Greetings in the name of Christ!

Friends, it has been truly humbling to pastor here during the pandemic.  Central has been courageous, flexible, gracious, and faithful as we have navigated the rough waters of 2020.  You all have answered the call again and again while encouraging us in the office throughout the good and the bad.  You have a great staff here who, from their faith in Jesus, cares deeply about you, this community and our role in the midst of it all.

We appreciated the response to last week’s post.  Our numbers were in line with the Governor’s guidelines and everyone was following the 3 W’s.  Please continue this vigilance as well as staying home if you are in isolation, quarantine or have any of the symptoms.  It gives us hope for the coming weeks – for the waters seem to be churning and boiling again.  We are blessed with a large space in which to gather, yet we are going to put in some more measures to ensure we can continue to be open for ministry for the months to come. 
  • If you are able to worship comfortably from home, please do so.  We look forward to ‘seeing’ you online Sunday morning as we create more space for a distanced service in the sanctuary.
  • We will be dismissing service from the front and not recessing to the back.  This will further reduce groups congregating in the hallways and under the portico for conversation. Please continue to have your conversations to the side or outside (still at 6’ please).  Pastor Jen and I are available throughout the week for conversation.
  • Our Children’s and Youth SS classes are going virtual.  Please email Pastor Jen for a zoom link.
  • Throughout the week, we are asking groups who are able to go virtual and that any gathering of 10 or more to reserve space in either the Fellowship Hall, Sanctuary, Gym, or Choir Room.        
  •  If you gather with more than 2 households from out of town over Thanksgiving, please stay home on the 29th and invite any remaining guests to join you in online worship.

We realize these measures will make Sunday’s service mostly a virtual gathering, but we will remain open for those of us who are unable to worship online and to receive those God may still send.  Ad Council has discussed guidelines for suspending services if the cases continue to climb in our area over the coming weeks.  This will be assessed week to week and communicated clearly if we reach them in the coming weeks.  

Ultimately, we are called to be a people formed after Jesus’ example who show Christ’s love to the world.  This is true when we gather and when we are sent out into our neighborhoods.  We are all impacted by this pandemic, but we cannot be paralyzed.  Let’s not let Sunday morning be the only time we think about others.  We are the ones called for such a time as this.  Please continue to reach out, zoom, call, donate, email and converse (physically distanced) to those you love and those God places on your heart.  And above all, pray. Though the darkness may gather, God’s light overcomes through his promises and people.

Remember Psalm 46…

 

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

 The Lord Almighty is with us;

    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

With God, we will get through this together.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Joseph


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