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Just a few short weeks ago I (Pastor Anna) presided at a pandemic wedding: a simple ceremony, outdoors, with only the couple, 4 siblings, parents, and the photographer. At that wedding, I read the very familiar 1 Corinthians 13. Usually when this passage is read, the focus is love, but as I drove home from the park, I found myself thinking about hope and all that I’ve hoped for and had to set aside over the last year and a half. We hear in verse 13, “Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” Faith and hope abide alongside love because we need them to. Until we know the fullness of God, we need faith and hope to accompany us on our journeys. 
Surely in this stretching season of ongoing pandemic, we have relied on our faith, and we have hoped for much. Just as love will endure beyond faith and hope, we lead with love as our default. Leading out of love, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the fall 2021 Linworth Garage Sale. 
With cases of Covid19 on the rise, we have examined all options in how to move forward and do not believe we can facilitate this event in a way that keeps our members, volunteers, and the community safe. Even before this most recent surge, the survey results displayed a hesitancy from volunteers in proceeding. In the meeting of leaders that followed a week after the survey went out, the leaders stated that the rise in rates in that week were concerning enough that they would change their survey responses. 
We understand that this decision may make you sad. It may also make you frustrated. We also recognize the grief that comes with such a momentous event being cancelled yet again. Please know that we considered so many options and tried our best. We simply cannot take the risk. We love each other and the community too much for that. 
The Garage Sale is more than just a sale. We know the community that is built in the preparation for such an event. Please know that we will be encouraging connections between our members in the season that would have been the garage sale. 
We also know that many people have been “saving their stuff” for the garage sale. At this time, to save costs on storage, we will not be accepting donations. If you cannot hold onto your treasures, we encourage you to call us! We can recommend partner organizations that are collecting donations. You may also entertain the idea of selling your items independently (through Facebook market or even resale shops like New Uses on Sawmill just off of Hard Rd.) and then donating the proceeds of your sale to the ministries at Linworth UMC usually supported by the sale. 
We pray for the end of this pandemic. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Have conversation with your doctor about receiving the vaccine (if you haven’t already). Each of us is called to act in love even as we journey in faith and cling to hope. 
Here’s hoping for Spring 2022… 

Pastor Anna, Senior Pastor
Denny Devine, Master of Garage Sale Ceremonies

Copyright © 2021 Linworth United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

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