Worship, Meetings, & Events Cancelled
As I wrote in my last note, it seems as if the news on the Coronavirus is changing moment by moment. Our church leaders have been watching the reports carefully. After consulting with the members of the Governing Board and taking into consideration the recommendation of our Bishop, we have decided to suspend gathering for worship, meetings, and events for at least the next four weeks.
I am aware that this time frame includes Holy Week and Easter. I hold out hope that perhaps our first in-person worship service after this crisis could be Easter morning. However, our worship staff, tech staff, and I are working on putting together an online worship experience that will be uploaded to Facebook and YouTube on Sunday mornings. We recognize that this is an opportunity for us to be creative in our practice of community and are thankful for the resources we have to do so.
Chris Mahon, our Intergenerational Minister, has been reaching out to families to support them with resources while they are at home with their children. Pat Bennett, our Parish Nurse has been reaching out to our more vulnerable members to inquire as to their well-being. We are working hard to be the church during this unprecedented time in history.
The ministry of the church continues, we will be caring for one another, supporting local ministries and will be working toward the building of the body of Christ as best as can be done during a pandemic. We are trying to ensure that members of our staff can work from home or from the church in ways that are consistent with social distancing. We hope that none of our staff will have to miss a paycheck.
Part of our worship experience is the offering of our gifts to support the work of the ministry. You can give online through our website, by arranging with your financial institution for automatic payment, or snail mail still works too! Your faithful giving is much appreciated.
Recently, at a couple of our meetings, the conversations centered around the busyness of our lives. The message seemed to be that we have become human “doings” rather than human “beings.” The discussion came back around to the life of the 21st-century church, and how the busyness of our culture is seen here too. Perhaps, God will use this time for all of us to slow down, spend time with family, spend time in prayer and silence. Perhaps, in this time, when meetings are suspended and worship services are “unconventional,” we can spend time as a faith community – being, instead of doing. Perhaps, that means praying for our congregation, listening for God’s voice.
If you are self-isolating, pull out that book you have been meaning to read when you have time, or that project you never get around to finishing or perhaps…starting. Play some board games as a family, take a walk…just be…just be. Amazing how a pandemic changes our perspective on…well, almost everything.
Take good care of yourselves, “say your prayers and wash your hands, Jesus and germs are everywhere.” Better yet, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Grace and Peace,