COVID-19 Email Update #6

Special Announcement #6 Regarding COVID-19 for 3/19/2020

Good morning friends! I’m sorry this is a little later than I would have liked, but I do have a lot to share with you today as we approach our first completely online worship experience in the age of COVID-19. Here are a few things we’re working on:

Online Meetings
This past week we’ve held an online meeting and small group study using an application called ZOOM. Those involved in these meetings have found the application to be easy to use and very effective in keeping us connected. It’s not necessarily ideal, because in many cases, meeting face to face is certainly more desirable. But since this application is working quite well, we will be offering it as an alternative for other small groups and teams at the church.

Congregational Care/Outreach
A team of Congregational Care Ministers will be reaching out to Church Members and Regular Attenders over the next few days to find out how you are doing and what, if anything the church can do for you during this challenging time. Some things we’d like to know is if you’re able to go out to get groceries or other necessities, or if it would be helpful for someone from the church to help you with that; if you’re a parent with children and could use a break, if some of our church folks can help you out by watching the kids in your home; if there are any pastoral care concerns that I need to be made aware of, etc. Please know our intention is not to intrude on your lives, but to make sure we are available to you during this unprecedented time. So when you get the call, we hope you will use this time to connect with your friends from Song of Life and let us know how we can help, if you need it.

Worship
Our first completely online worship experience will be at 9:30 am on Sunday morning. It will remain on our Facebook Page for viewing at a later time or date, and will also be uploaded to our YouTube Channel after the fact. The worship experience itself will be a blended service, with both Traditional and Praise music and liturgy, and will be very similar to what we experience when we come together at our church campus. We will continue our Lenten sermon series called The Grace of Les Miserables with a message called “The Gift of Love,” which focuses on the characters of Cosette and Marius from the novel. We expect the service to be a comforting, uplifting, and Spirit-filled experience for all.

We will broadcast the service using Facebook Live. Instructions for joining Facebook Live were included in our email last week as we prepared for Worship in the Park. Tomorrow I will share more specific information on how to join our worship through Facebook Live. For now, mark your calendars for 9:30 Sunday morning and join us for our first Worship in the Era of COVID-19. No need to wear your Sunday best…in fact, you can worship in your PJs if you like!!

Worship Watch Parties

This morning on the news I heard the Surgeon General of the United States say something I think we all need to remember: social distancing does not mean isolation. In other words, while we need to be careful and be aware of the people around us, it is not necessary for us to be quarantined in our homes UNLESS you have been exposed to someone else who has been positively diagnosed as having COVID-19, or you are exhibiting symptoms yourself, including a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Even if you are a member of the at-risk group – those over age 60 with certain underlying health conditions – you do not have to go into quarantine. Granted, there aren’t a lot of places to go right now, since most restaurants, movie theaters, and other venues are closed at this time. But there are some things you can do outside your home…including attending one of our SoL Watch Parties!

A few of our church members have told me they are inviting folks from the church to their homes so they can worship together on Sunday morning. This is a safe and appropriate way for us to remain in community with each other, as long as we take the necessary precautions, including frequently washing your hands, using hand-sanitizer as appropriate, avoiding shaking or holding hands, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough by using a tissue or coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and putting distance between you and other people. Keep in mind, one of the CDC guidelines is that we avoid being in groups of 10 or more, but certainly a small party of  4-6 people, depending on the size of the home, is appropriate.

So if you know of someone in our congregation who would benefit from joining you in your home for worship on Sunday morning, please invite them! Consider especially those who aren’t as comfortable with technology or don’t have email access and as a result, aren’t receive the emails we’ve been sending out. It’s important for us to remain connected with each other, to help each other and be good neighbors as well.

Calendar Updates
Because of additional preparations over the last couple of weeks in response to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we’ve gotten behind on updating our online calendar, but we’ll get that done as soon as we can. In the meantime, we will try to keep up with calendar changes and will share them in these emails. Here are a couple that are coming up in the next couple of days:

  • Coping With Loss WILL NOT meet this evening
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry was CANCELLED due to a conflict
  • MOPs WILL NOT meet this Friday morning
  • Men’s Group WILL NOT meet this Saturday
  • Our Adult Sunday School Class, Koinonia and Bible Buddies Study Groups WILL NOT meet this Sunday.
  • Confirmation Class Meeting is still in question.
  • Lenten Study will meet online on Tuesday at 3 pm. All are welcome to join us!

I know this is a lot of information…and yet, there is more still to come!! In the meantime, let us keep each other in prayer during this difficult time. And remember:

Do not be anxious about anything…” Philippians 4:6a

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jody