Worshiping together in this time of concern about Coronavirus

Our church has a deep commitment to the health and well-being of its members. Due to the spread of the Corona Virus in Cuyahoga County, we are embracing the call of public health officials to practice “social distancing”. Out of an abundance of caution, your Pastor and Church Council have decided on the following actions:

  1. If you are feeling ill, Council recommends strongly that you NOT attend church, but should take advantage of one of the alternative methods of seeing/hearing the service outlined below. God will understand that your absence is for the health and safety of all.
  2. We are encouraging all members to use their best judgment about attending physical service. Do not feel under any obligation to come to church if you feel it may be safer to stay home. Even if you are not feeling unwell, it may be your best choice to watch/listen to the service via one of our alternatives. Again, God will understand.
  3. To maintain our worshipping community, we will be providing online options for watching or listening to our Worship Services live or in a recorded fashion.  Further details will be forthcoming. We plan to start this on Sunday, March 15th, 2020.  If you do choose to attend this Sunday, there will be a demonstration of how to access these social media versions of our service after worship.
  4. We will be putting a prayer request form up on our website so that you can submit your prayers to Pastor Allan, just as you would do if you were at the service in person. He will pray for those people you submit, but privately rather than publicly, unless otherwise requested on the form.
  5. We are working on having lessons for the children online as well. Plans are still in the early stages here as we try to adapt to the situation, and more details will be communicated in a future email blast.
  6. Pastor Allan is working with the Spiritual Life Ministry to determine the safest way to distribute Holy Communion.
  7. If the situation worsens, Pastor Allan and Office Manager Jeannette may start working from home. . If you need pastoral support, you can contact Pastor Allan at 513 417-1537. If you need Office Support, you can call the Office at 440 526-4364 and leave a message. Messages will continue to be picked up regularly Monday to Thursday (regular office hours). 

We realize the situation is very fluid, with circumstances changing from morning to evening, so watch for more information via email blasts. If you know of a member who might not get this information, please contact them to make sure they know what is happening.

As Computer Scientist and Entrepreneur Paul Graham said on Twitter, “When you’re dealing with exponential growth, the time to act is when it feels too early.”

As a Council, we decided it was far better to act too early than too late. If the situation deteriorates further, we may move to cancel physical church and go strictly online until it is safe to meet again. We are not there yet, but know that we are keeping your health and the health of our community uppermost in our minds.

In summary: if you feel sick, stay home. If you are worried about becoming sick, stay home. Take advantage of the alternative means of worship being offered once they are set up. Take care of yourself and your family.

We pray that these measures will help our community to be as healthy as possible, and to avoid the worst dangers of the pandemic that appears to be coming. Stay healthy!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor and Council of Brecksville United Church of Christ

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