This morning, like every Saturday, a group of dedicated volunteers and our partners from The Cookery arrived early to prepare to serve our homeless and urban poor guests. But today, instead of a full, hot sit-down meal served in Fellowship Hall we prepared bag meals that we distributed at the door, along with toiletries and small clothing items. This was the first major change to our programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will surely not be the last. Circumstances are changing rapidly, and I’ll do my best to keep you informed on how DPC is responding.
This Sunday, March 15, we will have worship in the sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. We won’t have formal children’s education but Suzie will be here to look after any kids whose parents may need to be here. Adult education will gather in Fellowship Hall, rather than Parlor 2.
For worship we encourage social distancing – keeping a good space between yourself and those outside your family. We’ll also forgo passing the peace by handshakes and hugs, and by moving about the sanctuary. Instead, I’ll invite you to smile and wave at each other. And while we won’t be serving refreshments, we will have plenty of hand sanitizer. I can also assure you that our cleaning company has gone to extra lengths to sanitize our facility.
Perhaps most importantly, if you are in a high-risk group, or are otherwise feeling poorly, or even if you are simply hesitant to be in any cluster of people, please stay home. While we want to provide an in-person worship experience – at least for this Sunday – we certainly don’t want anyone to feel obliged to attend or take any unnecessary risks.
And the session will be meeting tomorrow with pretty much a single agenda item: a careful, considered response to this public health issue. We will discuss not only what were are going to do now but also try to put in place a decision-making process so that we can respond to changing circumstances quickly and responsibly.
I’ll follow up after the meeting with more information about how we’re moving forward. The leadership and I covet your patience and prayers as we seek the best path forward for DPC. And we will certainly be praying for you all in these difficult and anxious times.
Finally, if you have questions or concerns, or just want to talk, please don’t hesitate to call or write. I am at your disposal, now and always.
Grace and peace,