COVID-19 Email Update #8

COVID-19 Update #8 for 3/24/2020

Good morning all and Happy Tuesday! I hope your week so far has been blessed and will continue to be blessed!

This morning I have just a few updates for you. But first, I want to say thank you to all of you who have sent me messages and emails expressing your concern for me during this time. I so appreciate your concerns and your prayers, but rest assured, I’m fine…a little stressed at times, but definitely doing well. I know God is walking us all through this, and is especially walking alongside the clergy during this crazy time. From what I’ve heard from some of my clergy colleagues. I’ve got it pretty easy because I have a congregation full of people who don’t complain (very much!) and who are willing to try new things (like technology) and are also willing to reach out to each other, especially those who might need a little extra TLC. So thank you for your willingness to learn new things, to roll with the punches, and to reach out to each other. My prayer is that we will be able to meet together in one place again very soon, although I’m cautiously optimistic. We won’t jump the gun on this, but instead will wait until it is safe for us to gather together in person again. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to report that our attendance for last Sunday’s service (both live and after the fact) is up to 141!!! That’s pretty awesome!

One other thing about me…because I fall in the “high risk” group (over age 60 with chronic lung disease) I’m hanging out at home a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’m quarantined. I’m more than happy to come a visit with you, and would even welcome the diversion!! So if you would like a visit, please reach out to the Congregational Care Minister assigned to you and your family, OR contact me and we’ll schedule some time together. I know we can do this while maintaining social distancing…and I’d love to see you in person!! So please, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Now for a few updates:

Lenten Study
Our Lenten Study is meeting via Zoom today at 3 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join us…and this might be a great opportunity for you to check out how Zoom works, because we might be switching over to Zoom as our method of broadcasting the service this Sunday.  We will actually open the Zoom Room at 2:30, so if you want to come in early to check out the application but don’t want to stay for the study, please join us between 2:30 and 2:45 (a link and further information was in the original version of this email — contact Pastor Jody if you didn’t receive it)

As mentioned briefly above, we are looking at the possibility of moving our online worship broadcast from Facebook Live (which has some unanticipated limitations) to Zoom (the same application we’re using for small groups). We’re still in the testing phase, so stay tuned for more information on what we ultimately decide to do.

We are also investigating the use of some additional technology that will allow us to (we think) switch the displays that you see, so the text and lyrics that we showed on the TV screen, will be visible full screen for you. Again, this is still tentative, but we think this will be a great enhancement.

We were also asked to provide the Digital Bulletin by email instead of only on the website…so we will do that this Saturday. Now, if you prefer not to print out the Digital Bulletin, remember, the lyrics will be displayed on the screen. In addition, another possibility for you might be this: if you are watching the service on your TV or your computer, AND you have another device like a phone or iPad, you can pull up the Digital Bulletin on your alternate device.

It was also suggested that if we can figure out a way for folks to interact with each other before worship, that would be nice. So we’re trying to figure that out as well. Watch this space!

We also want to thank you for your constructive feedback on ways we can make the worship experience more satisfying and spiritual. We’ve heard a lot of very positive feedback about last Sunday’s worship, but we know we can do better…I expect this Sunday to be better than last, and the Sunday after that will be even better!

Congregational Care Ministers
Our team of Congregational Care Ministers are busy reaching out to all of our families, and so far the feedback has been very positive. We know that some of you have told your CCM that you don’t need any further contact, and that’s fine, but should that change, please don’t hesitate to give your assigned CCM a call. Believe it or not, this process has been a blessing to them as well, so I know they would want to speak to you at any time. In addition to that, though, if you have a concern you want to address with me, again email Pastor Jody (see below). If we can get together, we’ll arrange that.

If you did not receive a call from one of our CCMs last week, please let me know. We ran a list of those folks who have attended worship in the last 3 months, but we could have missed you…and we don’t want you to be left out! So let me know by sending me an email or giving me a call so we can assign you to a CCM right away!

Final Words
That’s all I have for now…(I know, it’s a lot). I may not send an update tomorrow, but will definitely be in touch before the end of the week with online worship information. So if you need anything from us, please feel free to call your CCM, or contact the office at 480-641-1200 or by email at , or email me at . We’re here for you. God bless.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jody