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Lift High the Cross

Frank and Brenda Coats are Inspire Missioners in Houston, Texas. Frank is also a UMC Pastor. They share this story of hope with us:

“As coronavirus spreads throughout Houston, many churches have closed their doors and opted to livestream services instead. Before making its transition online, the congregation of Lake Houston UMC headed to the church’s parking lot on the Sunday — exploring fears caused by the pandemic, as well as the hope that accompanies faith. Pastor Frank Coats’ sermon, “Three Scriptures and a Quote for a Time of Crisis,” focused on the power of love and reason — gifts from God in the midst of a struggle.

Pastor Coats started the sermon by quoting scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 

Staying calm in a storm is not a first for Lake Houston UMC. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that the congregation first time the church has met in its parking lot, facing an uncertain future.
It wasn’t that long ago that the congregation gathered outside after Hurricane Harvey decimated their sanctuary, flooding the area and leaving the building beyond repair.

Coats suggested, in this Lenten season, to consider a time of fasting and self-denial as a means to grow closer to God and to neighbors. For example, he said, washing hands can become an act of prayer.
“We are in uncharted waters here,” Coats said. “We don’t know what will happen. Nearly three years ago, we met in this parking lot. Then we were beginning the restoration from the waters that flooded everything we had. We didn’t know what would happen, but we did know the Lord was with us.”

Standing outside the new sanctuary, looking at the newly raised cross above it, he again feels the presence of God. He suggests practicing the Serenity Prayer, to learn to recognize when fear should be heeded and when panic needs to be calmed, to find creative ways to show love, band together and help those in need.”

Extract from Serving Through Harvey and Helping During Covid-19 you can read the full story and see more pictures HERE

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