Coronavirus Precaution Communication
As many of you have been watching the news you have likely read that the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and State of California has recommended that people avoid gathering in groups to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Instead, we are asked to shelter in place. Because we wish to keep our congregation healthy and do our part as good neighbors in the community where God has placed us, the congregational council, Pastor, and Vicar have made the following decisions.
We originally put out word that Emanuel would be closed for in person meetings of any kind including worship until at least April 5. Following the recommendations of the state and local authorities, on-campus closure until further notice when local, state and national guidelines indicate it is safe to gather again in large groups. While this saddens us not to meet in person, we know that we still remain the Body of Christ. We know that this means not meeting together for Easter Sunday, nevertheless, Christ will rise from the tomb and conquer death even if we are singing His praises from our own homes.
This decision was made with heavy hearts as we know the importance of gathering with sisters and brothers in Christ. I personally thank the council for their dedication to continuing God’s ministry during this difficult time. Outside groups have also been asked not to meet at Emanuel during this time. If state or national precautions change during this time we will change accordingly.
However, just because we are not meeting in person does not mean that we cannot continue to BE the Church of Christ! We are called to be the church wherever we are; in our homes, at work, at school, in our neighborhoods, and even during a pandemic. We are the Church. I also believe that this is a time when we are given the great responsibility to shine the light of Christ into the dark places of our world. To help you along with your continued mission and to offer you guidance during this season of Lent, we will be offering the following modified ministries:
Emanuel Sunday Worship Online – As we did last week, we will be recording a short service of Scripture, song, sermon and prayers for you to watch. This will be up on our Facebook page as well as our church website each Sunday morning. We invite you to participate in this time of church together. Additionally we will be emailing a weekly Bulletin, it will contain some information needed for the worship service as well as announcements for the ministries we are continuing. If you would like to receive this please email email@example.com to be added to the mailing list.
Wednesday Bible Study by Zoom – Our regular Wednesday morning Bible Study at 9am will meet using the video conferencing platform Zoom. Vicar Matt Polsdofer uses this for most of his classes. This Bible Study can be' accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you would like to join each Wednesday from 9 to 10 AM, simply contact the church office using the info below and you will be added to the list for next week.
Finally, remember – you are not alone. God is with you, with us all. We urge you to watch Presiding Bishop Eaton’s video message on the current situation. We promise to keep you informed as the situation changes; we will update you through e-mail notices and through social media. Again – be not afraid, for even in our anxiety and uncertainty, God is with us – Emanuel – and will bring us through this crisis into fuller and more abundant life.
May the peace that passes all understanding be with you all.