Dear Friends in Christ,
As life in our community becomes transformed in so many ways, we are grateful that we have been able to worship together via Livestream and that more than 150 families joined us this past Sunday. We look forward to continuing to worship together in this fashion in the weeks ahead. As you have heard, New York City is moving toward more strenuous measures to limit the coronavirus outbreak. This has resulted in closure of the public schools, The Brick Church School, and other independent schools until April 20.
Our utmost priority at this time is the safety and well-being of this congregation and our wider community. Please note the following steps we are taking.
- The church building is currently closed to all committee meetings and outside groups. Only essential staff are working in the building and others are working remotely. You are welcome and encouraged to connect with church staff by email or telephone. It is important for you to know that we want to be available to you.
- Our lay pastoral care committee will be checking regularly on those who may need assistance. Please let us know if you become aware of someone in need. We also call on any who may be willing to help the committee to send an email to Chanel Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that your name will be put on a list of possible volunteers, although you may not be called to help immediately. We may need more volunteers over the next weeks as circumstances change.
- If you have an immediate need during this crisis, please email me at email@example.com and we will be in touch with you.
- Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with representatives from other local congregations and agencies to discuss the best ways we can serve together. We will continue to work together in the coming days.
- Children’s and Youth Ministries are working on remote learning activities in the event that regular Sunday activities cannot resume as scheduled.
- In recognition of the instability in the financial markets, the Stewardship Committee has suspended outreach, and will turn toward helping to steward our community in other ways. Of course, one of the implications of suspending public worship is that our regular offering will not be collected. As it is essential to support our staff and keep current with our responsibilities, we ask that if you are able, please mail your offering to the church or give electronically. Knowing that our income could be impacted, we invite those with extra resources to consider making a special gift.
As always, we want to be a pastoral presence in your life. Please contact me with any concerns or questions you may have. I pray for the day when we can discuss “social distancing” in the past tense but until then your pastors and your church staff want to ensure that we continue to be the body of Christ together.
We encourage all of you to keep those affected by this situation around the world in your prayers. As in all times, we put our trust in Jesus Christ and are grateful that we have been called together into this community of faith.
Grace and Peace,
The Reverend Douglas T. King
Senior Associate Minister, Acting Head of Staff