This will not come as a surprise to many of you but, in accordance with the directives of Governor Wolf for Montgomery County and the state of Pennsylvania as well as Bishop Davenport and the leadership of the Southeastern PA Synod, public worship at St. Andrew's and all scheduled group gatherings will be suspended for the rest of the month.
Our leadership continues to struggle with the ramifications of this for our congregation and community. As I look at the world around me right now, I see some people who are panicking too much and other people who are throwing caution to the wind as if they know more than public health experts. To be clear, many years ago, Seminary did not offer me courses in crisis management. We are in uncharted waters here and are making collaborative decisions as best we can erring on the side of caution. We do not want to make life any harder, lonelier, or riskier than it needs to be.
Again, While we will not be gathering for in-person worship or education, we encourage you to check your e-mail, St. Andrew's Facebook page, and the church website, as we will be posting updates on our life together as well as content (sermons, videos, devotional resources, helpful books and links, prayer needs) in the days ahead for for your ongoing spiritual growth.
These are not easy times even for those who are feeling healthy. Many of you find yourselves cancelling or postponing projects at work, facing tremendous financial challenges, trying to figure out how to work remotely, or wondering how all of this will impact your employment. You remain in our prayers. Even as we adjust ,ministry continues at St. Andrew's. Here are some of the things that have kept us busy this week,
- Staff and families washed up and gloved up and prepared hundreds of sandwiches and bagged lunches for the soup kitchen in Norristown. Since our volunteers cannot cook and serve in the kitchen as they do so often, these lunches which we prepared yesterday are being distributed outside of the soup kitchen today
- We worked on a newsletter highlighting future events which may or may not happen, and discussing B plans along the way!
- Nicole, our Director of Christian Education, sent out Sunday School materials for families to use at home.
- We are reaching out (by phone or computer) to families with small children as well as our elderly and shut ins to make sure that pressing needs in their lives are being met and to let them know that they are not alone and remain in our thoughts and prayers.
- We are thinking of ways that children of the congregation can help us to reach out to those who feel alone.
- Staff continues to organize and clean out parts of the building for a construction project that will eventually happen despite obstacle after obstacle (and now this with workers and supply chains restricted) that wants to hold us back!
- I will be exploring options for virtual worship should we still be locked out come Holy Week (hoping not but we need to be prepared) and how we can not only share Word and prayer but some of our musical gifts as well.
In summary, while we enter another week of no services and group activities, be assured that St. Andrew's staff and leadership continue to serve faithfully to guide our mission forward in these strange and uncertain times. Please let us know if any of you needs assistance with picking up food, supplies, or prescriptions. Feel free to respond to this e-mail or contact us in the church office 610-666-6577.
Continue to show your prayers and support for our mission together and for those who are impacted by this virus, reach out to family friends, neighbors, and others who need to be lifted up, and trust that God will give us what we need to journey through this together.
Grace and peace,