Corona Virus Congregational Conversation 3.15.2020

There was an open congregational conversation after the service on Sunday March 15 to discuss the corona virus situation.  

Those who were in attendance:  Patti Cooksey, Kay Rencken, Bill Parsons, Don Ritchie, Claire Stiles, Ed Kaspar, Christy Martin, Malcolm Wells, Claudia Rodriguez, Jeff Wells, Kim Wells.

The gathering began with each person making a comment about how they felt about the current situation.  These were some of the responses:

Uncertain

Vulnerable

Concerned, not worried

Mixed – skeptical, worried

Let it flow

Worried about older people and self

Concerned – in light of theme park shut downs, this must be serious

Uneasy

Plans – especially economic

Kim shared a devotion from a book that had been donated to the church by Martha Lamar.

We talked about the corona challenge from several perspectives:  how are we needed to serve the spiritual, social, and perhaps physical needs of the community, of governmental leaders, of the world, of health care workers, and of our congregation.  

These are the ideas that we will pursue:

We are in contact with Maximo Elementary School, with whom we already have a relationship, to see how we can be helpful to their students and staff, particularly the most vulnerable. No school can mean no food for some students.

Increase our contact with each other as a congregation in the following ways:  

The congregation is encouraged to write letters, to each other, to those who are homebound, to whomever using old fashioned US mail to mitigate the isolation.  This is especially important for those who do not have access to email or the internet or social media. 

The congregation is also encouraged to send emails to each other, including pictures, just to brighten someone’s day or share something of interest.  

Maybe at the end of the crisis we will create a compilation from the letters and emails that are sent as an inspirational historical record for the congregation.  

Use face time or other media chat programs to chat with people who are homebound.  

Call people from the congregation to check on them, let them know you are thinking of them, etc.  Just use the phone and reach out.  

Generally increase contacts with others in the congregation and those you know who are isolated including family, neighbors, friends, etc.  

The Care Team will be sure to be reaching out to those who are on the Circle of Concern and those who are on “lock down” in their senior communities.  

To facilitate being in contact with the congregation, an update of the church directory is being completed and will be available soon.  

Worship and other planned programs such as the guided labyrinth walks will continue as planned based on current information.  That may change, but for now, we are planning on weekly worship, etc. 

Increased communication from the church.  The church will send out and post things intended to be of spiritual support to the congregation.  These posts will involve devotions and music as well as other things.  

The congregation will be requested to pause every day at 9:00 a.m. light a candle if you can (or put on the light on your phone. . .) and offer a common prayer that will be provided.  Through this action, we will feel our unity as a congregation even though we are not physically together.  And we will be in solidarity in our concern for each other and the world. 

We will continue to be in conversation as this pandemic unfolds so that we can respond as needed.  

Kay Rencken shared an adaptation of a line from one of the Irish tunes that Hilton played in worship today:

Let hope be like a falling leaf at the dawning of the day.  

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