Responding to Covid-19, The Light Always Dawns

Beloved Mt. Pleasant Flock,

We face an unusual and difficult moment in the life of our world, our nation, our local community, our families, and our church family as well.  None of us knew a few weeks ago the ways in which a virus that had sprung up halfway around the world would affect all of our daily lives.  But as you read this schools have been closed, businesses shuttered, colleges moved online, grocery stores pillaged, toilet paper hoarded.

As we shared at our worship service on Sunday morning, March 15th, we have suspended all ministry activities at the church for the next two weeks.  Youth groups, Sunday schools, bible studies, Kids’ Club, Good News Clubs, Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Retreat, etc. – are all canceled.  Even our Childcare Ministry has closed.  The church office will remain open so we can communicate and coordinate well, but our office staff will also be doing some of their work remotely.

We are committed to continuing to minister during this time.  We can’t do so face to face; that would be the least helpful thing we could do.  But the elders and the deacons are committed to ensuring that we are actively doing all we can to care for one another.  A great way to do this is through a phone call, a text message, a video chat, an email, a card, a note.  Checking on your brothers and sisters in Christ and your neighbors to see what they may need, or at least remind them they are remembered and cared for, is vitally important.  Let’s make sure we are not silent during this time of isolation.

This is what is so ironic about the term social distancing.  We are told to practice social distancing – not to gather in groups of more than ten, not to get closer than six feet apart, etc.  But that is really physical distancing.  We must maintain physical distance for a time – no large group assemblies, no hugs, no handshakes, no kisses of brotherly and sisterly love, but let’s maintain social proximity.  To be clear – be physically distant, but be socially near – extend love and care in non-physical ways.

Some practical considerations:

  • Communication – If there are needs that we can assist with as a church, we want to know about them. Please call Pastor Rich (Cell – 724-544-5572) or Luann Frasier (Cell – 724-601-1041)with any church related needs, or for any church information.  We will continue to publish the church bulletin online, and we will continue to update announcements and prayer requests.
  • Connection – We strongly encourage everyone who is online to visit our church webpage and subscribe for updates to the page. We encourage everyone to follow our church on Facebook and to share and like our posts.  Please invite your own contacts to like our church page as well.  This serves to extend our reach on social media.  We also encourage you to subscribe to our church’s YouTube channel.
  • Worship – We can’t be physically present together on Sunday mornings. This is a great loss!  But, we will do all we can to maintain divine worship.  On Sunday mornings at 10am we will broadcast our worship service live on YouTube; it will also be shared to Facebook.  The worship service will include all of the regular elements – music, scripture, prayer, preaching, etc.  Please worship with us, like and share the service, and comment as well.  In addition to these times of corporate worship, we encourage you to use this unique time to spend time in worship with your family.  Take time for family bible reading and family prayer.
  • Giving – We know this is a hard time for the finances of our people. Many businesses will suffer and many will lose their jobs.  Many on fixed incomes will suffer.  We will do all we can to minister to the needs of the flock and our community during this time.  We also face the reality of needing to meet the financial obligations of the church.  We are making all the adjustments we can to weather the storm financially.  We do encourage you to continue your giving as best you can during this time.  A great way to do this is through online giving.  This can be done through our church’s webpage.  You can set this up for one time gifts, and also for regular week to week giving.
  • Pray – Pray for our doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Pray for our researchers. Pray for our President, our Congress, our Governor, our local officials.  Pray for our elderly and those most physically vulnerable to this virus.  Pray for our young people who have seen their lives so disrupted through this.  Pray for our businesses who are experiencing desperation and a sense of helplessness in the face of an unforeseen financial challenge.  Pray for our financially fragile populace who live paycheck to paycheck and are uncertain how they will pay the bills.  Pray for the Holy Spirit of God to use this current crisis to bring forth some good fruit that will last for eternity.

Let us continue, as long as it is called today, to love and honor our Lord in the face of the current challenges.  He is surprised by none of this, and will use even this for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

With much love and no fear,

Pastor Rich