Summary: No regular in-the-building Sunday Worship Services (but we will meet in the parking lot in May), and no group gatherings at church until further notice. The leadership team at Grace is keeping a close eye on the situation and will communicate more information as it becomes available.
We are planning a parking lot church service for Sundays in May, beginning on the 10th at our regular time. More information can be found here. Additionally, Daily Devotions and services will be made available so we can continue to worship from home, click here. They are also available on our FaceBook page, where you can stay in touch with those in our faith community.
Pastor’s Letter 3/16/2020
This weekend, I spent a great deal of time in conversations with colleagues, reading articles and guidelines, listening to directives from our elected leaders, and consulting with our leadership here at Grace concerning the health risks as people all around the world face a pandemic known as COVID 19.
As a result of the many discussions, our church leadership has decided to cancel almost all church activities.
Our office hours will remain the same and I will be doing most of my pastoral care ministry by telephone. We will have special devotions and worship opportunities on our church Facebook page as well as our Website. For those who do not use on-line resources, a weekly Sunday mailing will come to your home.
Future announcements during these two weeks will be on our website, our Facebook page, our Grace at a Glance email blast, and a phone calling tree.
This is not the reality that we want to be living in, but here we are. As a church we want to hope and pray for the best while we prepare for the worst.
Our church council will still be meeting this Tuesday and part of that meeting will be to consider a plan to implement as we move forward in the coming weeks. Our first priority will be to keep our at-risk population safe. This is not only about us individually but also about others.
There are things we can do to “flatten the curve” which means we slow the spread through our actions so the medical community is not overwhelmed.
1. Wash your hands.
2. Stay home if you are sick, especially if you are running a fever. Better safe than sorry.
3. Treat the people around you with kindness. Some of our neighbors working in retail and service areas have been yelled at, sworn at and disrespected because there are no more face masks/bleach/toilet paper on the shelves. Remember to be kind.
4. Check in with your family and friends. Phone calls, text messages, e-mails all count. Even if we cannot shake hands and hug, we can still be in touch and prevent loneliness and isolation.
5. Be patient with us, at church, as we make changes and address current news. We are all figuring this out as we go along. We do not want to be alarmist or stoke the flames of fear. We just want to protect you.
6. Look for ways to help. Send notes of encouragement to medical and emergency personnel.
7. Continue to support our church. Our operating expenses will continue as usual. Please remember to contribute so that we can continue to share the love of Christ with others, keep current with our bills, care for our facility, and support our ministry and staff.
8. This is the most important: Pray. Pray for our community, our nation, and our world. Pray for those who are sick, those who are isolated, and those who live in fear. Pray for our medical providers and nursing home staff, they are already exhausted. Pray for scientists and other researchers. Pray for community and church leaders who will have to make difficult decisions in the weeks and months to come. Pray, and then wash your hands again.
Together, we will move forward in faith as we keep one another in prayer. At times like these fear is natural but faith is supernatural. Remember what God’s Word says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
In Christ who gives us strength,