CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENT – CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
Dear Members and Friends,
We are in difficult times as we face the spread of the Coronavirus. This virus has multiplied and expanded rapidly around the world and now in the U.S.A. Church Council met this Friday, 3/13 to discuss our response to the virus. Church Council is the official leadership board of the church. Members are the leaders of various church committees, at large folks, Pastor and some others.
Prior to our meeting, news became available that Coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in Pottsville. We had also learned there would be a state of emergency here in PA with all schools being closed. The Eastern PA Conference of the UMC has canceled all Conference meetings. Bishop Johnson asked all churches with over 250 people in worship to cancel services just as the governor has asked all events with 250 or more people to cancel. Many other churches have also canceled worship services to help slow the spread of this virus.
It is with an abundance of caution and great sadness that Church Council is canceling worship services, Children’s Time, SNL and all Sunday activities, all church activities and all meetings being held in the church for two weeks through March 27th. We will re-evaluate this decision on March 26th and provide an update about next steps on Friday, March 27th.
Several leaders from Church Council are putting together video sharing and devotional thoughts that will be shared with you during these two weeks. Pastor Warner will post video sermons on our church Facebook page during the next two Sunday’s. Please feel free to contact Pastor or any Council member if you have questions or just need to talk.
This decision to cancel will also have significant financial implications for us. We will lose at least two weeks of offerings while bills and financial responsibilities will continue. We obviously will not be able to take up an offering over these two weeks. We are asking that you still mail your offering to the church office if you are able. You can also use online banking through your local bank. Or give through Vanco a company that works with churches to automate your giving for whatever time period you like. You can email the church office ([email protected]) if you would like to be setup with Vanco. Thank you ahead of time for your faithfulness in continuing to share your offering even during this difficult time.
We seek to share the light and love of Jesus during these difficult and challenging times as we remember his words from the Sermon on the Mount that remind us to be God’s salt and light to the world around us.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT2)
Along with Pastor Warner, we have three Christ Servant Ministers (CSM) who are available if you have questions or need to talk with someone. This is an incredibly difficult time for folks dealing with the disease and for churches around the world. We are not alone. God is with us and God will help us get through this and come out stronger on the other side. Please feel free to call or email one of these persons: