Church Closing Message 03/13/2020

Pennington Presbyterian Friends,

We are living through circumstances unlike anything we’ve experienced before! In response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and with reliance on the Spirit’s gifts of faith, wisdom, hope, and love, here are the decisions we have made for our church.

Beginning on Saturday, March 14, the church building will be closed to all activities. This includes worship, church school, Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School, rehearsals, fellowship activities and meetings of all kinds. These activities may not be relocated to meet in homes. Everyone is encouraged to follow expert recommendations for staying home and avoiding social contact as much as possible.  This is the best way to prevent the spread of illness. While you yourself may not feel vulnerable to the virus, this is the best way to prevent it from spreading widely and any of us accidentally becoming a carrier of the virus to someone who could be more vulnerable to the illness. Loving our neighbors, in this circumstance, requires us to suffer inconveniences and upset to our routines in order to protect our loved ones and the wider community from the virus. Hopewell Valley Regional Schools has made a similar decision, moving their education to an on-line format.

While we are not meeting face to face, we are still Pennington Presbyterians! Our spiritual health matters, too! Look for a new tab on the front page of our website to hear messages from our staff, music from our musicians, and to worship from home. You will find the button on the far right side of the top tool bar. I will be recording a worship service each weekend from my house and uploading it through YouTube onto our website so you can go to the church website, click the button, and worship God, knowing that we are together, even if separated by a few blocks or many miles. It will remain available so you can view it at a time that is convenient for you. This is also the place where you will receive updates about when we can resume our life together, face to face, at 13 S. Main St. 

Opportunities to love and serve continue. Each of us is encouraged to use whatever technology we like best to care for one another and to help each other grow in our discipleship during this unusual season of Lent. Social isolation is especially painful for some of us. The phone may be best for you. Some groups may use Zoom or conference call lines to have virtual Bible Study or Committee meetings. Email and texting can provide communication links. You may send your offering checks through the mail and our finance people will be sure they are deposited. You may also try our new “on-line giving” button on the website to send in an offering. 

I know that we are united in praying for those who are ill with coronavirus, and their families, and health care providers. Let’s also pray for those who will struggle with complications due to children being home from school, those who depend on the meals provided at school, people weighed down with fear and anxiety, and those with financial struggles that this pandemic is causing or making worse. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Nancy Mikoski