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All in-person services and activities are canceled.  See below for more information about how you can connect to MPC during this time.

May 27, 2020
Dear MPC Saints,
 
Memorial Day has come and gone and summer is upon us.  What exactly will the Covid- infested summer of 2020 look like?  Some of that question is coming more into focus and it’s not necessarily pretty.  First, we simply cannot commit to any summer trips right now.  The youth mission trip, which was scheduled for the week of July 13-17, and the youth trip to the Montreat Worship & Music Conference, which was scheduled for the week of June 28-July 3, have both been cancelled.  Likewise, Vacation Bible School, which was scheduled for the week of August 3-7, has also been cancelled.  All day camps (preschool and arts & music) have been cancelled.  As of now, no decision has been made on the annual mission trip to Gary, WV, from July 30 – August 2.  Time may prove me wrong on this (it has many times before), but it looks doubtful at this point.
            
As people of faith, our primary concern right now must be to do no harm.  I realize that we Christians are not supposed to live in fear and that perfect love casts our fear, but perfect love does not give us license to be foolhardy.  We take safety precautions every day not because we live in fear, but because we use our God-given brains to protect our God-given bodies.  All the activities that I have mentioned above are clearly dangerous at this point, as is corporate worship.  As such, we just cannot do these things responsibly right now.
            
However, we can and will do other things.  We will continue meeting virtually for worship, fellowship, and study.  It’s not as good as being physically together, but it’s better than nothing.  We can also meet physically with safety measures.  The youth group has already met physically outside and will continue to do so.  Children are harder, simply because they, by nature, are not the most socially distant age group, but will find some way for them to meet.  We had an outside movie night this past Saturday that was terrific.  We are currently planning other outside activities, including worship.  Stay tuned on that.    
            
The session meets Sunday, June 28th, and will vote on a concrete plan of reopening.  I don’t know what that plan will be, but it will mostly likely be a phased reopening.  I suspect that a full worship service, like we had and loved in the past, will be one of the last phases.  Again, the primary consideration is safety.  Many outbreaks of Covid-19 have come (and likely will continue to come) from churches.  Matthews Presbyterian will not be one of them.
            
Rev. Jerry Cannon, who is a friend of mine and the pastor of CN Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, reminded me recently that people aren’t clamoring to see their pastors or the staff.  They see enough of us on the big screen every week. They’re clamoring to see each other.  We can make that happen this summer and we can make it happen safely.  We are doing everything we can to do just that.
            
I firmly believe that when the history of Matthews Presbyterian Church is written, this particular chapter (the Covid Chapter) will be a good one.  We have remained faithful, stayed connected, given generously, and worshipped the Lord in spirit and in truth through the most trying of circumstances.  I am proud of you and am grateful to God for this community of faith.  
            
Ya’ll stay safe and well.  We will have many opportunities to see each other this summer.  Slowly but surely, our old life and Matthews Presbyterian will return and it will be better than ever.  
              
In Christ,
Luke