On Covid-19

 These are pretty extraordinary times. Monday the Consistory and I worked at ways in which we could worship together and manage our exposure.  But then the week progressed and steadily seemed to gather steam. Yesterday we learned that our county and then our country were in a state of emergency. Thursday night those of us with children in the Kingston School district were made aware that school was cancelled because of a potential exposure. Then the entire district closed later in the day. Nursing homes bit by bit shut their doors to visitors.

As you know by now worship on March 15 is cancelled. The tech committee and I are working on solutions so that we can honor the strong recommendations to not gather together on groups and still gather together in some way for worship. In the meantime I am still available for pastoral care either by email or by calling the church office number. The church building will be closed to the public but still will operate. We will work hard to restore worship even if it is online. Please look for an informational letter with further details once our plan has been set up and put in place.

As this current situation progresses let us take precautions and be safe. But let us also lift one another up in prayer. Let us pray for those already affected by the Covid-19 virus, both those who are already experiencing symptoms but also those who are living in fear over exposure. Let us pray for those who have lost family or are living in fear for a loved one. Pray for our leaders whether Democrat or Republican as they see to guide us through this emergency. Take time to pray for the doctors, nurses, police, fire and all those in caring or service professions who are daily exposed to this and yet continue to serve.

This whole week I have had two pieces of comfort rolling through my head. The first is the 23rd Psalm. In its opening line we are reminded that no matter what comes, tornadoes, hurricanes, wild animal or Covid-19 we have a shepherd watching over us. Trust in him, lean on him, go to him in prayer for others and for comfort.

Lastly this is not the first or the last trial the church has faced. We have historic statements of faith that teach us how faithful people before us found comfort. The last piece rolling through my head is the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Blessings as we seek to navigate this, as we seek to be the church through trying times.

Rev. Bill