Important Letter from the Pastor Regarding Covid-19
Dear Church Family, March 17th, 2020 In “A Brief Statement of Faith” we confess that we trust the one triune God. In that confession, every section begins with a declaration of our trust in God, and the reasons for that trust are summed up in the things God has done for us. We also read, “In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage…”
The increasing, and sometimes overwhelming, information about the coronavirus (Covid 19) has caused great concern, and indeed we need courage. The session has been gathering information and planning our response. There are currently restrictions on gatherings of more than 9 people. Therefore, churches and other organizations are unable to operate in their usual way. Gathering at the church for Worship and Fellowship events is no longer an option. However, brothers and sisters in Christ take heart! Have courage!
The session has put together a plan that will keep us connected with each other, spiritually nourished with worship, and cared for. There will be more information in the days ahead, but this letter will outline the important things you need to know.
If we can’t gather together how will we worship? FPC Worship will be live-streamed every Sunday at 11am. Simply go to our web-page and watch from home. Sure, we will miss our hugs, and our usual way of worshiping together, but we will also grow in our understanding of community and in our faith.
What if I don’t have internet? Elders are currently working on connecting with congregation members to learn what communication devices are used. Phone and internet companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and many others are offering free internet for those without it in their home. We can also mail/deliver weekly sermon and Sunday school materials to those who are interested.
How will we stay connected? We will communicate and connect with a great deal of love and imagination! Phone calls will be the new way we keep up with each other. Every member the church has been assigned to an elder who will be staying in touch and checking in. Church members will begin receiving weekly calls and announcements on Wednesdays as early as next week. Our church newsletter and website will shift gears and we will share stories and reflections of faith during this difficult time.
Will we have Sunday School? Yes! Session members are setting up a prerecorded Sunday School lesson that will be available Sunday mornings via. email link, and on our church website. Information will be available soon.
Will the church office be open? The church office will remain open during the normal hours, but closed for visitors. If you need anything or have a question you may call the office.
How will we serve and give? Many aspects of our lives have been disrupted and put on hold in a effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. However, our needs are still the same. The ministry of First Presbyterian Church is more important now than ever, and we must continue to meet the needs in our community. It is very important that during this difficult time the tithes and offerings that support our ministry continue uninterrupted. Please consider giving online by going to our church website, or you can mail your gifts to the church office.
It is the goal of the session to recruit a team of individuals willing to help those who are home-bound. We are looking for volunteers willing to run errands, gather supplies, or purchase groceries for those unable to leave their homes, leaving items at the doorstep.
How can we help others in the community? We are working to learn more of the growing needs around us, and considering several needs for outreach. For now, love your neighbors by focusing on your personal health. Follow CDC guidelines for personal hygiene (attached). Rather than use your energy to worry, use it to focus on being healthy. •Get a good nights sleep •Eat healthy foods •Find ways to exercise •Humor is Gods gift- laugh with family and friends
In all of this, do not forget to pray and be attentive to those who need support and comfort. This is the time for the church to shine through darkness and fear. Information will continue to be made available in the days to come. May the Lord Jesus Christ be with each of you, and may you shine with the light of Christ.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Natasha Sudderth-Davis
Office Hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. – noon.
Church Location: 310 Plantation Road, Perry, FL 32348