Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ! In some ways we cannot believe that it is already May! At other times, we find ourselves asking each other, “Is it only May?” We have not worshiped as a gathered community in person since March and we miss each of you. However, we have enjoyed the Clergy Roundtable sessions, the Mid-Week worship experiences, online classes, prayer groups, New Chapters, An Evening With Your Pastors, and more. We are grateful for the investment in, and expansion of, our technological infrastructure that empowers so much human connection while we are still apart.
Speaking of which, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you to our talented staff colleagues who are working remotely to continue supporting you, the congregation and friends of Naples UCC. In addition to the needs of their families, they are reinventing how we “do” church, and how they live out their jobs. All while remaining optimistic, helpful, and agile. We simply could not be the church we are without them.
We also want to thank our lay leadership. Our boards, committees, and task forces have continued to meet and govern our church life, in partnership with the staff, without missing a beat. Our Moderator and Vice Moderator remain engaged at every level and aware of operational decisions made by the staff.
We write to keep you up to date about your church and where we find ourselves during this phase of the pandemic:
- We are grateful to report that no one in the congregation has shared with us that they have a COVID-19 diagnosis. We are certainly aware of many family members and friends who are dealing with and/or have died because of this disease. We hold each of them in our hearts and in our prayers. You will also find many of those names on our prayer list that is emailed to you on Saturday nights.
- Our early childhood learning center, Precious Cargo Academy, will resume its operation today with very careful health and safety guidelines in place, operating at approximately half of its capacity. This is after careful consideration and dialogue with the PCA Committee, accreditation agencies, and the state of Florida.
- The church campus and Bargain Box will remain closed through the month of May. We believe it safest for our congregation and staff to continue with the suspension of in-person activities and to continue working remotely. We are not yet ready to announce projected opening dates, but we will let you know as soon as possible. We are awaiting further advisement on large gatherings from the Centers for Disease Control, the Governor’s Office, Collier County, and the City of Naples.
- We are grateful for those of you sewing masks as a part of our Mighty Mask Ministry! If you need a mask or want to sign up to sew, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know either way!
You are loved and you are missed! Please stay safe and let us know how we can continue to support you. We look forward to “seeing” you in worship and/or at this week’s Clergy Round Table!
Grace and Peace,