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Online Church: Responding to COVID-19

Grace to you and peace through Jesus Christ.

Beloved church, the recommendations regarding the coronavirus have changed rapidly over the course of the past week. Many of our previous plans no longer apply. Now some advise not gathering in groups of 25 or more. As followers of Jesus, we are called to show mercy and care for the most vulnerable members of our communities. The best way for us to do this right now is to limit our physical contact so we do not contribute to the spread of coronavirus to our elders and those who are immunocompromised. The members of church council and I have decided not to hold worship in person for the time being. We will continue to monitor the situation and let you know when we’ll gather in person again.

This is a disappointment. We love to gather to praise God, to serve God’s people, and to share in fellowship together, and gathering is a particular comfort in troubled times. However, God has blessed us with a variety of gifts to allow us to praise, serve, and care for one another in such a time as this:

Virtual Worship

  • Sunday at 9:45am we will gather online. 
    • Go to our Facebook to join or
    • Join using Zoom on a computer, smartphone, or landline. 
  • Phone by your location
    • +1 646 558 8656 US (East Coast)
    • Meeting ID: 473 664 069
  • Midweek Lent worship will meet through Zoom on Wednesdays at 7pm.
  • Video
  • Phone by your location
    • +1 646 558 8656 US (East Coast)
    • Meeting ID: 943 894 189
  • Pastor Emily will be on Facebook Live at noon every weekday for a brief moment of scripture reading and prayer. Find her on her pastoral account.
  • For those for whom video and phone worship is difficult, we will mail out home devotionals to assist in worship. If you’d like to receive one, please tell the church office or a member of church council.

Staying in Touch

  • Church council members are calling everyone in the congregation to check in about worship and assess any needs in our community. If you don’t receive a call, please call the church office.
  • As your council contact has told you, I will send members of the congregation a list of 3-4 people to call, text, Facetime, or otherwise contact during the week. The goal for these small groups is to be the body of Christ for one another. If you’ve opted out, you shouldn’t receive an assignment; if you do, please let the leader know politely to remove you from the list.
    • Try to be in touch with everyone in your group at least 2 times weekly. You might…
      • Share a joy and concern
      • Read a passage of scripture together
      • Share a word of prayer
      • Talk about your lives, what you’re watching on TV, or what you’re cooking for dinner

Today I am leaning on Psalm 46, a favorite of Martin Luther:

“God is our refuge and strength,
 a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult …
… The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Hold fast to that strength of God. Continue in confidence that God’s love accompanies us together and apart. Share the peace of Christ with one another, wherever we may be. 

With deep love, 

Pastor Emily