March 19, 2020 | Coronavirus Update

March 19, 2020 | Coronavirus Update

Dear church family,

We trust the Lord is sustaining you through the many challenges of the coronavirus response.  This note comes to update you on how Grace Church is adapting to the ongoing shutdown.  We want you to know our plans and assumptions so that you can also plan accordingly. 

Church services and activities:  We will generally follow the guidance of state and federal officials regarding the shutdown, while monitoring the situation in order to resume normal activities as soon as possible consistent with safeguarding public health.

  • We are adopting the working assumption that only streaming worship services (no on-site services) will be held through the end of April.  This includes Good Friday and Easter (April 10,12).  We will reassess toward the end of April.  This arrangement may need to continue into May.  Morning services will stream at 11 am and evening services at 6 pm.  The Good Friday service will stream at 7:30 pm.
  • All other activities, except small group meetings, are cancelled through the end of May.
  • We encourage small groups (e.g. fellowship groups, leadership teams) to meet via Zoom if practical.  Kathy Hoisington will assist in setting up Zoom meetings.  Small groups may meet in person at the discretion of the group leader if they number ten or fewer and follow CDC health recommendations.

Worship resources for streaming services:  While the shutdown lasts, we will email Sunday worship resources to the congregation on the Thursday prior.  You will receive a double-sided page for each service with the order of service on the front and at-home worship resources on the back.  Since the streaming service is truncated compared to our normal service, we encourage you to use the at-home resources to guide additional singing, prayer, and discussion. 

New community prayer groups:  We are setting up new prayer groups to meet weekly via Zoom while the shutdown lasts.  An elder will lead the group in a ½ hour format that includes reading Scripture, sharing prayer requests, and praying for one another.  Contact Kathy Hoisington if you would like to be part of such a group.

Church administrative assistant:  Our longtime administrative assistant Elizabeth Griswold is retiring as of today (March 19)!  We have benefitted so much from her wise and diligent work.  Since we have not yet hired a replacement, Kathy Hoisington will fill in for Elizabeth in the short term.  You may continue to use Elizabeth’s email for items related to church administration; the messages will be forwarded to Kathy.

Giving:  Worshipping via streaming services does not allow us to take an offering.  And yet, tithes and offerings remain an important aspect of our worship as well as a practical necessity.  You may continue to give while the shutdown continues by mailing checks to the church office or donating online

Getting care:  If you need spiritual care during this time, please contact your family elder or one of the pastors.  For financial or physical needs, please contact our deacon president David Clenance.

May the Lord bless each of us with stamina as well as growth during these times of widespread change and adjustment.  Christ’s grace is sufficient; his power is made perfect in weakness.

Yours in him,

The elders