It is with disappointment that we cancel worship, our first session with the church consultant and the brunch planned for Sunday. The Session has decided to cancel worship and all church related activities through April 6th due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
This is a time of care, calm and concern. The most important aspect of this decision is that we practice the only known method of containing the spread of the disease, and that is social isolation and distancing- something we NEVER encourage in the church of Jesus Christ, but find ourselves compelled to practice at this time.
Please check here and your email for upcoming news about Sunday worship resources and my sermon online as we determine how to ‘be the church’ in this time. I encourage you to reach out via text, phone call and email to those who you will not be able to see face to face on Sundays.
The quiet of the desert retreat, from which I just returned, is a blessed reminder of God’s provision in abundance and scarcity. “I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
In the peace of Christ,
This is an excerpt from David Oyler, Executive Director of Beaver Butler Presbytery.
… Given the fast pace of events, and given the closure of all public schools, I am advising that all Sessions consider cancelation of worship and other church activities. The advice from the Center for Disease Control indicates clearly that the virus is spread through close contact. And those who are older than age 60 are particularly vulnerable. Worship is a time of relatively close contact. And all our congregations include people who are more than 60 years of age….
You may well ask, what next? It seems as if there are more questions than answers. Some of you engage in feeding ministries to the most vulnerable among us. Some of you live in communities where the feeding of children will be impacted through school closures. Some of you will be concerned with those in your own congregation who live alone and will be isolated by these decisions.
This is a time of high anxiety. At the same time, there is no better time to ‘be the church.’ It will involve creativity and thoughtful engagement among your church leaders to reach out to all your church members and your surrounding community in a way that is wise, bold and cautious. God has appointed you as leaders for such a time as this.
This communication takes everything a step further than just a few days ago. You are asked to act with wisdom. And boldness. And courage. Without fear, confident in the God who gives us abundant life.