April 8, 2020
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you know, the coronavirus is a highly contagious flu-like virus that is spreading rapidly throughout the world. While the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus is very low, for some people, especially the elderly and those who are already fragile, it is potentially deadly. Since we are all capable of catching and then spreading the virus, it is important that we take precautions to protect others and to avoid potentially overwhelming the health care system for those who will need treatment and care. While there are currently very few cases in our area, there will inevitably be many more, so the Session is taking proactive measures to protect the vulnerable members of our church and community, and to do our part to help prevent the further spread of the virus.
To that end:
- We decided to suspend gathering for worship or other in-person church activities for now. All of our regular classes and gatherings – Sunday School, Youth Groups, Lenten small groups, etc. – will not meet in-person.
- The sanctuary will be open on Sundays for anyone seeking the presence of God, and church leaders will be there to greet anyone who comes for prayer or other concerns.
- We will provide on-line opportunities for worship via live-streaming at 9:30 am. You will be able to access this broadcast through our social media and website.
- We will also provide on-line resources for education.
- We will continue to provide pastoral care for anyone needing the support of the church. The staff and leadership will be available to care for our congregation to the extent the situation allows us.
- We will be sending our regular updates as we closely monitor the situation and the guidance and recommendations provided by public health officials.
- The Food Pantry will remain open on limited hours: Monday and Wednesday 10-12.
The church as the Body of Christ is committed to building community and encouraging face-to-face encounters. Unfortunately at this time it is not prudent to do so. But God is at work in this. APC as always will seek new, creative ways to be the church and are committed to doing everything we can to stay connected to one another and to the Lord. We will continue to fulfill our mission to “grow in Christ” through this unprecedented time.
While we know these decisions may feel extreme to some, we know that scripture calls us to work together for the common good (I Corinthians 15:7). Jesus calls us to care for the most vulnerable in the community (Matthew 25:40). We believe the steps we are taking to protect those most at risk is an important way to live this out. We appreciate your ongoing support and prayers as we live courageously (Joshua 1:9) and without fear (Luke 2:10) through this challenging season. We know God works for good in all things (Romans 8:28). Our God is Immanuel-God with us (Matthew 1:23).
Please reach out with any questions or if there is any way we can be of service to you.
For the Session,