March 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,

Grace and peace to each of you.

As Christians, our call is to love God with our whole hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. When situations arise in the world, followers of Jesus have the obligation and the opportunity to ask questions about how we respond: How can we best care for our community? What do the most vulnerable among us need? What does love look like at this moment? As the Ministry Team has prayed, researched and discussed, our love for God and for each of you and our community informs the decisions we are making in these days.

While we are not aware of anyone in our community that has tested positive for this coronavirus disease, COVID-19, we are committed to actively participating in a global effort to protect the health of our community and especially those who are most medically fragile. Based upon the current and known information from federal, state and local agencies, as well as a recommendation from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward , we have made the following decisions to best care for each of you and our neighbors:
  • We will worship via Live Stream this Sunday and next, March 15 and March 22 instead of gathering together in the sanctuary. Determinations about future worship services will be made as more information becomes available from the CDC and in consultation with our bishop and local clergy networks. A link to Live Stream Worship will go out later today and be posted on our website and Facebook page.

  • Sunday School and Youth Group are cancelled for March 15 and March 22. Small Groups with 25 or fewer participants may continue to gather at this time, honoring the recommended practices of hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing. We encourage any group, no matter the size, to consider a video conferencing option if there are people over 60-years-old in the group

  • Our mission and ministry will continue and we ask for your continued faithful financial support. Please give online or mail your check to church, c/o Kelly Kovalesky, Financial Administrator, 504 West Chapel Hill St, 27701. If we can provide assistance to you in setting up online giving, please let me know.

  • Additional Online Opportunities for Spiritual Formation and Prayer will be provided in the days to come as we seek to stay connected to one another in ways that center us in Christ’s peace, love, justice and mercy. Join us this Sunday Evening for Zoom Prayer.

  • Pastoral Care Teams are mobilizing now to create an ‘adopt a friend’ plan to support and care for our most isolated members via phone, email, text and mail. Contact Pastor Jennifer to adopt a friend,

  • We are working with our staff to ensure their safety and health, especially related to working on-site or at home. We appreciate your patience as we navigate these plans.

  • The Weekday School Board meets today to make decisions about safety and care for their students and teachers. The Parents Morning Out program will likewise make decisions today in collaboration with the preschool program. 
During this season of Lent, we journey through an unprecedented wilderness- but we do not journey alone! God is with us.

I am grateful for each of you and this amazing community of faith and support. Together let us stand for love as we claim hope in places of darkness and proclaim God’s sovereign care in the face of all fear.

 “Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
- John Wesley.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Heather