Service of Word and Prayer for Sunday, June 28, 2020
An Updated Response to COVID-19 (July 1, 2020)
Friends in Christ,
Navigating COVID-19 remains an anxious and uncertain time in our world and in the life of our church. The leadership of this congregation laments with you all our inability to gather in the ways to which we are accustomed and longs, as you do, for the chance to all be together again. We also remain steadfastly committed to the health and safety of the people that make up this faith community and will continue to prioritize all our well-being, understanding faith’s vital role.
The challenge before us is one of differentiating between what we can do and what we should do. The apostle Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians about this distinction, saying “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” Each day as we attempt a faithful response to this still present health concern, we are focused on making decisions that take into account what is lawful but also what is most beneficial to the health and safety of the whole of our congregation.
On June 17th, a task force of medical and emergency response professionals met to discuss where we are in this pandemic and what that means for our congregation as restrictions have begun to loosen. We had a fruitful discussion and, through the many perspectives represented, developed a set of recommendations to be presented to the PLC Church Council. These recommendations were approved by the Council on June 28th.
First, to better understand the current feelings and perspectives of individuals and their families in our congregation, we have developed a survey to collect this feedback. A paper copy is included with this letter and an online version will be emailed to you. We would greatly appreciate you filling out just one of the versions of this survey for your family. (Link below)
Second, we will continue to put our efforts into worship and ministry online and outdoors. Worship will continue to be posted online on Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future, no matter where and how we gather. Also, we will continue to creatively think about how we can use the nicer weather to gather outdoors for those who are comfortable. Currently, this includes a monthly drive-thru communion and a monthly drive-in worship service. The building remains closed for in-person gatherings at this time.
Finally, the task force and council have both supported and approved a reopening plan that you will be able find on the Coronavirus Resources page on our website once we’ve collected your feedback and made adjustments. It includes a series of phases that will guide our way forward, rather than a set timeline. This will help us communicate where we are at and where we are going in a more effective way.
We give thanks for this church and for its people. The amount of grace and support you each have shown in the last four months has been humbling. We know this has not been easy in so many ways and our faith has been challenged along the way. However, God has not lost sight of you and neither has your church. You are loved and prayed for every day.