Special Edition Happenings
March 13, 2020

Grace and peace to you! As this week has unfolded, unprecedented decisions are being called for by individuals and organizations regarding the Coronavirus and the risk of contracting Covid-19.

This morning our church moderator, Julie Hannum and I met to discuss how our church will meet this challenge.

This is what we concluded:
We will be reasonable, faithful and creative in the days ahead. Now this seems doable!

So, following the recommendations of our Bridge Conference Ministers, the CDC/DPH, state and local protocols, we will suspend all 'in person' worship and gatherings in our facility for at least two weeks. That's where the creative part comes in!

For this Sunday morning and perhaps into the future, we'll use the online platform called 'Zoom' and create an virtual 'gathering place' at 10:00 worship time - perhaps holy in its own way? There we will be 'together' to listen, share and support each other. I will send an extensive email with the pertinent login information. It's very easy. It'll be a choice: either a phone number to call, or a link for online participation. Let me repeat...it's very easy! If you want to make sure you're included in that email, let me know by emailing me at grahamj@firstuccsheffield.org. All are welcome :)

In addition, our facility will be closed to outside groups for at least two weeks. The council will meet via Zoom on Tuesday night.

Of course, we will continue to thoroughly wash our hands and will do so singing joyfully your favorite hymn that lasts at least 20 seconds! (That will get the attention of those around you!)

Feel free to check on one another by phone. Often. Continue to trust science and medical advice. Follow the admonition to 'social distance' yourself. And as always, do not fear for "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble." You are not alone.

Please treat one another and all people with gentleness, compassion and kindness. These are challenging days but we are the church and maybe can even use this challenge to build solidarity and nurture the common good - if we all work together.

As Rev. Don Remick, one of our Bridge Conference Ministers reminds us from the image below, our goal is to flatten the curve. Yes, he says, it may require some hard decisions but Lent is about hard decisions.

Friends, let us hold each other gently during these coming days as we walk this journey together.


Pastor Jill
Old Parish Church
125 Main Street
PO Box 387
Sheffield MA 01257
Office open this week: Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 - 2:00

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Our Identity Statement

We are a progressive Christian community where discovering God's presence, modeling Jesus' radical hospitality, and being a passionate voice for God's justice defines us.
We are an Open and Affirming Congregation
of The United Church of Christ