Dear First Church Family and Friends,
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded that “the greatest commandments are these: love the Lord your God, with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul also reminds us that “...nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.”
In these days, as we continue to live in the midst of what has developed into a global pandemic, we are constantly seeking God’s guidance and direction as to what it means to live without fear while loving our neighbors as ourselves.
The Session of First Church wants you to know that they love you. I want you to know that I love you. And we love our community, all those known and unknown to us that live and work and play in our neighborhoods and communities.
During this time, the Session will be meeting using various electronic means to continue to evaluate and make decisions regarding moving forward about other ministries and programs. We will be evaluating keeping the office open vs. telecommuting. I will be available by phone and email should circumstances dictate that we work from home.
Out of that love, we continue to suspend in-person worship. Know that we have not come at this decision lightly, nor out of a sense of panic or fear. However, out of that understanding of loving our neighbor, we are taking the recommendation of the CDC to promote “social distancing” seriously in order to “flatten the curve”, that is to lower the rate and speed of transmission so as to protect the health of not only our attendees but also the greater community.
We are continuing to worship on-line and over the phone. There will be 3 ways to access worship on Sunday at 10am.
If you are using Zoom or Facebook, you will be able to participate interactively through the chat feature. We will have people monitoring and responding. This is new!! We’ll be experimenting! The slides will be going during the webinar, but I will also upload the bulletin to our website. I will be at church tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am-11am if you would like to pick up a bulletin and/or borrow a hymnal for the next few weeks. June will be leading us in music during the hymns.
The Session is also working on plans for providing care of community, Christian education, etc during this time. There is no guidebook or roadmap for these days, as we are in uncharted waters. However, know that we will seek connection and relationship with you so that you do not feel set adrift during these uncertain times. Please keep your eyes and ears open for information regarding these things.
We also ask you to remember that, even when the building is not open, the ministry and the work of the church continues on, so we encourage youprayerfully consider how you may continue to support the life, mission, and ministry of the church by mailing in your offerings and pledges to the church office or by going to our website for on-line giving.Give
If you worry that we may not have your current contact information, please send it by email to Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org and myself at Julie@firstofwarren.com.
I’d encourage you, if you do not receive our weekly E-news to sign up for it on our website or send us an email as well. More news and updates will be sent out there and on facebook.
Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Keep yourself healthy, and remember that you are loved, by God and by your church.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Julie
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