This Sunday our congregation will be gathering online via Zoom rather than in person. This is not a decision that our leadership takes lightly. Rather, it is a sacrifice that we make, an act of love for the most vulnerable within and around our church community. It is not an act of panic, but a proactive decision based on awareness, compassion, and the hope of prevention.
Experience from past pandemics and this one suggest that social distancing BEFORE the virus is widespread is extremely helpful. This “flattens the curve” of disease transmission, easing the strain on our health system for those who need acute care due to COVID-19, flu, or other unrelated issues. Those of us whose health is not likely to be impacted by COVID-19 have an opportunity to care for those who are above 60 or whose immunity is compromised.
What if this turns out to not be a big deal in our area? This is the best possible outcome, and is most likely if a large number of organizations cancel events quickly! Unfortunately, in the past few days infections in Eastern Massachusetts have been dramatically increasing, so we do not anticipate that this will be the case.
How can we stay connected? As we practice social distancing in person, we will need to work harder to stay connected in other ways. Please read our eWord and let us know if you have a need or if you can be part of our Call Team, Delivery Team, or Tech Team. Attend our Zoom worship if possible and stay tuned for additional online opportunities. Pick up your phone and call someone you have met at church to check in!
When will we meet in person again? This is impossible to predict right now. It’s hard to consider going weeks without in-person worship, but it may be the kindest thing we can do for our neighbors. If this stretches out, as a UCC clergy colleague said, whenever we’re able to gather in person again, then it will be Easter! Let’s pray for everyone’s sake that this is resolved quickly.
Please be in touch with your questions, concerns, and ideas about how we can best care for each other and worship God in this time.