Church UpdateMar 13, 2020
This past week has been a whirlwind of constant changes due to Covid-19 and applying the "flattening the curve" strategy (www.flattenthecurve.com - important read). In light of Governor Hogan's decision yesterday to close the public schools in MD and to ban gatherings over 250 people, the elders had a meeting last night to determine our path forward for this weekend. The two things that will go on this weekend are the Memorial Service for Keith Harrison (Sat. 3/14 at 1 PM) and our worship service on Sunday morning 3/15 at 10:45 AM. Everything else has been cancelled (see below for the list). Both of these services will also be live streamed through our church facebook page - www.facebook.com/shadygrovepca. You do not have to have a facebook account to view these services live stream.
The elders wanted to make it clear that the option to participate on-line rather than in person is not a 'second-tier" option for those who are sick or at risk but simply a valid option for each of us to consider as we weigh through the ethics and our consciences in honoring the Lord's command to gather (Heb. 10:25) and our Governor's request that we refrain from large gatherings in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Smaller gatherings in homes would also honor the Lord. Please also keep in mind that we will not go over the 250 person threshold that Governor Hogan has banned. We have not been over 250 people in worship since Christmas and we are not anticipating that this Sunday will have a greater turnout than Christmas:)
Here is a list of what has been cancelled this weekend:
- No reception after the Memorial service for Keith Harrison tomorrow (still having the service, just no reception afterwards)
- No Sunday School this Sunday (all ages)
- No youth gatherings this weekend (this evening's event at Bohrer park has been cancelled and Cornerstone this Sunday evening has been cancelled
- No ESL classes until after Easter
- No LEAP gathering at SGPCA for the next two weeks (homeschool co-op that meets on Mondays)
- No congregational lunch after church on March 22nd
- No Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11th
- Small groups meetings are to be determined by each group
Our worship service this Sunday (3/15) will not have communion, nor passing of the plates for the offering, nor printed bulletins that will be distributed. We will be using the projectors for Scripture readings and songs, and we are encouraging folks to print their own copy of the bulletin at home to bring with them. As there will be no offering plates passed during the service, we are encouraging folks to either give online (www.shadygrovepca.org/give) or to give your offering to the ushers in the back of the sanctuary before or after the worship service. Last, but not least, we are not having a coffee station this Sunday. If you want to bring a mug of coffee with you that is fine, but drinks in the sanctuary need to have a lid on them.
I will be preaching from Psalm 34 this week in response to Covid-19 on the fear we need. Please reflect on Psalm 27, 34, & 46 as these Psalms are balms in times of uncertainty and fear. Attached is the bulletin with the announcements.
The Elders and Deacons are having a combined meeting this Tuesday (17th) and we will re-evaluate and consider our plans for next weekend and beyond. As there are changes we will communicate those changes with you by e-mail and through our church website (www.shadygrovepca.org) and facebook page (www.facebook.com/shadygrovepca). If you need help with some type of physical or material needs please reach out to the Deacons at [email protected]. If you have a spiritual need or prayer request please reach out to the Elders at [email protected].
Assistant Pastor, Ben Hein, is going to lead us through a prayer meeting on facebook live (www.facebook.com/shadygrovepca) this evening (Friday) at 7:30 PM. This will be my first experience doing something like this. You can send prayer requests to Ben ahead of time by e-mailing him at [email protected]. If you do not have a facebook account you can still view the video, but you will not be able to interact with the video with comments, sending prayer requests, etc. We are going on-line tonight. I hope you can join us then.
Blessings in Christ,
“If you look at the world, you'll be distressed.
If you look within, you'll be depressed.
If you look at God you'll be at rest.”
- Corrie Ten Boom