In times such as this, we need to remember that God is sovereign, and that we are part of something bigger than any one particular time. We take strength from the words of the Lord, spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (41:10)
Friday afternoon, Nancy, Jennifer, Brian, and I spent an hour in prayerful discussion about the best course forward for our congregation during this anxious time. We love being together as a family of faith, but we also realize the care we need to exercise for one another right now may be more important. We have continued to seek counsel from public health officials, Presbytery, and other congregations/pastors, and have consulted with Session. The sum total of the conversation is this:
Effective immediately, we are suspending all in-person church activity through April 13th, including worship services, committee meetings, Bible Study groups, children and youth activities, and gatherings from outside groups.
What will the next two weeks look like?
- Program staff will create online worship experiences and devotional opportunities for the congregation.
- Staff will work remotely as much as possible.
- All members are encouraged to be in prayer for those impacted by the virus and to reach out to one another by phone or email for support and encouragement. Pastors are available by email to respond to personal concerns.
- Session will reassess on 3/27. At that time the plan may be revised or extended.
The Prayervine is a way for you to keep up with and pray for people in the church. In this time apart, these prayers allow us to be connected to one another. If you would like to join the Prayervine, please contact Nancy Kinzer to let her know. Regardless if you receive the prayer vine via email or not, you may send prayer requests to [email protected]
Simply put, this is a “better safe than sorry” scenario for us. We would much rather feel foolish in a month than visit one of our own in the hospital with this virus. There are varying reports about how long this virus sticks around. This closure would give our custodial crew plenty of time to disinfect the entire building without concern for next-day contamination.
We understand this is new territory for us, but we believe it will be best for all concerned.