troop 507, which is sponsored by and meets at Crawford, is planning an Eagle Scout project to rehab and improve the Crawford playground.  This project will be a benefit to Crawford, and a very worthwhile effort on the part of the Scout troop to give back to Crawford.

As part of the project, Reed has established a GoFundMe account to accept donations to help cover the cost of the materials for the project (mulch, benches, plants, etc.).  He is soliciting support from his troop, family, friends, and the community in general.  If you wish to make a donation, please visit the link.  Any excess funds will revert to Crawford as the beneficiary of the project.

We look forward to this project and to the improved playground that can be used by the children and families of Crawford.

Socks, socks, socks

Socks, socks, socks

Crawford has received 2,500 pairs of socks from Bombas to distribute to charitable agencies and directly to street people whenever we can start to connect again. We need your help in deciding where to donate them. We are open to all suggestions. If you have a donation destination you would like added to the list of potential landing places, please let us know by calling the Crawford office @ 781.729.5056. Thank you.

Come and Commune with Our New Pastor

Come and Commune with Our New Pastor

We invite you to the church grounds for 1 of 3 “COMMUN-ity” sessions on the afternoon of August 2 at 1:00, 2:30 or 4:00 pm to meet Pastor Anne Robertson and celebrate Holy Communion. We will be joined in heart but socially distant; open to God even while masked; experiencing the mystery of one bread and cup, even though we each need to bring our own. Please bring your own elements (juice and something bread-like, whatever is best for your dietary restrictions), a chair if you have one, and whatever else you might need to be comfortable outdoors for an hour.
Signup for your preferred session here.
Download the The Great Thanksgiving (p. 13-14 of the UMH) and bring your own paper or electronic copy on Sunday.
Re-Gathering

Re-Gathering

The Crawford Re-Gathering and Re-Opening Work Group continues to develop ideas and plans for safely offering opportunities to re-gather as a Crawford community.  The results of our recent survey (thanks to all who responded) confirm that all of us need and want to safely regain forms of direct human connection.  About half of our family and friends are age 65 and over, i.e., in a COVID higher risk age group.  The survey also confirms that many people are open to new and creative way to re-gather and stay connected, such as small groups, outdoor services at various locations, and continuation of remote access.   With these considerations in mind, and with initial input from both Pastor Hope and Pastor Anne and from church staff, we believe that we could begin re-gathering with outdoor Sunday services in August – date still to be determined.  We would require everyone wear masks, respect social distancing and follow other COVID protocols.  We also are looking into ways to livestream the services for those who cannot or choose not to join in person.  The services would not be a replication of our normal indoor services, but would reflect the gifts of being more connected to nature, explore alternatives for individually and collectively building and sharing our faith, and strengthening our bonds of supporting each other.  In addition to worship service, we are looking at other ways to re-gather including small groups.  There are still lots of details to be worked out, and we continue to solicit your input – contact any of the work group members listed below.  We’ll provide updates as our plans develop further.  May God’s blessings, grace and peace be with you as we all work through this together.

Members of the Work Group are Pam Reeve, Frank Leathers, Joyce Cummings, Brian Rogers, Laura Myers, Peter Hobson, Paula Riley, Colin Simson, Judy Stafford, Tammy MacLean, Jim Clayton, Sherry Miller, Pastor Hope and Pastor Anne.

PRIDE Worship

PRIDE Worship

Crawford has had a presence at PRIDE for many years.  While this year we cannot gather in person to march, sing, and celebrate, we will still gather online with other United Methodist communities for worship and prayer on Sunday, June 14 at 11:00 am.  Details coming soon on how you can participate.

Protest!

Protest!

This Sunday, June 7th the Crawford community will gather on the church lawn to protest police brutality in our country. You are welcome. Bring your signs, bring your masks, bring your change energy! Rain or shine. 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Social distancing rules apply.

Returning to Church

Dear Crawford Family and Friends:

During the last ten weeks, as we have navigated a new way of being in response to a global pandemic, we have been caring for one another by staying home, staying safe and staying healthy.  This has meant dramatic shifts in how we build, form and nurture community and connections.  On-line worship has provided creative experiences with United Methodist communities around the globe and inspiring gifts from our very talented staff and church members.  Together we have risen to new challenges.  Together we have shared hopes and fears.  Together we spread the good news of Love.  Together we remind each other that we are never alone.

On Monday, 18 May, Governor Baker announced the reopening of our state in three phases.  The first of these include Places of Worship as long as these mandatory, minimum safety standards are kept.  When we open the church building, we would be required to wear masks, only limited numbers of people could gather, celebration of Holy Communion would be prevented, and regular disinfecting would be necessary.

The New England Annual Conference sent word at the beginning of May that “we will refrain from meeting in person for worship, retreats, Bible Study, and any other in-person church-related gathering through at least Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020.”   They also remind us that “returning to offices and church buildings will be gradual, in phases, and not advisable for those in highest risk groups for some time.”

Our District Superintendent, We Chang, counseled us on the severe restrictions regarding what we need to do in order to maintain safety for in-person worship including social distancing, mask wearing, no singing, etc. Key areas will need to be addressed before reopening like practical procedures and policies, finances, budget adjustments, contingency plans, enhanced cleaning programs, and Sunday morning logistics. We could, in fact, do harm if we do not put practices in place to promote the safety and wellbeing of the congregation, staff, and clergy.

In light of these realities, it does not make sense for us to reopen our church building at this time. Following the “Three General Rules” of The United Methodist Church, which are Do No Harm. Do Good. Stay in Love with God, we are working to ensure that members of the Crawford family continue to be as safe and healthy as possible.  With this as our goal, our Sunday worship, Christian Education classes, Fellowship groups, and committee meetings will continue to occur virtually until we have a plan in place for safely regathering.

Here are some reasons why we are moving forward in this way.  At Crawford, we sing. We hug. We visit with each other.  We love coffee hour and fellowship.  No-contact worship and fellowship in the church building doesn’t reflect who we are as Crawford.

As the last few months have shown, we are committed to caring for all people including older adults, children and the immunocompromised who are valuable parts of our society and our family of faith. As a colleague said this week, minimum standards do not maximize the safety of the whole.  Through this time we have proven that the church is more than a building. Having experienced this, we will continue to creatively imagine new ways to be church…responsibly.

As one who likes to move quickly and decisively, especially when there is a crisis, at this time, wisdom is in moving carefully, thoughtfully and intentionally. Working with the members of the Trustees and Church Council as well as our Lay Leader and Lay Member to Conference, we will strive to create a safe, comprehensive and responsible plan to re-enter our building.  As we are working on this and with on-line worship planned through June, our community has the space to build a plan that honors the whole community.

As we wait together, we can still connect, support, encourage and pray for one another in a variety of ways — in on-line worship on Sundays at 10:00 am on Zoom or streaming on our YouTube Channel, in morning prayer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 am, in Adult Study on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am or Middle School Youth Group on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm.  We do this also by sending cards, making calls, sharing food, checking in on one another and continuing to give to support God’s mission and ministries shared through our Crawford community.

Friends, we are in this together.

In gratitude and with great hope,
Hope Luckie             Pam Reeve                            Frank Leathers                     Colin Simson
Minister                     Church Council Chair           Board of Trustees Chair        Lay Member to Conference