Church Service and Closings Letter

Dear members and friends of our beloved church community,
 
As members of the living body of Christ, we are here to care for each other and to extend love, compassion and generosity toward our community and wider world during this pandemic. The Coronavirus outbreak has shown us how much we are interconnected and need to work together to stem the spread of this highly contagious virus. In the absence of adequate testing, treatment options and equipment, your pastor and elected church leaders believe that we need to set a proactive example in doing all we can to help "flatten the curve” of the spread now.  This will help contain the outbreak and assure that our medical system can fully tend to those most at risk. This is one way in which we show our love and support for each other. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12: 26-27:  "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
 
”We want to make sure that all of us take the necessary precautions to be safe. We also want to stay connected to each other and make sure that no one is left isolated and without care. We will continue to be a community of love, hope, compassion and generosity! We trust that our living God will guide us in how we can adjust for a time in how we live this hope and love together.
 
After much prayer and a careful consideration of scientific data, church and governmental advisory sources, including our Maine UCC Conference,we have decided to suspend all public worship services in our building for at least the month of March. We are working on providing worship experiences on-line, including for this coming Sunday. Please look for a separate email with this information. We will also develop additional on-line possibilities for fellowship, learning and discussion.
 
Our committees and teams will develop a plan to connect members to each other so that we can make sure people who need help will receive it. We will equip all committees with on-line conferencing options so that the work of the church can continue.
 
We will essentially be shutting the church building down for public use for the rest of March.We are in the process of contacting the various groups that use our space. The Midcoast Community Chorus has already suspended its entire semester of programming.
 
Please note that, as much as we regret it, soup lunch has been cancelled for the rest of the soup lunch season. The Lenten Series on climate change is suspended. We will find new dates in the future to explore the remaining themes. The "Touch the Earth” retreat scheduled for March 14th has been postponed with a new date to be determined.
 
We are still discerning how all this will affect the operations of Heavenly Threads and the SOS Room.
 
While the church is effectively closed, staff will continue to work and you will continue to meet a human being at the end of the phone line during normal office hours. Some work will be done remotely. We will adapt our work to meet congregational needs at this time as well as tend to projects. Please also check our website and the weekly electronic newsletters for up-dates and listings of interactive opportunities. We will let you know how and when you can help. We are aware that many people’s lives and livelihood will be challenged beyond health concerns. We are called upon to remain present, flexible, attentive, generous and prayerful.
 
Please do call us if you are not feeling well or know of a member or friend who is ill.We are in touch with Town Hall and the Camden and Rockport Police Departments as well. We are challenged and invited to come together as a community and will make it through this challenging time with God’s help.
 
"And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
 
May God’s love strengthen and embolden us to rise to this challenge!
 
Yours in faith, hope and love,
 
Your Pastor and members of the Cabinet

 

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