Worship and COVID-19: Update 03.14.2020

Post date: Mar 14, 2020 2:50:48 PM

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family Member,

As I've said over the last week, the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation.

I have made the difficult, yet correct decision to cancel in person worship for at least the next two weeks, perhaps through March, depending on where we are with this pandemic. I have come to this conclusion based on the following:

But most importantly, I made this decision because as your spiritual leader and as a steward of God's church, I love you and I'm called to think of the health and safety of our congregation and our larger community first. It's not about what I wish could be, but what must happen, or in this case, not happen, for the greater good. Gathering for 45-60 minutes this Sunday is just not worth risking the spread of this virus any further, especially to those who are most vulnerable, and possibly hurting people we are called to love.

So, for this Sunday I will email you my sermon, along with the bulletin, and video myself saying the Lenten blessing and a prayer. Look for me on Facebook live at 10:30 AM! For the following Sunday, I'm going to get a Zoom account and you can join me online in the morning at 10:30 AM. This will be our new way of doing church for the time being. It might be awkward at first, but we will adapt and all shall be well. 

As we are encouraged to practice safe social distancing and stay home as much as possible, I invite you to use this space of staying home to read a book, be more present with your family, call a friend, take a walk (but not in large groups!), pray, read Scripture, listen for God in the quiet, do some baking, write cards to people telling them you love them. 

Beloved, these are very strange times, uncertain times, but we will be okay. Let us continue to pray for our health care professionals, for those who have lost loved ones to this virus, for our community; indeed, for our world. I pray that you will be safe and remain healthy.

The peace of Christ be with us all,