Dear Grace Church,
Do not let your hearts be troubled. I can't think of better words of encouragement. As social distancing continues and we struggle with the loss of our normal routines, it's easy to get discouraged. But, these beautiful words from the Gospel of John are words we need to hear right now. As we face colder temperatures outside, we will face another shift in how we gather and these words will be even more important to remember in the weeks ahead.
I want to acknowledge how challenging this season is for all of us but we are a community of faith that is resilient and hopeful. Together, we can continue to keep the well-being of our entire congregation at the forefront of our decisions and find ways to connect in meaningful ways.
Let me share a few updates with you and highlight the markers for re-gathering.
We move back to ONLINE ONLY worship this Sunday. Our online service will be broadcast live at 10am and will also be available on our Facebook page for later viewing.
- At the direction of the Diocese, we are utilizing the health markers provided by Global Epidemics. On this site you can review COVID cases by state or county. We must see consistent numbers below 5 cases per 100,000 people before we can consider re-gathering. This is the recommended case count that health officials have advised the Diocese for safe re-gathering.
- I am taking into account the numbers for Goochland, Henrico, Powhatan, Louisa, and the City of Richmond. Many of our members live and work in these surrounding counties making it essential that we look not only at our own county but the counties that impact our congregation.
- Right now, we are not meeting the markers for re-gathering. However, we will keep watching these statistics and will respond accordingly when it is safe.
You may find a full list of resources and frequently asked questions from the Diocese of Virginia here.
So...what can you do?
You can get involved! Cindy, Dee, and I are working hard to create ways for us to gather virtually and outdoors when appropriate. We don't want anyone to feel as though you are alone during this time. Along with online worship, we have the following ways for you to engage:
- Join the Women's Group or the Men's Group.
- Participate in the Advent Study beginning Thursday, December 3.
- Reach out to the church if you are lonely or need someone to talk to. I am setting up in person or Zoom meetings depending on what you are most comfortable doing.
- Volunteer to be a reader for our Sunday services.
- Help deliver meals and have a front porch visit with other Grace members.
- Get involved in our virtual Lessons and Carols. We need readers and singers.
Remember, you are not alone and we are here to love and support you. If you have any questions about the above information or if you would like to get involved, please reach out to me so that I can help you move forward with a hopeful heart.
Grace and Peace,