To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in-person worship service is canceled until further notice. Video on-line worship will be available on our Facebook page Live and later posted on the website.
Below are some good points to guide us, which I have copied from the article “Five Ways to Be the Church When Church Is Canceled” on the Patheos website
*Support your pastors. And elders, and trustees and board members– whoever has to make the really hard decisions about whether and how to gather in times of uncertainty. There is no road map for this, and there is no one right answer. *Trust that the folks who ultimately make the call spent some time in prayer, discernment, and very difficult conversations. Know that they heavily weighed consequences, including your disappointment, and ultimately did what they thought was the best thing for the wellbeing of the community. Thank them for having your best interests at heart, and then
*Send in your pledge. This may seem like a small thing in the grand scheme right now, but trust me. It matters that you continue to get your offering in, as long as you are fiscally able. This is a great time to reexamine online giving options, or encourage folks to sign up for automatic withdrawal. Even the healthiest congregations can find themselves in the hole, and quick, after just a few Sundays of missed offerings. If you can’t give online, mail in a check, send a carrier pigeon, do what you have to do. Even if the building is empty, bills and salaries need to be paid; what’s more, you’re helping your church maintain mission commitments to the community in a time when that commitment is more important than ever.
*Check on your neighbors. You older neighbors, your neighbor on chemo, your neighbor whose kid relies on free school lunch, your neighbor who still has to go to work and could use help with childcare… Any time you help someone in your proximity, you are living out the values of your faith community. You are embodying what the whole gospel thing is about, which takes the church out of the building and brings it to life for others. This is what we go to church to learn how to do– it is ‘for such a time as this’ that you have spent all those other Sundays in worship.
*Pray for your church family. And send notes. Make phone calls. All the things that we do for shut-ins, do for each other now that we are all shut-ins, so to speak. We are one body, even when that body is not together in the flesh. There are plenty of ways to stay connected in spirit and care for each others’ spiritual needs.
*Practice Sabbath. For some, this shutdown of life as we know it is going to cause significant economic hardship. In the spirit of #3, care for your neighbor as best as you can. In the meantime, recognize if your own discomfort is just inconvenience, and keep that perspective. Recognize that downtime can be a gift– an imposed sabbath of time to sit still and be with your family, without the usual rush of places to be and things to accomplish. Read together; prepare meals together (can you share with a neighbor? #3 and repeat); hell, binge watch some Netflix together. When’s the last time everybody was home for this long? Talk about what you can learn from this season. Talk about your blessings. Play a game. Make something. Listen to music. It really doesn’t matter. Any of these things can be worshipful in their own way if by ‘worship’ we mean rest and renewal by way of connecting with God and others.
OUR CHURCH SERVICE IS FROM 9:30 AM TO 10:30 AM EACH SUNDAY MORNING IN THE SANCTUARY.
A nursery, preschool, and classes for grades 1-7 are provided during service.
Communion is offered on the first Sunday of the month.
A Service of Healing and Wholeness will take place in the sanctuary on the first Sunday of each month following Sunday Morning Worship.
The wheelchair ramp and elevator is through the door at the back of the church. Additional handicap parking is available by the side door for those that are more mobile.
We also offer audio amplification and a large print bulletin.
Special Guest Preacher On Sunday, March 29, the Rev. Kelly Gallagher will be a guest preacher. Kelly is our Associate Conference Minister for the Central Association. Please join in welcoming her to the First Congregational Church of Westminster.