December 11, 2020
Last night the Session made two important decisions about worship.
Due to the rising number of local Covid cases, the Session has decided that we will NOT be offering in person worship through Sunday, January 3rd. We will be offering online worship, and you will be able to watch on Sunday morning when you would normally be in church.
This was not an easy decision for the Session. It was made in light of many factors, including a plea from Dr. Peter Rutherford of Confluence Health, who encouraged people to stay home as much as possible right now. The Session believes that by going to online only worship, we are doing our part to help limit the potential spread of Covid. As one Session member put it, “We would feel terrible if we discovered that someone had contracted Covid by worshipping at our church.”
The second decision by the Session is that we WILL offer an outdoor Christmas Eve service on our church lawn at 5:00.
This will be a shorter Christmas Eve Service. We will have some scripture reading, the singing of Christmas Carols, and the traditional lighting of the candles as we sing “Silent Night”. Please dress warmly, and bring a flashlight. We will have some lighting and chairs set up on the lawn. Since our back lawn is right next to the parking lot, those who wish to remain in their cars will still be able to be a part of the service. While not ideal, we believe this option will allow us to gather on Christmas Eve, and to sing (albeit underneath masks). We will also be recording the service for those who are unable to attend.
The session recognizes that these two decisions involve significant tradeoffs, and are not without negative impacts. As your pastor, I have relished seeing many of you in person on Sunday mornings. We will all miss that blessing for the next few weeks! However, it is balanced by the session's decision of knowing that we are being as safe as possible with regards to worship.
Please know that the Session did not make either of these decisions about worship lightly, or without careful consideration.
Our Session members would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about their decisions. Please contact them if you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share with them.
I would encourage you to reach out directly to them. The Session plans to re-evaluate the possibility of offering in-person worship during the first full week in January, once the governor’s latest order expires.
Jesus was born in the midst of troubled times, with Israel being occupied by Rome. Therefore, in spite of our present troubled times, we still rejoice and celebrate Christ’s coming into the world. Even in this difficult year of 2020, Jesus Christ is still born to save us, and our world. We will always celebrate that good news. Hallelujah! and Amen.