Grace and peace to you in this uncertain time. Be assured that God is with us and can continue to grow us in times of insecurity. We hope you are listening first and foremost to recommendations from the CDC, scientists, and our medical community for good and reliable information. The United Church of Christ also put out good information, which we used as a bulletin insert on 3/8/20. You can access it online by clicking here. As individuals and as a church, we need to stay flexible as the situation changes daily. Yesterday Arizona had 12 confirmed cases of CoVid-19, and as of the latest update we have 18. The numbers are expected to rise. We realize there is great value in social distancing as it protects the most vulnerable among us, our medical workers, and it helps to reserve our critical hospital resources for those who most need them. Your co-pastors, the leadership of this church, as well as the leadership of the Southwest Conference of the UCC indicate it is best at this time to heed the new federal guidance of gatherings of no more than groups of 10. Therefore, we are also canceling Sunday worship, at least through April 12 (Easter), which has been our conference’s recommendation. Recall that Easter is a moveable feast day on the calendar, so there is no reason that we cannot celebrate Easter later together!
Your moderator and others are working on a way for weekly sermons to be available to you. We plan to videotape the weekly sermon, create a YouTube link, and send that link to you via email blast as well as post the link to our website (www.myccov.com). You can expect that email sometime Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. If you haven’t explored our website, this might be an excellent time. We maintain an archive of all sermons under the “Sermons” tab on the top of our home page. Please enjoy this resource! We have already encouraged you to sign up for daily email devotionals through our denomination by clicking here or for Richard Rohr’s daily meditations (by clicking here.).
One thing we want you to know is that we can continue being the church! We live in a time when communication can be instantaneous through our phones and computers. Let’s check in on each other. PLEASE let your pastors and fellow parishioners know if you need anything we are a phone call, text, or email away! We can get meals to you if you are sick, we can run to the grocery store for one another, and we can pray with you. Just keep us informed. We will be checking on all of you by phone, text, and email. We can even Facetime! At this time our conference is discouraging face-to-face pastoral care.
Also, your treasurer reminds you that the church continues to have bills to pay. If you are accustomed to putting your offering in the plate on Sunday, consider sending a check in to the church office or paying via credit card. Many already tithe automatically and monthly by keeping their credit card on file with Michelle in the church office; this is an especially helpful way of giving.
Remember that God is always with us even when events seem to say otherwise. This Sunday, I will preach and publish a sermon on the 23rd Psalm, the most comforting of all of them. Stay tuned and we will send out access directions later this week. We hold you in our hearts.
In Christ’s Love, Co-Pastor Sandi