WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020
STAYING CONNECTED, STAYING SAFE
Dear Friends,

The coronavirus issue continues to challenge us all in many ways. Last week, we were urged to practice 'social distancing', which led to the church cancelling in-person worship services while reducing our Treasures Sale to one day, rather than two.

This week, we learn yet another term - 'shelter in place.' We are advised to stay home for three weeks to help prevent the spread of the virus. As such, we will worship only online through April 7.

Should we need to extend cancellation of in-person worship beyond April 7, we will inform you through this email, our website and on social media.

Your church leaders and I are dedicated to providing service to you and offering ways to remain engaged with the church throughout this time. We will broadcast our service this Sunday on our website and Facebook page beginning at 9 AM. If you miss the 9 AM start, you can watch from the beginning at anytime.

If you are in need of pastoral care, I invite you to reach out to me, (510) 465-1242, Dr. Don Ashburn, (510) 910-4740 or Rev. Scott Kail,
(510) 915-0393.

We understand that this crisis affects our youth. Rev. Kail is reaching out to every one of our students by text to check in and to offer support.

Dr. Stephen Main will be providing special music video pieces throughout the week. It is our hope that his music will provide a moment of peace and tranquility to contrast an otherwise stressful day. Look for his videos on this email, on our website (under MEDIA) and on social media soon.

We are offering aid to members and friends of the Piedmont Church Community; in purchasing and delivering groceries, prescriptions, or other essential items. If you need aid, or if you are able to volunteer to provide such assistance, please contact Dr. Don Ashburn at  (510) 910-4740 or Don@PiedmontChurch.org

Leslie Quantz is sending Sunday school lessons to our parents, so our children won't miss a beat. If you are curious about what they are learning, you can visit their page here .

Finally, we will not mail a paper version of The Messenger for April. While we realize many of you enjoy receiving the paper version of the church newsletter, information is changing too rapidly for us to deliver a valuable product to you in that way. We hope to restore the printed version in May.

Our faith community at Piedmont Church is strong, and our people are among the very best. It is important that we do our part to keep everyone in our church, and the wider community, connected to our message of God’s unconditional love and grace.

I’ll see you online this Sunday.

Blessings,
Dr. William H. McNabb, Senior Minister
Piedmont Community Church
WORSHIP SERVICES
ONLINE ONLY THROUGH APRIL 7

Doing our part to reduce coronavirus spread, we will close our Sanctuary to the public and broadcast our Sunday 9 am worship services through April 7. Watch on our website at PiedmontChurch.org/LIVE and on our Facebook page.
MEXICO MISSION TRIP POSTPONED
Considering the health and well-being of the youth and adult volunteers of the house building mission to Tijuana, Mexico, Rev. Scott Kail has chosen to postpone the trip originally scheduled to begin April 12.

"Due to coronavirus, we have decided to postpone the trip until June of 2020," Rev. Kail said. "It is important to not cancel the trip, but reschedule for a time that ensures the safety of our students and and adult volunteers, and to keep our commitment to the families that are eagerly expecting a new home."

More information will be made available soon. Check your monthly Messenger and weekly email for updates.
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

By Dr. Don Ashburn

Ernest Hemingway was asked for his definition of “guts,” or courage. And he famously responded that it’s “grace under pressure.” As I write, Alameda County has just called us to “stay in place” for a few weeks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as you know, we’ve taken some extraordinary measures here at Piedmont Church in an effort to keep our community safe. 

Some of them may even seem to go against what we thought, or were taught, about the church as a sanctuary – as a safe place in a 
sometimes-scary world. 

It remains that way, I assure you. But, for now, the Church must recapture its core identity as people who live together in Christ, whether or not we meet together in the same building. 

So, in a time of social distancing, as Christians, we’re called to exhibit grace under pressure. In that light, church member Suzanne Latham shared a poem with me by Lynn Unger, titled Pandemic. 

I share it with you; as a way to reconnect us to God who is ever-present, and who calls each of us to be present as well – even, and especially, in times such as these. 

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, 
on trying to make the world
different than it is. 
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health, 
so long as we all shall live. 
Dear Sunday School Families,

Last week, we started our lessons about the 23rd Psalm. I think it is very timely given the world we live in right now. I plan to send out lessons each Sunday, and I will send out some supplemental coloring pages/activities during the week. - Leslie Quantz

CAUTIONARY SALE

Treasures Sale volunteer Roger Eliassen sits in the rain at the main entrance of the sale Saturday, March 14 while chatting with volunteer Wayne Marzolf, donning blue gloves. The sale, providing funds for the annual Mexcio house building mission, was reduced to one day due to the coronavirus issue. Gloves were worn by volunteers and shoppers to keep everyone safe from possible transmission. The Mexico trip, involving more than 300 youth and adults from Piedmont, will be rescheduled for June. Photo by Michael Barber
WALKING TOGETHER

Walking Together sessions will be meeting online using ZOOM until after Easter. Contact Dr. Don Ashburn at Don@PiedmontChurch.org for details and information on how to join the conversation.
NEW MEMBER GATHERINGS

The 'Come and See' New Member Gatherings, hosted by Dr. Don Ashburn, have been postponed. Watch this weekly email for updates.
SPRING CLEANING WORK DAY

The work day, originally planned for April 4, has been postponed until further notice. Contact Scott Fitzgerrell at sfitzgerrell@gmail.com for details.
BRUCE WOLFE MEMORIAL

The family of Bruce Wolfe has chosen to postpone the memorial service, originally planned for April 5, to a future date. Watch this weekly email for updates.
Phone: (510) 547-5700