As you know from yesterday’s FYI, we have been considering
the best ways we can be church in this time of pandemic. We wanted to respond
thoughtfully and prayerfully, in a spirit of peace, not of panic. Early this
week, after the Council meeting, we formed a small preparedness team to advise
Today, we decided to postpone physical gatherings including
Sunday worship for at least the next two Sundays, March 15th and March 22nd.
We made this decision after much deliberation and consultation. We all feel the sadness of this decision, but
we feel it is the wisest and most compassionate decision based on what we know.
We plan to experiment with various forms
of virtual church. This Sunday, we will broadcast a Facebook Live service at
10:00 a.m. Theodore Stoddard and I will be testing this out. We look forward to
seeing what will happen.
We know that not all of you are on Facebook, so we will be trying
other online platforms next week. We will keep you posted. Virtual church has been around for several
years, and I’m excited that we are going to try this way of being church, even
as I mourn the loss of our physical gatherings for worship.
I will be updating you on other activities during these two
weeks; for now, all our regular gatherings are postponed. We ask for your patience and your help, should
you have ideas as we go forward. I will work on virtual bible study and weekly
devotions. Robin Carlo is working on virtual Sunday School, and expects to
broadcast Facebook Live Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. this Sunday, March 15th.
The Council and I ask that you please keep in touch with
each other, and with those who might be in need. We hope to create a phone
tree, and you all know that you can call or write me. I will be checking in
with you as much as possible by phone or email.
Lent offers us a time to embrace simplicity. This year, that
simplicity is imposed upon us by events and circumstances out of our control.
We can, however, choose our response. One of my friends wrote that compassion
is our seat-belt in troubled times. I agree. In all that we are doing in these
days of social distancing, my prayer is we remain interconnected as much as
possible. May we remember those who may need assistance. May we know God’s
presence in the midst of us.
Pastor Anne Deneen