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Greetings in the name of Christ during this most difficult time.

This afternoon we received an email from our Bishop asking all United Methodist Churches not to hold public worship services for the next two weeks.  While it is a slight relief to have such a decision taken out of our hands, it is a distressing thought not to have Sunday worship at our church.

As of this afternoon, our country is in a state of national emergency.  We are not the only branch of the church to be taking such action ~ according to Father Hugh at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, they have received orders to close for worship as well.

However, please remember that “a church is not a building.”  I encourage you to worship at home this Sunday at 10 a.m. (or whenever is convenient for you) by using the worship service that will be online right here at our website.  You will have no trouble finding it although for obvious reasons it’s not here yet!  All the prayers, songs, Scriptures and sermon will be here.  If you have a prayer request, simply send it to RevRichA@aol.com to be included.  If you are on our church’s Facebook or have subscribed directly to our website, every new post will automatically end up in your inbox.  Expect regular posts (not just Sundays) for a while beginning this weekend.

I will be activating our Prayer Team phone chain in a few minutes (which is part of our Disaster Protocol).  You should receive a call from a member of our church who has called you before.  Please let them know of any needs you might have during this crisis and how the church can help.  On Monday, the Church Council will discuss ways in which the church can band together during this time.

A couple other things to note:

1) Things that are NOT cancelled at this time:  Monday’s Church Council meeting and all regular small meetings including Bible studies.  Sunday’s trustees meeting will be postponed and rescheduled for a later date.  Our second dinner with Bayport (March 24) is cancelled, and our youth meeting (March 25) will be rescheduled.

2) You can reach me easily by email (RevRichA@aol.com) as I am typically online many hours each day whether home or at church.  Do not hesitate to reach out!

3) While this seems like a time of panic, please let this be a time of peace and reconnection with each other and the Lord.  Reach out to those in need, rely on God in prayer, and know that He will see us through.  Most of us have been through far worse times than this.  May God surround you with His Spirit and His care.

Blessings and peace, Rich