Friday, March 13, 2020
To our Maryland Presbyterian Church Family, The evolving threat of COVID-19 is impacting all of our daily lives, from parents whose children are home from school for the next two weeks, to folks living in retirement communities who are taking extra precautions. As people who follow the way of Jesus, we are invited to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to love God with all of who we are, with our choices and actions. We are called to reach out in concern to one another, and to those beyond our church’s walls, to participate in the Holy Spirit’s work of caring for a broken and fearful world. We are reminded that preserving the lives of others is a sacred obligation. With this calling in mind, your Session and our Staff have decided on taking the following steps to love our neighbors and one another: We are minimizing our in-person gatherings, so that we can help to slow the rate at which the virus spreads. Our book study will continue (with ASL interpretation offered) via zoom. All outside groups meeting at our building will be asked to not meet in person at our building through the end of March. Some of us are less vulnerable to the effects of the virus, but we do not want to expose someone who is at risk. We need to show leadership at this time, and while this is a difficult decision, we are hoping that we can do our part to be responsible. Our Holy Envy Book Discussions on Wednesday night’s will occur through zoom meeting at 7:30 PM (ASL Interpretation will be provided). If zoom doesn’t work for you, you can call into Leigh’s cell phone. If you need help with technology, please call David or Leigh who can walk you through it.
- To use your computer, tablet, or phone for video and audio, go to https://zoom.us/j/717720978
○ Enter our Meeting ID: 717 720 978
- Call in on your smartphone
○ Tap this number +16465588656, 717720978#
○ When you are asked for your participant ID, simply hit #
- Call in on your home phone Dial +1 646 558 8656
○ Enter our Meeting ID: 717 720 978#
○ When you are asked for your participant ID, simply hit #
- If these options are too difficult, you can call Leigh’s cell phone. Dial 410-599-3909 and we will put you on speaker phone
We will be streaming worship on Sunday, March 15th, 22nd and 29th.
We will NOT gather in person. You can join us on Facebook Live, and for those who do not have a computer, tablet, or Smartphone, we will have zoom set up so you can call in and hear the service. If neither of those options works for you, you can call into Leigh’s cell phone. If you need help with technology, please call David or Leigh who can walk you through it. This was a hard choice, but we believe that it is the best way to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus, and to do our part to prevent our medical system from being overwhelmed. We will have music, prayers of the people (you can share via your phone or type in your prayers in the comments on the Facebook Live broadcast), poetry, scripture, a children’s chat, and a time for you to make an offering, either online, or by writing a check to place in the mail. After March 29th, we will reassess our circumstances and decide when we can responsibly re-gather.
- To worship through Facebook Live (even if you don’t have a profile), go to https://www.facebook.com/marylandpresbyterianchurch/posts/2886684741 378458
- To call into worship from your phone dial 1-646-558-8656
- When asked to enter your Meeting ID, enter 954-270-919
- When asked to enter your participant ID, just hit #
- If those two options are too difficult, you can call Leigh’s cell phone. Dial 410-599-3909 and we will put you on speaker phone. How can we be the Church in the world during this time? Call, text, facetime, and/or write to one another to check in.
○ Need a directory? Let Lauren know by email at MPC@MPChurch.org, or by calling the church office at 410-825-0719. We can e-mail or mail you a copy. This is a chance to stay in touch, pray with one another.
○ Got kids at home unexpectedly for the next two weeks? Invite them to facetime or call some folks with you!
- Offer to run errands for those who are more vulnerable.
○ You can drop groceries/supplies at folks door to limit exposure.
- Let us know who needs care.
○ Realize that someone could use a pastoral care visit? Reach out to Pastor David or Andrea Madsen, who can take precautions to be able to make home or hospital visits.
- Cultivate spiritual practices that you can do at home.
○ We will create videos for Spiritual Practices with Lorie Conway so you can practice Lectio Divina and Visio Divina.
○ We will put together a guide for you to come and walk the labyrinth here outside on your own. The guide will be available in the green box next to the Labyrinth, and we will share a version you can do at home.
○ Pastor David will show us where he’s seeing God in his garden and our world.
○ Read that book you’ve always wanted to read.
○ Dive into the Bible.
○ Explore poetry in search of the Holy One.
○ Spend time outside, soaking in the goodness of the Creator of this beautiful creation.
- Consider making a donation to our Emergency Fund either by check, or going to the church website and clicking donate, and write “COVID-19 Response.”
○ This crisis is likely to put financial strain on some of us, and we have a fund at MPC for emergencies in our congregation. You can make a donation to the fund OR let Pastor David know if you are in a bind because of work, child care, health needs, food scarcity, etc. Leigh is also working with Warren Elementary School to provide food and support to families who are being impacted in our community. Our Pastor, Minister, and Elders are holding you all in prayer, and our world. Join us in praying throughout your day, when you wash your hands, when you feel overwhelmed, when you see people being kind. Jesus is walking this road with us, mourning with our children who have seen their plans fall apart, with our elderly friends who are afraid, with us in the midst of swirling chaos. Nothing in life or death can separate from the love of God in Christ Jesus, not even social distancing. Let us find rest in that hope, in the hope of the Resurrection.
The Peace of Christ be with you, The Session & Staff of Maryland Presbyterian Church