Epiphany Lutheran Church
               Rock Hill, SC  29732 

March 21, 2020
Special Announcement
A special announcement from Epiphany to help keep you informed.

Dear Epiphany Church Family, 

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and follow the recommendations of the CDC and SCDHEC that gatherings of more than ten people be canceled.     
  • Wednesday night and Sunday morning gatherings are canceled until further notice. The worship and prayer services will be offered electronically via video on-line (see below for details)
  • The gathering of Beer and Hymns (Sunday, March 22, 6pm) is canceled.  However, an electronic version of Beer and Hymns will be offered on-line (see below for details).
  • The Women's Retreat at Coastal Retreat Center (March 27-29) has been canceled   
At this time other activities that are planned with the expectation of 10 or less persons may still be scheduled at the discretion of leadership, with the understanding that persons who are sick or considered high risk should not attend, nor should any one be obligated to attend if they do not feel safe.  Activities that are held should observe social distancing and avoid physical contact. These small gatherings may transition in the near future (when CDC recommendations become more restrictive) to only on-line activity.  Council will re-evaluate after March 29 to make further decisions regarding future activities.  

Most of us are beginning to realize that this has become more than just a short-term crisis and that many of these preventive practices look as though they will continue for some time.  Someone posted the challenge on our church app of how we might be available to one another in order to stay connected as a church family and community.  We will continue to explore the best ways for us to do this, by communicating through whatever means that we have that is safe and protective. I encourage you to take initiative in reaching out to one other.  Don't be surprised if you get a phone from me to see how you and your family doing.  

Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:35,37).  We have the words of God's promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  

Here are some of the ways that we can stay connected in the days and months ahead:   
  • Epiphany's Congregational Life MLT has organized a ministry of support in running errands for persons of high risk (elderly and those with health conditions) to offer assistance such as shopping and going to the pharmacy.  If you have a need for this help or know others who do, contact Christia Humburg (christia@fmhm.org or 803-370-1010) or the church office.  Volunteers are also encouraged to call to offer their time and help.
  • Hallowed Hands Prayer Team and Prayer Requests - If you have a prayer request you can contact Julie Waldrop (360-903-0719) or call the church office. 
  • Daily Video Devotion from the SC Synod Office - Click this link for the SC Synod Facebook page that will provide a daily weekday video devotion each Tuesday at 10AM (available anytime afterwards)   https://www.facebook.com/scsynod
  • We will be videotaping a Service of Message and Music on Wednesday nights (at 7:00pm; available anytime afterwards) and a version of our Sunday Morning Worship Service (at 10:00am; available anytime afterwards).  These services will be posted at Epiphany Facebook Page at Epiphany YouTube Link for Cell Phone App or Epiphany You Tube Link for Computer Desktop .  If you need tech assistance to figure out how to view these videos, you may contact James Brooks (803-325-4024) or Margaret Gillikin (803-673-3441).  A COPY OF SUNDAY'S BULLETIN WILL BE AVAILABLE ON HOME PAGE OF CHURCH WEBSITE Epiphany's Website .
  • We will be videotaping a version of Beer and Hymns (like you've never seen before!!!) that should be available on-line (Sunday, March 22, at 6:00pm; available anytime afterwards) at the Facebook page and YouTube channel given above.  Accordion Bob will be with us, along with LaVerne dancing her fingers on the piano keyboard, and Pastor Ken playing some guitar.  Another surprise addition will be Jeff Gwaltney (via FaceTime). We feel this event will help to lift our spirits, as we sing the inspirational words of hymns along with some traditional Irish songs. 
  • Daily Lenten Devotion Emails - If you would like an inspirational daily devotion, I recommend Luther Seminary God Pause Lenten Devotion.                                      
  • Holy Communion and Upcoming Holy Week/Easter Services - I have corresponded with Bishop Yoos about alternative ways that we might consider sharing Holy Communion. This Sunday, March 22, we will not celebrate Holy Communion.  However, the SC Synod will be sending out some guidelines this coming week for how we might consider sharing Holy Communion and planning Holy Week/Easter services. I feel assured that we will likely provide a safe means for us to share in this deeply meaningful practice by Sunday, March 29, and look ahead to how we might imagine recognizing Holy Week and celebrating Easter.   
You will be in my prayers.  Be safe!  May we trust in God's promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  If we can help you with anything don't hesitate to call me (kennethgillikin@gmail.com ; 803-627-0443) or contact our Ministry of Support  ( christia@fmhm.org or 803-370-1010). Lets stay connected as a church family and as the Body of Christ!

God's peace and strength, 
Pastor Gillikin