Dear Matthews Presbyterian Family,
At a time like this, when the world seems to be falling apart, when schools, sporting events, concerts are all cancelled, when the economy is in a free fall, when we are all worried about incomes and illnesses, when everything that we have taken for granted for so long is falling apart… at a time like this, we desperately need the church.
It is with deep sadness then that I announce to you that we, too, must cancel our activities. Regardless of how old or young we may be, not one of us has ever lived through anything like this. Yet, these epidemics have happened before. When they did, those communities that locked down earlier were better off. As much as I detest the idea of “social distancing” in a world that’s already socially distanced enough, I would rather do that than funerals. It’s simply not responsible to continue to meet right now. Therefore, all gatherings at this church, including worship, are cancelled for at least two weeks or until further notice.
We will, however, offer worship via livestreaming on Facebook at 10:30 on Sunday morning. You can access our live stream here: https://www.facebook.com/matthewspresbyterian/. We will also post a video of the service on our website after it is over. You have find that here: http://www.matthewspresbyterian.org/. We unfortunately do not have the capability to livestream on the website itself. The Facebook sight will run live and the website will run immediately after worship.
In addition, Sarah Shetley is working on some lessons both for children and youth that she will conduct via livestream throughout the week. She will send a separate email about that soon. I can also continue my Bible study on the minor prophets via livestream. Finally, the church office will remain open throughout the week and the staff will continue keeping normal hours. We will not make any pastoral visits, but we will come in to work as long as it is safe.
These are frightening times. The financial ramifications of this are frightening to churches, non-profits, and businesses alike. We are all worried about the people we love possibly becoming infected. We are taking these measures now to minimize those effects. As my mother always told me, this too shall somehow pass away. With all due respect to my mother, she hasn’t lived through a pandemic like this either. And yet, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall never be moved. God will help it when the morning comes,” (Psalm 46:1-5).
You are I and all of God’s people are a part of that city. God has made some promises to us in our baptisms. God has brought us together. What God has brought together, not even pandemics can put asunder. So let’s hunker down and get through this. Keep the faith. God is sovereign and gracious in all times and places. I will see you via livestream on Sunday morning. I will see you in person in worship when this passes.
Yours in Christ,
Links to join us virtually during the Coronavirus closure.