Dear First Baptist Church of Hudson Family:
I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy.
The impact the coronavirus pandemic is affecting not only our personal lives but the church as a family. We are in an unnavigated territory because this pandemic is not like any other flu situation.
I wasn’t prepared for this, especially, for us to practice social distancing during the Lent Season. In a pandemic such as this, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that not gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next several weeks to slow the spread of the spread of the novel coronavirus—asking even the church communities not to gather together to meet physically in one space for worship, study, and prayer. Objections to changing this practice is deafening: Don’t we need a community in a time of crisis? We are small. It won’t affect us. It won’t be church otherwise! As a pastor, I like to lead the worship in the presence of the church family. I get more inspiration when I see your face—nodding, smiling, laughing at the jokes, responding in amen. However, many congregations have courageously canceled services or moved them online. So, it is very important as a church family to follow the best guidelines to stop the spread and share the task of flattening the curve because acting with caution and wisdom is what God wants us to do at the moment.
With the coronavirus spreading, we are wise to practice social distancing. But we do not fall into isolation, which can lead to despair. Our church family understood the value of still up although not in person. I would like to thank the BAFTA for organizing to call church family during the week. Special thanks to Bertha Ashford, Jackie Cole, Jan Russell, Jane Demers, Meredith Mandeville, Betty Beaverstock, Ruth Parker, and Kathy Benger, for your good works. During the enforcement of social distancing, some are embracing the concept of healthy togetherness.
In the coming weeks, there will be few changes in the way we do church.
Beginning this Sunday, March 29, we will switch to online virtual worship. We will use zoom platform for our online worship. For those who have computers and an email account, it is very easy. I hope you have already received an email from Ruth M with the zoom meeting URL. Just in case you missed, here’s the URL:
Once you click the link above, it will take you to the zoom platform. It may ask you to download the zoom plugin. Please click yes, and download. It is safe. Our worship on Sunday will be at the regular worship time: 10:30 a.m. I am glad to let you know that Jackie has offered to come to church on Sunday. So, I will broadcast the zoom worship from the sanctuary. With Jackie’s music in the background, we will feel the same worship experience. In order make sure that we know how to join online worship on Sunday, we will have a trial run tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m. I hope you can join.
During the next few weeks, Pam will be in the office on Tue. & Thu 9:00 – 12:00
Kathy Parker will come on Mon. and Fri.
This is the time when we are called to BE the church. So, we will continue to help those in need through our Food Pantry. If anybody needs any food from the food pantry, please feel free to come and use the food pantry.
During the regular hours, Pam and Kathy help whenever people come to the food pantry. However, during this time, since both Pam and Kathy have elderly parents to care for, I want them to limit their with everyday people at the moment. If there anyone who would like to the food pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays, please let me know.
Giving & Tithing:
Many churches have embraced online payment as an option for the congregation members to give their tithes and offerings online. There are many exciting platforms. However, we have not established that yet. You can always mail your check. Pam will put the envelops in the financial secretaries’ mailbox.
These are anxious times, but we who follow Jesus are assured He is with us always.
If you are wondering how you to attend church online:
Get out bed and get dressed—it will put you in the right mindset for worship
Go through your normal Sunday routine: minus the hurry up, we’re late” part.
Gather together as a family: no multitasking; worship is a family activity.
Stream to the zoom link that was sent. Sing along loud and proud: it may feel weird. Do not worry. It will also feel unnatural for me to preach to empty chairs
Respond as I preach: say amen, clap, take notes.
See you on Sunday.