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Below this is the full text of Pastor John's article
First I want to thank you all for your patience as we have been working our way through these extraordinary times. Even the phrase "extraordinary times" has lost a lot of its meaning the longer we have been dealing with our current crisis.
I do have good news! The Governor has moved Missouri into Phase 2 of its reopening starting on June 16th.
Over the course of the last couple of weeks we have seen another crisis come to the forefront of our national conversations. However, this one isn't a surprise. It has been with us from the founding of our nation. We have tried, and failed, to do something about it.
You can read our May newsletter below, or you can click the link as well. Included in this month's newsletter is a copy of our reopening plan. If you have any questions, please contact the church.
What is contained in this plan is subject to change based on extensions of, or new stay-at-home orders and the direction of our bishop in Missouri. It is unlikely that the timeframe will be shortened. If changes are made it will be because we are needing to increase social distancing and/or stay-at-home orders
I wanted to give you an update on what we are doing here at the church, especially now that we will be under a Stay at Home Order starting tomorrow morning (4/3).
Until the order is completed or rescinded, and we are able to safely gather again for worship, we will not be having in person services. We have also made arrangements for our church secretary Beth to work from home and the mail will be checked on a daily basis. We will still continue host the food pantry so that we can continue to help others during this crisis. They have already altered their distribution process to be in compliance with the order.
All phone calls to the church are being forwarded onto myself or Beth. This means that we won't be having others in the church to answer the phone. If you don't get through to someone, please leave a message. We will be checking those messages on a regular basis.
Because of this, some of the plans that we had started for Easter are being put on hold. We won't be having any in person Holy Week Services and our Easter service will be online only. We had thought to try something different, but decided against it in order to maintain the spirit of the order.
That being said, we aren't canceling Easter! We're just changing things around a bit. Next week I will be posting daily devotions to Facebook and YouTube for anyone that would like to be a part of it. When they go up in the mornings I'll be there in the comments to visit if you would like. We'll continue having Bible Study on Zoom, and other things that we can come up with.
My plan is that our first Sunday back together will be Palm Sunday, we'll follow with Holy Week, and then join in what I hope will be an amazing Easter Celebration that second Sunday. It will be good to be back together then.
As we go through this time, please continue to call, text, email, message, videochat, send smoke signals, and so on to each other. We are all in uncharted territory, but we know that we always come through on the other side. It may not always be what we expect, but no one expected the first Easter either. With God's help we will come through this, and we will make the journey together.
As we get started with using Zoom for different things around the church, I realized (much later than I should have) that we might need some instructions for it. Below are a couple of videos that talk about how to use Zoom, and I'll include a few links for some upcoming gatherings.
It sounds oddly redundant to say that we live in interesting times, because we are in the middle of them. We know what they look like. I know we have worries and anxiety because of the situation we find ourselves in due to the Coronavirus. Through all of this, remember to take a deep breath every once in a while, and say a short prayer to ask God for support as we go through this. From John 14:1, Jesus says, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.”
This comes from our Parish Nurse, Carol Klingsmith RN. We're sharing this info as a way to dispel some rumors and bad information, as well as being a reminder that there are very simple steps we can take to help ourselves through this time. They also have the benefit of being good advice for other times when we're sick.
Below you can find our February newsletter. If you want to print a copy of it, or download it to another device, just click the link below.