Dear Ones, With deep sadness, we want to inform you that unless something changes dramatically, we will not be gathering for worship again until May 31. Given the warnings by leaders in government, health care, and contagious disease experts, we feel the risk is too great. While we will miss the wonderful times we share when we gather in worship, there is too much at stake for our members, our employees, and our community. We will be together in spirit, through the Holy Spirit. A reminder of what you’ve heard before, borrowing the language of the pastors of Fair Oaks Presbyterian: “Church is not ‘cancelled.’ Worshipping God is not ‘cancelled.’ Things will, indeed, look and feel differently for a while, but we are the Church. Our building is beautiful, but it is only a building. God’s Spirit that dwells within each of us and compels us to care for others, the bonds we’ve made with one another that neither distance nor disease will ever break, the love we bear for all of God’s children – those are acts of worship, too.”
- Worship will be shared online, at the church website, the blog and on Facebook. We will gladly mail or email sermon and scriptures to anyone who wants them.
- If we see a reason to start back to in-person worship sooner, we will call a meeting and do so, and we’ll let you know as soon as we can.
- Please remember that all the church’s expenses continue, so if you don’t use Electronic Funds Transfer or online banking, you can mail your check to the church at 410 Second Ave, PO Box 441, Sterling 61081. Or you can call the church and arrange for funds transfer. 815-625-0452
- The Session and the Deacons want to make sure that you are safe and have what you need. Please call Pastor Christina or the church if there is something you need. There are people who will run to the store, pick up a prescription, or help you in any way they can.
- Each member of the Session and Board of Deacons has taken on a small group of people who are regular worshipers, for whom they will be contacts. You’ll be hearing from your Elder or Deacon from time to time, to touch base, share information, and share a bit of news with you. If you have any questions or worries; if you have a need that we can help with; if you would like to share your thoughts, please contact us. We are ready to listen and eager to help.
Samantha, Nan, the Worship Team and Pastor Christina will be working to bring you worship and education materials at home. We will be in touch with you in many different ways in the days to come. In the meantime, remember that you are God’s beloved people, called to care for others, to love God, and to love your neighbor. Seek ways to be church, even if you cannot be present as church together. Look beyond the walls of our building to see those around us, and reach out to them in the ways that you can. A few other items to know:
- If you need to speak to Samantha, she’ll be working in the church office from 10-12 most days. Samantha will be observing physical distancing and will request that you do the same. She will be working from home the rest of the time, so your emails will reach her throughout the day.
- Christina will continue to be at the church most days, and you can always contact her via phone, text, email or Facebook. She, too, will be observing physical distancing and asks that you do the same. If she is taking the day off, she will call you back the next day.
- No church meetings will take place in person. The church will use its Zoom account for meetings, or you may conference call, use Facebook, or email. If you need to organize a meeting, call the church and we can help you set it up. Zoom is very easy to use and you’ll find it gives you the chance to connect and see and hear everyone well. You need a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to use it. If you only have a landline, you can still dial in for the audio portion of the meeting.
- We will be in touch with everyone about connecting online – using our website, our Facebook page, and any other media we can.
- We will still be sending out the newsletter and all other communications that we always send. If there is any information that you need, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Elissa Quigg’s service, with all text and audio, is available for you at the church website under Sermons and the blog.
With love and hope, The Session of First Presbyterian Church