Letter to the Congregation regarding Sunday Worship
March 14, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Throughout the past weeks, your Clergy, and Council have been monitoring the public health advisories, have consulted closely and taken several precautionary actions to try to ensure the well being of our community during this health crisis. On Friday, March 13, 2020 the public health advisories continued to reinforce regular hand washing with soap, respiratory etiquette, social distancing and staying home when ill. Moreover, over the past 24 hours we’ve seen many activities cancelled to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
The Public Health recommendation at this time is to cancel gatherings where 250 people or more would gather. After much prayer, and broad consultation, we have decided to suspend in-person worship on March 22nd and March 29th, and offer an online worship experience instead, as we want to care for those most vulnerable to this virus within our community. We note that the SDA congregation who worships in our sanctuary on Saturdays has also chosen to temporarily suspend worship.
We will go ahead with gathering in person for worship, tomorrow, March 15th. However, we will not be offering Nursery, Sunday school or youth programming for our children, and there will be no refreshments served in the Hall. We encourage all those who are ill, who have travelled outside the country recently, or who are immune compromised to stay home and practice Sabbath rest. We will post part of the service to our You Tube channel as always. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnOu5yFybhiRZ6fGiMIS_9w/videos)
We believe that worship and prayer provides comfort during unsteady times. To that end, your clergy and worship leaders will be developing and communicating alternative ways of gathering over the next few weeks. Please continue to check your email, and our website and Facebook pages regularly for updates regarding worship and all other church activities. We will continue to BE the church during these unsettled times.
We will be offering pastoral care by phone, email and Social Media until further notice. Clergy and office staff will be working in the building. An effort will be made to contact everyone in our faith community and check in. Please do not hesitate to contact Rev. Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a pastoral care need. We also encourage the use of a Pastoral Buddy System. Pair up and intentionally check in on one another. Be proactive in reaching out and offering your care. Share God’s goodness at this time and let others care for you. We are in this together, dear friends, and God goes the way with us.
May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:7)
Yours in Christ,
Dot Cooper, Council Chair
Reverend Molly Bell
Reverend Caroline Penhale