Yesterday the DPC session made the difficult decision to cancel in-person worship for at least the next two weeks; we will not gather at the church on March 22 or 29. We did not make this decision lightly but out an abundance of caution and concern for the health and wellbeing of the DPC family. We are exploring the possibility of either a real-time Sunday webcast or a recorded worship service.
The session has also committed to meeting in a weekly video- or teleconference so that we might keep up-to-date on changing circumstances, information and recommendations, and make good decisions quickly. We’ll have our first virtual meeting this Thursday. And I’ll be sending out messages like this at least once or twice a week so that you all are kept informed.
We also recognize that you need more than just information; you need care and connection. So each session member will be leading a virtual small group of DPC members and friends. We’ll soon figure out the the best way for the most people to be able to connect and participate, so please be looking out for more information on what we hope will be good way to stay connected in this time of “social distancing.”
We are discouraging all in-person meetings, unless absolutely necessary. But some of the technological solutions the session will employ for virtual meetings might also be used by committees. And most regular or scheduled activities at the church have been cancelled or altered, including Alcoholics Anonymous, The Contributor, sanctuary tours, etc. Dena will continue to be in the office during our normal business hours but we are posting signs saying that we are open only for parcel and mail deliveries.
We also want to maintain our Saturday morning meal for Nashville’s homeless and urban poor community. This past Saturday we provided bagged to-go meals that were prepared early Saturday morning after some incredibly quick decisions and trips to Costco. The hard work of a handful of very dedicated members made it so we could still provide food but not risk exposing members and volunteers unnecessarily. We hope to be able to do the same this Saturday with an even more efficient and streamlined process. Our friends from The Cookery were and will be invaluable to our effort to sustain a vital service in a time of crisis. We will also provide small, emergency clothing items but until we resume normal operations, the clothes closet is closed and not accepting new donations.
So that’s where we are right now. I know that this message is short on specifics but even as I write, information is flowing, new ways of scheduling and communicating are being explored, and decisions are being made. I will relay to you everything we are doing as quickly as I can using all our available messaging – email, Facebook and the DPC website.
Of course, I will also continue to be available for any pastoral care needs, so please don’t hesitate to call or write if you have questions, concerns or just want to talk and pray.
Grace and peace,