Dear Ward Family,As we approach the sabbath tomorrow remember that it is fast Sunday. This day is always an opportunity for us to show the Lord our commitment to Him and our desire for His special care in our lives and the lives of others. One of our great ward members, brother Bill Bellamy has been fighting the uncomfortable effects of chemo. Could we join in a combined effort of fasting tomorrow for Bill and petition the heavens for him to have the strength he needs to endure. Those combined prayers accompanied by the sacrifice of the fast have a powerful influence with blessings from on high. Let’s remember Bill tomorrow. I hope all is well as we continue with another sabbath of home centered sacrament and worship.Bishop Petersen
CORONAVIRUS UTAH June 25, 2020
Faith Leaders Across State Encourage Utahns To Wear Face Coverings
June 25, 2020,
Dear Ward Family, Once again we move into another Sunday of home centered worship and the administration of the Sacrament. Last week many in the ward were able to gather again in a unique sacrament meeting held in our chapel. There were 2 meetings held to accommodate the mandate for social distancing. We had around 65 members attend each meeting. The sacrament was administered in a unique way and Scott Wetzel’s remarks helped add to what I’ve been told were two beautiful worship services.
I’ve heard from a number who were there that it was good to be back together. I for one miss this weekly association but know that in time the associations will resume. Unless otherwise instructed, our next service together will be July 19th and will be under the same format. More direction will be given as we get closer to that day. Until then we continue to make our devotions to the Father and His Son in our homes. Again, please let us know if you are not currently, but would like the sacrament administered in your home and would be comfortable with priesthood holders coming there to administer it.
I continue to hope that we are using this unique time to truly understand the sacred ordinance of the sacrament and using the time to repent and come closer to the Savior. The time we live in continues to be challenging and in many cases confusing. Quoting Elder Bednar, “Do we hear the buzzer on the alarm clock? This is a wake-up call for all of us”. We are seeing events that coincide with latter-day prophecy and we have a choice to stand strong and be firm in our commitment to eternal truths or follow the world in its alluring direction. The only constant we have is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please know you are never alone and if there are temporal or emotional challenges that you are only a phone call or text away from help. With Love and Concern,Bishop Petersen
Dear Ward Family, June 6. 2020
The purpose of my message this week is to help us understand the details of returning to Sacrament meeting this month. As was mentioned last week, Sacrament meeting will be held once a month, on the 3rd Sunday of each month and there will be multiple Sacrament meetings on that day for our ward. Our first Sunday back will be June 21st. The details of who can attend the meeting, which session you will attend and how things will transpire are listed below. After instruction with the Area and Stake Presidency and the Bishoprics from our building the following procedures and guidelines have been put in place to comply with Church guidelines.
Centerville 7th Ward return to Sacrament Meeting guidelines:
- Even though Sacrament Meeting will be held no one is required to attend if uncomfortable
- In accordance with state guidelines and with particular care and respect for high-risk individuals, we encourage those individuals not to attend at this time. High-risk individuals would be those 65 years and older and those with underlying medical conditions. (This includes the Bishop who has been instructed not be in attendance)
- It is recommended that masks be worn, but are not required for attendance at the meeting
- Make sure masks are appropriate for this sacred meeting.
- There will be 3 sacrament meetings held. (9:00, 11:00, 1:00). Each meeting will be no longer than 45 minutes.
- Those attending each sacrament meeting will be determined alphabetically.
- 9:00 – Anderton to Howell
- 11:00 – Hughs to Patterson
- 1:00 – Peck to Wright
- Those that are high risk and not comfortable attending will be authorized for home sacrament.
- Sacrament Administration Protocol
- All those administering the Sacrament must be masked
- All those administering the Sacrament will sit socially distant on the stand
- All those administering the Sacrament must openly sanitize their hands before handling trays
- Those breaking the bread will wear gloves that they openly put on after openly sanitizing hands
- Bread will be in 2 oz cups on the bread tray
- Water cups will be in every other whole in the tray
- Bread and water cups will be held after partaking and picked up separately by another priesthood holder
- All those administering the Sacrament will partake of the bread and water at the same time after the administration to the congregation.
- The following guidelines will be required at the meeting
- No gathering in Lobbies
- No normal greetings – handshake and hugs
- No hymnbooks – Those not masked encouraged not to sing
- Sacrament trays will not be passed down rows. Will only be touched by those passing
- Parents be attentive to children touching the sacrament
- There will be no programs or normal door greeters
- Entrance and exit to the chapel will be through one door – The funeral door on the south side
- We encourage everyone to park on the south side
- A masked usher will be holding the door open. Seating will be to benches marked with green tape
- Families will sit together and the benches will be spaced for required social distancing.
- The only restrooms available will be the south restrooms
- The drinking fountains will not be available. We encourage families to bring their own bottled water.
- Exiting the chapel after the service is finished will be row by row
- The following will be sanitized after each meeting
- Sacrament trays & table
- Light switches
- Door Handles
- South Rest Rooms
- Benches, Chairs, Organ
- The pulpit will be sanitized after each person conducting, praying and speaking
There may be lots of questions and you are welcome to email or text any member of the Bishopric with those questions. I know this must seem like a lot of extra work but it’s what we’re being asked to do so we will comply. Even though I will not be attending the meetings because of my age (not really my decision), I will be helping in all of the preparation. I know this is an attempt to return to some kind of normalcy and still comply with health directives. Let’s embrace the change the best we can. All worth priesthood holders are authorized to administer the sacrament again this week in their homes and the homes of any they may have the opportunity to administer outside of their homes who are in our ward boundaries. Take care again this week.
Dear Ward Family, May 30, 2020,
As we approach another week of home centered worship and the sacrament, we are also preparing, under the direction of the Area and Stake leadership, to resume gathering for Sunday worship services. We will have the details of how this “phased approach” will transpire to all members of the ward as soon as it is discussed with the ward council and the Bishops of our building tomorrow. For right now, we have been instructed by the Stake Presidency to begin meeting once a month. Our first meeting will be on June 21st. I’m sure there will be a number of detail questions about how this will work, so please be patient as we work out everything that will be necessary to comply with current guidelines for assembling with the Bishops and Ward Council. Until then we will continue with the sacrament being administered in our homes. As I mention every week, I continue to hope that we’re taking this time to truly draw closer to the Savior. This is a special time to change individually. We look forward and hope to get to a more normal time of working and worshiping together . It’s apparent now that it will be a step-by step-process. Please take care and look for further details this week.
My hope this week would be able to give you more direction on the Church’s general announcement about moving towards meeting together again for organized worship services and administration of the sacrament at the church. As you can imagine this will be a well-thought-out approach and will not happen this week or next week. I’m meeting with the Stake Presidency and all of the Bishops in the stake this coming Tuesday to receive further counsel and direction about how this will take place and when. As for now, we will continue with home-centered worship and administration of the sacrament through the month of May. Our intent, as always, will be to follow the counsel of the Area and Stake leaders to ensure that there is order and wisdom as we move back to “normal” Sunday and weekly activities. This includes youth activities which are still to be conducted through virtual media until otherwise authorized. Please be patient and continue to make this experience at home meaningful. Once again, if you would like the Sacrament in your home and have not been contacted by a worthy priesthood holder, please contact any of the ward leadership and that will be arranged.
Dear Ward Family, May 22, 2020,
Seminary graduation will be held virtually this year. It is tomorrow, May 24, at 3:00. All of the graduating seniors who were involved with seminary at any time during the past 4 years are invited to attend. Links to the Zoom session should have been sent out to parents and participants, but if you did not receive the link information, please contact Devron Johnson. We congratulate all of those who took the time to study the Gospel of Christ as part of their academic schooling. We wish all of our graduating seniors the best as they move on to the next phases of their lives.
I genuinely hope that everyone is well. There are some in the ward who are dealing with physical and emotional challenges. Please keep our ward members in general in your daily prayers. The Lord knows each one of us individually and understands more than we know what we’re each going through. He’s waiting for us to come to Him. He will carry our burdens and will give us the strength to “endure our afflictions” (Mosiah 24:15) if we put our trust in Him. I hope that this next week finds us looking more heavenward and less inward. That’s where our true understanding of ourselves is found.
Take care and be safe,
“My dear sisters, we need you! We “need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices.” We simply cannot gather Israel without you”
~ President Nelson “Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel” October 2018
Dear Ward Family,
Another week has gone by with some lifted social restrictions. I for one look forward to the day when we can return to meet together again. That day doesn’t appear to be on the horizon yet but we’ll patiently wait. The communication that I’m hearing from the Area/Stake sources is that the Church will always lag a couple of weeks behind whatever the local government directives are. We just continue to be patient. We’ll continue on with home centered worship again this Sunday with the administration of the sacrament in our own homes. There should be priesthood holders set up to come for those who would like and feel comfortable with the ordinance being administered. Again please let us know if that has not been arranged.
As the weeks and months pass by the need for temple recommends is increasing. Those can still be done virtually. Please contact Devron Johnson to set up the appointment and we will explain how the process works with the Bishopric and the Stake presidency.
We congratulate our high school Seniors on the the completion of their formal education. Please join us in a drive by congratulation tonight at the Church from 6:30 to 7:30. Check the facebook post from Brenda Smith for details. This is our chance to wish them well and let them know how proud we are of them.
I continue to hope that the Lord will pour out His Spirit on you in this epic time. There are those in the ward that are dealing with difficult physical and emotional challenges right now which makes this time even more challenging. Our prayers continue to be with you as we plead for heavenly help. Don’t loose hope.
With care and concern,
Bishop Petersen May 17, 2020
Bishop Petersen’s Comfort During the Corona-virus Epidemic
Dear Ward Family, April, 2020
Here we go again. Another week through social isolation and a small earthquake. Are we having fun yet? What an interesting time to be going through. I’m pretty anxious to get back to normal but the extra time has given me cause to reflect in many ways. Hopefully reflecting has been a good use of that extra time. I’ve had an opportunity to listen/read a number of things and there are two talks that have been very meaningful to me during this time. I thought I would share them if you have an interest. One is by Elder Bednar entitled “The Character of Christ”. Given at a BYUI devotional in 2016. The other is by President Nelson entitled “Becoming True Millennial’s”, also given in 2016 during a world wide young adult fireside. My family and I have enjoyed discussing these together over text and zoom. The links for these talks are at the bottom of this post.
Like last week I want to emphasize that if you’re experiencing any temporal, emotional or spiritual challenges as a result of the current environment, please let someone know. Myself, Eric or Diana can be a good place to start. We can help or get the help you may need. No one is ever alone.
We again will be spending this Sunday in home centered worship. We are following the direction of local government and local area Church leaders to continue to stay at home. Again this means the sacrament will only be administered in the homes where a worthy priesthood holder resides and can perform the administration. This is still hard for me because I yearn for everyone to receive this sacred ordinance. The stay at home directive will not allow that again this week. The following is a statement from the First Presidency and hopefully it will be meaningful. “In unusual circumstances when the sacrament is not available, members can be comforted by studying the sacrament prayers and recommitting to live the covenants members have made and praying for the day they will receive it in person, properly administered by the priesthood.”
I had to go over to the Church this week to take care of some financial concerns. The Church was empty and as I walked into the chapel I thought of the love that I’ve felt there. It was comforting but still felt like such a long time since we’ve been together. I know that day will come in time. Until then we keep the faith and try to draw closer to the Master. He is the true peace that is needed in times like this.
Please take care.