We have been following CDC guidance and local government leaders’ recommendations closely over the past few days. We know many of you are concerned with what is happening both locally and globally. After much discussion we are updating our policies and changing some things for the immediate future.
Sunday Morning Worship
In the interest of the safety of our members, friends and visitors, our Pastor and our Board of Deacons came to the conclusion that even with our disinfecting protocols in place, we need to suspend in-person worship in our sanctuary at least for the summer months.
Both your Deacons and your Pastor are keenly aware that we all need the inspiration, assurance, and the connection to God and to each other that worship provides. Your spiritual well-being is as important to us as your physical health, especially now.
We offer online worship services for our congregation every Sunday morning at 10:30. If you would like to receive information about our services, please let the church office know. We utilize the Zoom web-conferencing program for our worship services. Our weekly e-blasts contain the link and password information for our zoom worship service for that week. If you aren’t receiving the e-blasts, please let the office know! Each week, we post a recording of the past Sunday’s worship service on our YouTube channel. If you’d like to subscribe to our YouTube channel, please click here.
We ask for your patience and understanding as this is a whole new world with a bit of a learning curve for all of our church staff. Our recording equipment is limited at this time, but we will do our best to make the audio as clear as we can.
Other Church Programming and Activities
We want to let you know that Choir Rehearsal, Sunday School and Fellowship Hour are all cancelled for an indefinite length of time. This is because the risks of food sharing and the inability to maintain appropriate social distancing during these activities makes it unwise for us to continue with them at this time.
We currently offer a weekly book study group. Our study group is reading the book Tattoos on the Heart. If you are interested in being a part of our study group, please let the church office know. We will be happy to provide you with information about joining the weekly Wednesday morning meeting.
We have also instituted weekly phone conversations. Our congregation has been divided up into small groups of members/friends and each week a different member of that group makes calls to the others. Rev. Heather provides a weekly topic of conversation. If you haven’t been receiving calls and you would like to be a part of this important way to stay connected, please let us know.
All Boards and Committees meetings are currently being conducted online.
Supporting our Congregation’s Ministries
Please know that our church’s financial obligations continue through this challenging time. We implore you to continue to make your regular pledge or Sunday morning offering even if you have decided to remain home. We invite you to mail in your offerings or, if you have access to the internet, setting up an electronic check from your banking institution is easy and free of charge. A non-profit paypal account is in the works. But in the meantime, we ask that you continue to financially support the ministries of your church, just as you normally would. A Paypal for Non-Profits has been set up for our church. We can accept your pledges/donations through this account. Look for the Donate botton on the front welcome page of our website.
Our Most Vulnerable Members and Friends
If you are aware of someone in our congregation who might not see this email, we ask that you please contact them and let them know what is happening. We want to make sure everyone is kept in the loop.
No matter what, each of us can make an extra effort to stay connected to one another, even if that means adopting new ways of creating community. Even if we don’t see each other in person, we are still called to be the Body of Christ together. Reach out to each other. Use the phone to stay connected with those who can’t come to church or who might feel more socially isolated during these challenging and uncertain times.
Church Office Operations
Rev. Heather and I want you to know that the vital administrative and pastoral functions of our church office will continue, even though though the church office is closed to the public. We have successfully been able to set up online access to our church’s computer and files. We will check and respond to church emails during office hours as usual and phones will be forwarded so that Tracy can receive calls to the church office during regular office hours, even if she is working from home. For the most part, Rev. Heather will be responding to pastoral issues by phone. She stands ready to offer support, prayer, encouragement, and pastoral care– please reach out to her via email or by calling the church office.
Because both Rev. Heather and Tracy have family members that may be more susceptible to this illness, they may be limiting the time they are physically in the church building and/or in contact with the general public. So with that in mind, if you are planning to come into the church office for whatever reason, we invite you to please call ahead to see if someone is physically here.
We will keep you all as informed as possible of any changes to all the information above. In the meantime, please be safe as you possibly through practicing good hygiene while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Above all, remember to be kind to one another. We hold each and every one of you in prayer. We know that God is our rock and our strength, and a very present help in times of trouble.
Yours in Christ, Tracy and Rev. Heather