Dear Friends in Christ,
Church Council and I are closely monitoring the current situation, and closely following the updates from the CDC, the White House, and leaders in the United Church of Christ.
The Penn Northeast Conference, which is our local regional setting of the UCC, is recommending that churches do not gather for the next two Sundays. As you probably know, President Trump is asking that no one gather in groups larger than 10 until the end of March, and the CDC is asking Americans to avoid gatherings of 50 or more for the next eight weeks.
Taken together, we feel it wise and faithful to suspend Sunday services through the end of the month. We will update everyone this week with plans for “virtual” worship through online streaming. We are also cancelling our April 4 community breakfast and Egg Hunt. We don’t yet know what other steps will need to be taken beyond March 31, but we do know that we will get through this.
The St. Luke’s and Lehigh Valley Health networks have jointly banned outside clergy visits at this time. Chaplains remain available to pray with and anoint patients across the Valley. If anyone needs assistance connecting with the Pastoral Care departments and chaplains in those networks, please reach out to me. I will also be making phone calls to our members and friends in the hospital, and ask that you do the same and that you keep in touch with one another with words of encouragement.
Please continue to hold one another in prayer, and remember those who are sick and all on the front lines of the medical response to this virus.
Because all church ministries rely heavily on offering, we ask that if you are able to continue to support the church financially, please do so. We also know that the current situation may stretch many households and families thin and understand that giving may be down.
This situation is unprecedented in our lifetime, and situations and recommendations are evolving. Council President Bonnie Kline and I have been in close contact during this time, and will continue to be. We’ll also continue to be in touch with our Lowhill Church family and the wider community through email, Facebook, and other means as they emerge.
Friends, please stay safe, stay healthy, and follow best practices from health and government officials. Hold one another in love, even as God holds us!