Being Church in the Time of Coronavirus

 Updated COVID Response Update as of October 22, 2020

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A few weeks ago, I spoke about what it means to put on Christ. How it isn’t something that we just wear as a protective shield, but how it is meant to guide our thoughts and actions. This scripture from 1 John,  chapter 4, verse 16 reminds us, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

In these challenging times, I am glad and grateful that I can say with confidence that we have been recognizing God’s love in ourselves and others in this Body of Christ and its leadership. This has been expressed in the many ways that we have been reaching out to each other through cards, phone calls, meals and so much more.

It is that love and God’s grace that guided last nights' council meeting. We reviewed the plans of the reopening team and what would be needed for us to safely open our doors again. It quickly became clear that there are some things that need to be done before that can happen. The biggest and most challenging will be taking care of the air circulation and the cleaning of the air in the sanctuary, as well as dealing with some air issues in the basement. There are a few other things that need to take place, but those are the two major ones.

Between that and the rising number of cases, and the spread of the corona virus, the council and I have decided that we will be going back to online worship for the month of November. We will be looking at this every month as things seem to be constantly changing.

I know that this is hard and sad news for many of us,  but I also know that it is a decision made out of love for our church community and staff. We have been blessed! Unlike many churches, we were able to gather safely for outside worship for 4 months. Thank you to all who made that possible! We were also able to gather for bingo several times as well as hold meetings in the serenity garden. Over the summer we installed a new camera and sound system which will greatly improve the quality of our Facebook live streaming. No more iPhone! We have been blessed and I am grateful.

While the church building will continue to remain closed,  we continue to be the Body of Christ. May we all continue to remember who and whose we are: God’s beloved.

Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Mike

Suspension of Church Activities - March 26, 2020

 

Dear Church Family,

 

As you are well aware, we continue to face the current health crisis. After much discussion and prayer, the council and I have decided to continue with the cancellation of all in-person church activities and meetings Until further notice. That said, we will continue to evaluate the situation and will let you know once it is decided that it is safe to begin gathering again.

During this time, my hope is that you will lean on me and one another. If you need help, don’t be stubborn, we have people who love you and want to help.

Hold onto hope. This will pass and some day we will look back on this as ancient history.

 

God is good…. All the time!

 

In Peace,

Rev. Mike

Temporary Suspension of Church Activities - March 17, 2020

 

Dear Church Family,

 

We are facing challenging and uncertain times. As with any challenges there are questions to ask and decisions to be made. Some that haven’t had to be made for generations. The good news is that we do not have to make these decisions alone, we have a loving God that we can turn to and trust in.

The most recent challenge and question has been how do we handle this as a faith community. Do we stay open for worship and practice social distancing? After all, we need church more now than ever. Or, do we temporarily suspend activities and worship? What is the socially responsible to do? What is the loving thing to do, not just for ourselves but for our neighbors?

After much discussion and prayer, the council and I have decided to cancel all in person church activities and meetings for the next two weeks (through the 30th). This includes all groups that use the church. The church office will be open, but we are remaining flexible about the hours. If you need anything or just want to talk you can email me or call the church office. We will reevaluate on the 30th.

Does this mean no worship? Well, no! We will have the chance to gather on Sunday remotely. The goal is to have the services streamed on Facebook live. If you haven’t already, go onto Facebook and like our page.

 

 

Will this be a different experience? Yes. Will there be growing pains? Yes. And although we may not be connected in person, we will be connected through Christ’s Spirit. May it be our greatest strength!

Please stay tuned in the coming days for further updates regarding worship and other ways to connect. We will all get through this challenging and unsettled time together.

In Peace,

Rev. Mike

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