Second Presbyterian Suspending Face to Face Gatherings

Dear Church Family,

In light of the increasingly urgent public health situation, we have made the difficult decision to suspend normal church operations for at least two weeks. The decision has been made not out of fear, but out of care for our community and in consideration of best practices for protecting public health. We intend to do our part to help our beloved congregation and community to slow the spread of disease and mitigate its effect in order to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

What does this mean?

Effective immediately, our church building is closing for at least the next two weeks. We will continue to monitor recommendations from public health officials and will make informed decisions about what to do beyond that time.

  • We will move our Sunday worship service to an online format for March 22 and March 29. Please join us on our Second Presbyterian Church Facebook page at 11:00 a.m. this Sunday and the following Sunday.
  • All church gatherings in our church building will be cancelled through at least March 29, with the exception of twelve-step groups. Twelve-step groups will continue to meet.
  • All staff who are able to work remotely will do so. You can reach church staff members by email or texting them, or leaving a voice message on the church answering machine. Staff members will check messages at least daily.
  • Church meetings and other gatherings will be conducted electronically using the Zoom format. Ministers and program staff members will contact you about such meetings and send you log-in information.

How will we still be a church if the building is closed and we aren’t gathering together?

First and foremost, as members of the body of Christ, we are always the church together, whether we are gathered or scattered. The suspension of normal operation is temporary. Perhaps we can think of it as a new form of Lenten discipline for our congregation and community – a season of doing less and perhaps, discovering new gifts in the midst of it. We let go of one form of our life together, trusting our future to the God of resurrection. Additionally, we maintain our concern for each other, and especially the lonely and vulnerable among us. We encourage you to check in with each other via text, phone, email, video chat, and even “old-fashioned” mail. Let’s be creative, consistent and persistent in reaching out to each other and reminding each other that we are connected, valued, and most of all, loved. Finally, if there are particular ways your church family can serve and support you, please let us know. We have church members who are already volunteering to help get groceries and /or supplies for those who need help with such.

Please take care of yourselves, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Follow all the recommendations for personal hygiene. Minimize being out in public, but try to get some fresh air when you can. Reach out to others in whatever ways you can, both to offer support and to seek support. Take time to pray for those who are sick, for those who are scared, for those who are economically impacted, for healthcare workers, and for the church in all places. Be assured you have our prayers for you and for our community.

Christ’s peace,
Steve