Friends, in this time of anxiety and potential danger, the Three Chopt Presbyterian leadership has been in discussion about our best practices to ensure our community's safety while still bearing witness to the Good News of the Gospel of Christ during a pandemic.
TCPC leadership has determined that:
Worship services will be suspended for the next 3 weeks (March 15, 22, and 29)
In-person meetings or programs (including those of non-church groups using the facilities) are canceled until April 1
This excludes our Food Pantry which will continue in an altered capacity to keep clients and volunteers safe, as well as Promises Preschool, which will follow the lead of the Henrico County Public School system, as is their policy
The church office will remain open according to the usual hours
Please stay informed through our official email channels. Also, please check in on one another during this time and update those who don't normally have access to the internet. The church will reach out in an official capacity to these folks with news of our status by phone. However, the web of care created by the church body is an important connection tool during any crisis.
This decision of prudence came after prayerful deliberation and through knowledge of similar practices throughout our city and county neighbors. The Presbytery of the James has issued several measures over the past two weeks, which you can
(a message about communion),
(the PDA resource plan), that have prepared us for this step. Today, March 13th, a statement was issued by the Presbytery office encouraging churches to suspend in-person meetings until April.
We make this choice as we always do, with faithfulness, ordered intention, and a deep understanding that the Spirit of God is directing our discernment. We hope that you will also consider the words of Christ which entreat us to be "as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves" in Matthew 10:16. That is our aim at this time.
We are still the church, no matter the crisis of the world! We are still called to meet our neighbors with love and not suspicion. We are still called to create spaces of love and worshipful calm in the midst of turmoil. We are still called to trust the Lord of the Universe with our lives and care. As a strong community, we will continue to bless each other through this time and be a blessing and witness to God's love in our larger neighborhood.
As we miss one another in the coming weeks, we encourage you to pick up the phone! A conversation or video chat will be a great encouragement as we manage the fear we see in the world.
While we are not meeting for worship, you can find a worshipful moment through our
), which will have a devotional Bible study and homily message from Rev. Christopher, as well as some music. You can look for a new podcast once per week. For our young families, Ms. Archana will still be sending out our weekly Lenten practice. Also, to ensure that the work of Christ is still being supported and that the needs of our church are still being met, please remember that
and tithes can be made
and that the office will still be managed to accept our offerings by mail or in-person during our normal hours (M-F, 9:00 am-1:00 pm).
If you are someone with a compromised immune system who needs help in this period where you are unable to go out and get necessities,
reach out to the church office. We are gathering non-at-risk volunteers who are willing to make these runs for you. If you need help
are willing to help others at this time, please let us know via email or phone:
, (804) 270-5452.
In general, continue to be aware but not wary. Support each other and those who are at risk in our neighborhoods. Greet the world with God's love every day and keep your channels of communication open, so that we may celebrate again as we anticipate gathering for worship and community in a few weeks.
May the Peace of Christ and the governance of our Powerful God be with you always.
In Christ's Love,
Prayer for a Pandemic
provided by Rev. Gary Charles Pastor at Cove Presbyterian Church, author unknown
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those who are most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making the rent.
May we who have the flexibility of caring for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other
Let us find ways to be the loving embrace to our neighbors.
Please pray for those who are suffering from this virus. Pray for those who are providing medical care to those with the virus, and those trying to develop a vaccine for the virus. Last, pray for those who are in public and private leadership who are trying to make wise decisions with respect to public safety in the face of this virus