Earlier today, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson emailed the clergy of the North Georgia Conference strongly urging the cancellations of worship services and small groups for the duration of the month as a result of COVID-19. I know we have been monitoring the situation and making alternative plans as needed, here is another area where it is better to be proactive and not a part of the problem.

In light of this, we will not be holding Worship Services for the next three Sundays. Those of us on staff who are a part of the worship planning are diligently at work deriving alternative ways for worship to take place electronically. This Sunday, we are working on plans to live stream the Worship Service at 11:00a on the church’s Facebook page. It may appear later in the day, but we will post something by 11:00 if the plan changes. For those of you not on Facebook, we will find alternative means for you to access worship.

In this time of uncertainty and panic, we need to remember a few things:

— God is the ever-present source of our comfort and peace. While I normally don’t encourage people to just pick up their Bibles and start reading, now would be a good time to read some of the Wisdom Literature or connect with the Psalms. In all things, God is with us and one way that God is revealed is through the Bible.

If Julian of Norwich can sit in a locked jail cell while half of her village dies of the Bubonic Plague and still have the faith to say, “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well,” then we too can have faithful confidence.

— Another way that God is present is through you. So, take care of yourself, but also take care of each other. Check on one another. Check on your neighbors. Offer to get groceries or pick up prescriptions for those that are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Be the hands and feet of Christ.

— We are here for you. Literally and figuratively. I will be at the church on Sunday mornings to meet with anyone who comes for worship unaware that the service has been canceled or with anyone who just needs to talk and/or pray.

— If you haven’t already set up to give to the church electronically (click here to do so) or through your bank’s bill pay option, now would be a great time to do so. It’s easy to forget that there are ministries and staff who are counting on your continued support when you are not present. You can also mail your checks to the church directly.

The church office will not be open for the next two weeks, but Chris will be available. You can email him (inmanparkumc@gmail.com) and he will get back with you ASAP. You can always email me (pastor@inmanparkumc.org).

Please let me know how I can be there for you.

May God’s Grace Prove You Stronger,