Dear Friends in Christ,
This morning the Session of Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church met to discuss how we will respond to the COVID-19 virus in the coming weeks. I am grateful for the calm, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership displayed by these elders. Session leadership has committed to regular teleconference meetings in order to respond to new information in the weeks to come.
Below you will find a description of changes to church life that the Session has committed to in order to participate in promoting a healthy church and the public health and wellbeing of the wider community.
Worship at Home on Sundays in March
The church is
suspending in-person worship services until April 5
which is Palm Sunday. Session will evaluate if additional "worship from home" Sundays will be necessary in the week leading to April 5. For these Sundays, the church staff are preparing
resources for worship and prayer at home. We are preparing a guide to worship at home that will post in the morning at 10:00 am. P
for guides for prayer and worship.
All Groups and Events are Suspended
Keeping with the guidelines and recommendations from public health officials, Session has decided to also suspend all church and public groups and events of any size until April 5. This will include the Pancake Breakfast, the Concert Series on March 29, Preschool Music, Movie Nights, and Pints & Prayers. The Community Chorus of Detroit has also communicated that they are rescheduled the upcoming rehearsals and concerts, while concluding their Spring 2020 season.
Committees Will Meet Virtually or by Teleconference
Those committees that choose to meet will suspend in-person meetings between now and April 5. Session is choosing to meet more frequently by teleconference in order to increase attentiveness to the life of the church and ways the church can minister to our neighbors.
The Church Office is Working Remotely
The physical presence of church staff on-site will be flexible and physical access to the church office will be suspended until April 5. The church phone will be forwarded to staff members who will have flexibility to work off-site as needed. While some staff will likely be on site for limited hours each day for necessary on site work, we will not be answer the doors. Members of Session are working with myself and the staff to keep a work plan to preserve all regular practices of the church office while remote work is happening.
Being the Church at Home
Session, Deacons, and staff are preparing to develop new ways that we can continue to be the church that grows together, lives as community together, and shares the love of Christ together, bridging the distance created by the measure to promote health and wellbeing. While social distancing practices are in place, we hope to bridge the physical distances to promote new ways of keeping our relationship with one another as the body of Christ.
The church leadership and I will increase our communication to keep you up to date with ongoing changes as well as ways that we can be the church together.
If you have thoughts to strengthen our relationships in these unprecedented times or if there is a way the church can support our neighbors, please contact me. I would love to hear from you. While these changes are challenging, I believe they are showing a deeply faithful character within our congregation, for which I am so very grateful.
Grace and Peace to you,
8625 E. Jefferson Avenue | Detroit, MI 48214| 313-822-3456 |