As we are finding our way into a new, hopefully temporary, normal… a couple of things to share with you:
The office/building/Preschool continue to be closed. We are checking mail and phone messages daily, and our building continues to be in the process of being deep cleaned by our caretaker, Dwight Hanauer. While we’re all encouraged to stay home, if you do happen to be out and about for a quick shopping trip or errand, please do not stop by the church unless you have to.
We continue to worship online. To date, our worship service via Facebook Live last Sunday has almost 1,000 views, which is just incredible! We’re definitely learning something about the need and nature in which we gather around the give of God’s Word in these difficult times. We will continue to gather on Sunday mornings via Facebook Live on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. – you can RSVP for the event as a reminder. I have produced a bulletin for worship this week which includes some music – you can download it to print or use on a device as you would like. If you’re not a Facebook person, I’ll be sending an email out on Sunday afternoon with the link to be able to watch the recording of the service which you can access without an account.
You are also welcome to connect with the broader Church through the DE-MD Synod online worship on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for a Service of the Word with Bishop Gohl through the DE-MD Synod Facebook Page. Or simply gather with those around your home to pray together, read the scriptures for the day (1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41) and reflect on them together. I am also inviting you to participate in a midweek online Vesper service with our broader Church through the DE-MD Synod Facebook Page – there were about 8 of us from St. Paul’s participating in the service this past Wednesday!
Please continue to give. Your offerings are needed to help continue the work of the church, even in this in-between time. You can mail your offerings in to the church office – we have a secured mailbox which I or the office staff are accessing daily. You can also give online, either as a one-time offering or to setup something reoccurring (this is how I give to our church). You can just go to our website and click on Contribute to St. Paul’s on the right-hand side, and it will take you to a secure giving platform. If it’s all the same, giving by ACH debit is preferred as we incur less processing fees, but giving by a credit card is great too!
Keep connected to one another. I’ve spoken to a number of people this week by phone, text, email, Facebook, or video, and I know you’re looking out for one another. Please continue to do this, and help remember your St. Paul’s community who might be lonely or isolated in these days. A couple of people asked for a directory, which you can download here – please use this only for connecting with one another and not soliciting or giving contact info to people out of our community. If you are willing to be a “phone buddy” for someone in our church who would like another touch point, please email me and let me know. Our partners at ACTC are looking for help or donations if you are willing to assist in caring for the vulnerable in our midst through their work.
You have likely noticed that a lot of our connecting is through Facebook – I know this isn’t perfect, or for everyone, but is a helpful tool in a time like this. If you are not on Facebook and would like to join, please be in touch with me and I’ll talk you through how to do it. Our leadership is going to be learning how to gather and work via Zoom videoconferencing very soon so we are able to tend to the work of the church. This will be another tool that we will begin using for smaller group meetings, study times, and check-ins with one another.
The next days and weeks are uncertain. While we are all hopeful about joining together in person soon, we don’t know when that will be. I imagine we will know more by this time next week, if not sooner, and our leadership will confer and communicate as soon as we know more about next steps. In the meantime, after conferring with our Creative Fundraising Committee, the Easter Candy and Basket BINGO events have been postponed. You will see information below about Holy Week and Easter events, but we’re uncertain that we will be permitted to gather by then. So we wait, and watch, and pray.