Ministers, Educators, Administrators and Clerks, please share this information with your congregation.  
May 7, 2020
Stay-at-home Order Requires Remote Worship Through June 10
One of our POJ leaders said: "These are trying times. I think our churches overall are doing a wonderful job of being the Church even when we can't be congregations." As state and federal leaders begin to discuss plans for returning to pre-pandemic operations, your session may be wondering when you can worship together at your church again. We remind you of Virginia’s current guidance: 

  • Executive Order 53, which was most recently amended on May 4, restricts operations of non-essential businesses through May 14. This document does not reference religious organizations, however POJ recommends churches follow item 8 for church business operation. POJ’s office will remain closed through May 14 and staff will continue to work remotely.

  • Executive Order 55, a temporary stay-at-home order, prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals through June 10. These restrictions apply to religious services, so churches should plan to continue holding worship remotely for the next month.

In addition to the orders referenced above, churches may refer to two documents (dated April 7 and April 10) provided by the Office of the Governor for faith communities. Find these documents and other information about faith under “What about religious services?” in a list of frequently-asked questions about EO 55.
Video and Audio Conferencing Training to be Offered in Advance of June Presbytery Meeting
With the stated meeting of the presbytery on June 16 being held using Zoom, there may be commissioners and guests who would benefit from training on use of this technology. Some will participate by video and audio conferencing. Others will participate by audio conferencing only. Training will be offered for both modes of participation. If you would like to receive training, please contact Barbara Espigh by email or voicemail (804-262-2074, ext. 301). She will be in touch during normal office hours with more information about training opportunities.
Youth Council Invites You to Fellowship Hour
Middle and high school youth and their leaders are invited to Youth Zoom Fellowship on May 10 and May 24 from 2-3 p.m. This is a time to check in, play games, and build community. For questions, email Colleen Earp , associate for youth ministry.
Around the Presbytery
"I f we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."
1 John 1:7
Joint Online Worship Brings Churches Together
Organizing a joint worship service with a neighboring church is usually a big undertaking that requires one or both congregations to shift locations. The pastors of Southminster and New Covenant churches realized that worshiping online presented a unique opportunity to be together. The two congregations held a joint worship with communion on May 3. Some members joined via Zoom and others on Facebook Live, but all heard the Word and shared the Sacrament. 
Inspire Gift Supports Housing Needs for Recovery Community
Westminster Church in Richmond used $1,000 of POJ's Inspire Grant to support Into the Neighborhood, a Richmond organization assisting a variety of people, including those recovering from addiction. Since Westminster ministries also serve the recovery community, the session felt sharing the funds in this way enabled them to inspire others as the gift was intended.
Have good news to share? Send it to Kelley Hope.
Other News
Annual Homiletics Festival Goes Virtual
The Festival of Homiletics will be held online May 18-22 and will be free this year. This week-long annual conference brings together a wide variety of outstanding preachers and professors of homiletics to inspire a discourse about preaching, worship and culture. The free version includes access to sessions as they are presented. To view sessions on demand (on your own schedule), a paid registration package is available.
Stated Meetings
June 16
Presbytery of the James Stated Meeting
Overture deadline: April 21 at noon
Packet online: June 2
Oct 17
Presbytery of the James Stated Meeting
Orange PC, Orange
Overture deadline: Aug 20 at noon
Packet online: Oct 1
Churches throughout POJ are looking for new talent. Find information about opportunities on POJ's job board.

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Office Telephone (804) 262-2074