Due to the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we can no longer take the risk of in-person worship. So regretfully, we will not have worship on Sunday, March 15 and will suspend all activities through March 19. We are a small congregation, so there is less risk than a large gathering. But we have several people who are either elderly or are immunocompromised and it makes sense for their safety and the wider church to not have in-person worship. Like many people, we want to flatten the curve that will lessen the rise of infection. The leadership team will meet next week to decide if there will be worship on March 22 and beyond. We must prepare ourselves with the knowledge that we might not be able to meet in person for a certain period of time. I pray it doesn't come to that, but the reality is, we don't know. I will be working with Rob Hamilton and Momoko Tanno to create some kind of either sermon podcast or live stream that will appear on Sunday. Please check the website or social media to see what happens.
I would really urge you to use Givelify, our online giving platform. Remember that the financial needs of the congregation do not go away even in an emergency. You can always send your offerings through the mail but I hope you will decide that this is a good time to begin using our Givelify online giving platform You can go to our website at fccstpaul.com/give to share your offering. You can also the app in order to give from your smartphone. If you need assistance in learning how to give online, please contact me. I will be more than willing to help you.
Remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. Remember that there are helpful resources from the Disciples of Christ, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Use social distancing as much as possible. Help those who are in need, check in on each other and pray, pray, pray. We are in a very uncertain time. As a child, whenever I was afraid, my mother would have me read Psalm 121. It has become something that I treasure during times like these and I want to share it with you.
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. God is our help at this time. We will get through this. In the midst of the chaos of this moment, we know we are not alone. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Godspeed to all of you. Dennis Sanders, Pastor