Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Church, Coronavirus and You Update 3

Hi, Friends-The grace and peace of Christ be with you during these interesting times!  Session met Sunday and made some decisions and we have spent the last few days implementing those plans and working on the details.

Sunday Morning Worship: We have suspended in-person Sunday morning worship for the rest of the month of March.  The Worship Committee will monitor the situation closely as we move through the month to determine what we may do in April.  But between now and then, we are working with our fellow pastors from the Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran/St. Peters Episcopal Church to provide a 'virtual' worship service.  We will record the service on Fridays and then upload it to YouTube.  We will email out the link to watch it either on Friday or Saturday.  You will be able to watch it at your convenience, but we are encouraging people to watch it Sunday morning.  If you would prefer to receive a printed copy of the sermons, let us know and we will add you to a mailing list.

Office Hours:  Starting Wednesday, March 18, the church office will be closed until March 31.  Donna will work from home and is able to check her work emails.  We (Laura and Keith) will still be in the office regularly monitoring the phones and working.  Feel free to call the church and if we aren't around, leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can!

Assistance:  Since this weekend, a small group of church members have reached out to us to let us know they would be available to help other church members if they had needs and were unable to go out to take care of those needs.  Would you like to help with this spontaneous outreach ministry?  Let me know as we will coordinate what this will look like over the next couple of days.

We are monitoring this situation closely and it seems like things change daily.  We invite you to watch your email, Facebook, and mailbox for updates from the church.  Do not hesitate to contact us as the need arises.  Also, reach out to each other!  If you missed Keith's sermon on Sunday, he stressed the importance of staying in contact.  Use the phone, send an email,or send a card.  Remind each other that you are not alone in all this.

This morning in our inbox we received a delightful email from former church member Chuck Choate letting us know they were "mostly hunkered down but doing well in Minnesota."  He sent us a copy of a poem that their pastor shared on Sunday that we now share with you:

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Christ's peace be with you!
Keith and Laura

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