We near the end of a week unlike any we have every
experienced; however, through the efforts of everyone working together, being
considerate of one another and mindfully limiting activities, we are coping
with this health crisis. We are all in this together even though many
individuals and families have been severely affected with sickness and even
loss of life.
Please stay informed and act responsibly for the well being of all. While you may feel helpless to do anything more than follow the directions of officials and medical personnel, we can all pray. Take a few minutes throughout the day and offer prayers for those who have been affected most directly, those providing medical care and research, leaders deciding and implanting policy, and those who are the most vulnerable.
As you already know, we decided that all gatherings on site at SSBC are cancelled until further notice. We will continue to worship together via livestream at 11:00 a.m. Sunday as long as the 8-10 individuals leading the service are allowed to assemble. I encourage you to join your church family via livestream for worship. Additionally, the Lenten book study being taught, "Gifts of Imperfection," will continue online through a zoom meeting on Sunday at 9:45 a.m.
Please contact me or the church office if you know of any members who may need some assistance. Also, please contact those in your Sunday School class so that everyone will maintain a connection and know there are those able and willing should assistance be needed.
Please take precautions and stay well.
Grace and peace,
Updated March 20,2020
I was sitting at my desk
contemplating the health crisis and the dramatic change in everyday life for
everyone. Thoughts of concern for everyone’s well-being, the uncertainty of
what will transpire in the next few weeks, the condition of those who have contracted
the virus, those who have lost loved ones, the most at-risk and whether or
not they have a network of support to help them, all came very quickly. What
words of encouragement and hope could be offered when a great heaviness has
fallen on all people in all places?
In the midst of my thoughts, the Pandora station to which I was listening played a portion of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” to which Henry van Dyke set his words, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” I thought about a performance of that hymn in the film Sister Act II, located a video of it YouTube and watched it. Listening to this hymn and the joy with which it is performed lifted my spirit and reminded me that although the circumstances of life are currently different than we have ever known there is still reason for hope. Whether or not you watch this video, I encourage you to find those things to watch, read, listen to, or do, that will break your continual focus on the health crisis.
Certainly, we want to be informed and act responsibly for the well-being of ourselves and of others, but to do so within reason and as directed by leaders in the health and medical fields. Pray for those who have been affected most directly, those providing medical care and research, leaders deciding and implanting policy, and those who are the most vulnerable.
Along with church leadership, we decided that all gatherings on site at SSBC are now cancelled until further notice. We will continue to worship together via livestream at 11:00 a.m. Sunday. I encourage you to join your church family via livestream for worship.
Contact me or the church office if you know of any members who may need some assistance. Also, please contact those in your Sunday School class so that everyone will maintain a connection and know there are those able and willing should assistance be needed.
Please take precautions and stay well.
Updated March 19, 2020
Due to the increased concern over the spread of the COVID-19
coronavirus, we are
encouraging individuals who are unwell, in a high-risk category, or otherwise
concerned, to stay home this Sunday and worship with your
church family via livestream. Those who do attend are encouraged to follow the prescribed
practices regarding personal space and personal contact.
Most importantly, pray for those who have been affected most directly, those providing medical care and research, leaders deciding and implementing policy, and those who are the most vulnerable.
Stay in touch with members of your church family, and notify the church office if there is sickness or present needs among us.
May the presence of Christ's Spirit be with you.
Grace and peace,
Updated March 14, 2020
This Sunday is the third in our Lenten Journey of Renewal. You have been encouraged to spend time in prayer and personal reflection; however, I am very well aware that such focus is more difficult than usual given the continual flood of news and updates concerning Covid-19. I receive a number of emails and updates daily concerning the number of cases and what health officials and others are doing to manage the concerns for health and safety. One thing very apparent, though, is that all the news received contains information about what to do for your physical well-being, (see the links below) but little is said about how we maintain our spiritual well-being. The truth is that though we can take all precautions from the CDC that are recommended, there is little we can do individually that will alter the situation globally except pray. We can, however, spend the time constructively by acknowledging that things are as they are and being in prayer for people around the world who are directly affected by this virus now. We can pray that God will help us clear our minds, control our imaginations and focus on what Lent can be for us spiritually.
Below is a list you may find helpful as we all watch and pray concerning the Coronavirus. This includes some steps we have taken at SSBC as well as some resources for you.
- Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we encourage anyone who is symptomatic to stay home except to get medical care. You may follow these links for more information from the CDC’s website:
- We encourage basic hygiene practices, such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Maintenance staff have installed extra hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout our campus.
- Be considerate of those who may prefer not to shake hands before, during, or after worship or other gatherings.
- Be attentive and compassionate to fellow members, friends, and neighbors who are more vulnerable to infection, including older adults and those with pre-existing conditions, those without health-insurance, as well as those who may be affected by income loss due to quarantines or workplace closures.
- During the Passing of the Peace in worship, we will invite the congregation to do so verbally rather than by shaking hands.
Updated March 12, 2020