Immanuel UCC & COVID-19

Our response, updates, and cancellations

March 16, 2020

Friends and Members of Immanuel UCC,

We are the body of Christ together and as such we seek to take care of one another.  We care for one another spiritually and physically alike, feeding our hearts, our minds, and bodies in a multitude of ways.

Given the Covid-19 pandemic, the leadership of Immanuel wants you to know that we are taking additional precautions to uphold the quality and safety of our ministry to one another and the greater community. To be an active partner in the unified effort to reduce and confine the spread of the virus, we are making significant changes to our ministries and practicing social distancing. In this time the best way we can love our neighbor is by holding physical distance.   

As of today, Sunday March 15th, we are suspending all programming, including in-person worship, meetings, and rentals through March 30th.  Worship and other virtual gatherings will be livestreamed through Facebook.  The Immanuel campus will be closed beyond the office area.  Our staff will be working remotely as much as possible with modified office hours.  Please call the office before attempting to make an in-person visit.  The voicemail will be checked regularly throughout this temporary change of schedule.  

We will strive to make sure social distance will not have to mean a spiritual distance.  This is a challenging time and we will face it together with strength and courage.  The interconnectedness of our human family is both a vulnerability and a blessing. 

All of us are encouraged to:

  • Reach out to one another by alternative forms (phone, cards, email).  Contact the church office immanuel@immanuel-ucc.org or 610-777-7107 for updated directory.

  • Hold one another, medical professionals, the most vulnerable in prayer.

  • Engage in spiritual companionship through online communities such as our Immanuel Facebook Group. 

  • Practice spiritual disciplines that nurture and sustain our own mental and spiritual wellbeing.

  • Give ourselves permission to fast/take breaks from the news and social media.

  • Offer grace to ourselves and one another:  We are learning our way through this together.

 

Please note the following responses that are underway at church:

  • Pastoral Care ministries are being adapted.  Please contact Rev. Meg directly at 610-413-9334 for pastoral care emergencies. 

  • Young adults are volunteering their time and knowledge to assist with technology questions.  They are ready to help you get connected to our Facebook Page (public) and Facebook Group (private). Call the office to retain their services.

  • Empowering group leaders to determine the best ways to be in contact with one another.

  • Communication with school district as to how best to partner in meeting the dietary needs of local families who depend on free and reduced breakfasts and lunches from the school.

  • Creating online Faith Formation resources.

  • Encouragement of our electronic giving options.  Our ministries will continue, and your prayerful and financial support is appreciated. To learn more about online giving, please contact the office OR visit our website.

  • Increased and enhanced cleaning.

  • Increased communications, updating the changes to our pandemic response and programming through Constant Contact, Facebook, website and the church’s outgoing phone message.   Our most effective and efficient form of communication is Constant Contact and Facebook.   Contact the office to get set up if you are not currently receiving our Thursday emails through Constant Contact.

 

Consistory is closely monitoring the developments of the pandemic, reviewing best practices provided by CDC, WHO, and local officials, and adapting our response as needed.  Consistory will provide an update of modifications to closure schedule no later than March 27th.

It is natural for us to feel fear and anxiety in these uncertain times; take care of yourself. Remember that throughout Scripture ordinary people were told “Be not afraid.” May those ancient, trustworthy words fall freshly on our hearts and be the guiding words we offer to one another. 

 

In Christ’s Peace,

 

The Consistory of Immanuel UCC and Reverend Megan Huesgen

 

 

Prayer for a Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable

May we who have the luxury of working from home

Remember those who must choose

Between their health and making the rent

May we who have flexibility to care for our children when schools close

Remember those who have no options

May we who have to cancel our trips

Remember those who have no place to go

May we who are losing our margin money in the turmoil of the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all

May we who settle in for quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home

As fear grips our country

Let us choose love

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our Neighbor. Amen    -CBellm

 

Here’s how social distancing does not become spiritual distancing. 

Here’s how we ‘love our neighbor’ in these times. 

Here’s how faith - not fear - guides us. 

Here’s how we Be The Church –alongside our brothers and sisters of all faiths and no faith alike.

"Every hand that we don't shake must become a phone call that we place.  Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.  Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise." -Rav Yosef

March 14th

 

In consideration of the recent school closings, worship modified for social distancing, and optional FB livestream of the service, we have decided to cancel Faith Formation for tomorrow, 3/15. Activities will be provided on the stage in fellowship hall for any families who wish to still have programming during the faith formation hour. 


More information will be provided as Consistory will be reviewing and publishing Immanuel's plan for the next two weeks later tomorrow afternoon. It will be shared via FB, Constant Contact, and newsletter.

March 12th

Friends and Members of Immanuel UCC,

 

We are the body of Christ together and as such we seek to take care of one another. We care for one another spiritually and physically alike, feeding our hearts, our minds, and bodies in a multitude of ways.

 

Given the unfolding, and now pandemic Covid-19 situation, the leadership of Immanuel wants you to know that we are taking additional precautions to uphold the quality and safety of our ministry to one another and the greater community.   As it stands today, we expect to continue to hold worship services and our normal programming except for our Monday Morning Bible Study.

 

Recently, the CDC recommended that older Americans begin "social distancing" by avoiding large public gatherings like church services in order to protect themselves and stem the tide of the coronavirus. Because we cherish our worship together, we certainly support prudent health measures such as social distancing.  If you are not feeling well or have a compromised immune system, please stay home.

 

We feel it is our responsibility to be the calm, hopeful presence bringing a thoughtful response that keeps everyone safe and informed. And we will strive to make sure social distance will not have to mean a spiritual distance. We are called to love our neighbors, and, in this case, loving others means holding physical distance. This is a challenging time and we will face it together with strength and courage. The interconnectedness of our human family is both a vulnerability and a blessing.

 

We can:

  • Reach out to one another by alternative forms (phone, cards, email). 

  • Hold one another, medical professionals, the most vulnerable in prayer.

  • Engage in spiritual companionship through online communities such as our Immanuel Facebook Group. 

  • Practice spiritual disciplines that nurture our own mental and spiritual wellbeing.

  • Give ourselves permission to fast/take breaks from the news and social media.

 

Please note the following responses that are underway at church:

  • Increased cleaning of surfaces.

  • Utilizing alternative ways to exchange signs of peace and welcome during worship.

  • Exploring use of social media, etc. for streaming worship services. 

  • Young adults are volunteering their time to assist with technology questions and set up. Call the office to retain their services. 

  • Empowering group leaders to determine the best ways to gather and be in contact with one another. 

  • Expanding support of our electronic communications and giving options.

  • Pastoral Care ministries are being adapted. Please contact Rev. Meg directly at 610-413-9334 for pastoral care emergencies. 

  • Updates and changes to our programming will be provided via Constant Contact, the church's outgoing phone message, and Facebook. 

 

It is natural for us to feel fear and anxiety in these uncertain times; take care of yourself. Remember that throughout Scripture ordinary people were told "Be not afraid." May those ancient, trustworthy words fall freshly on our hearts and be the guiding words we offer to one another.

 

In Christ's Peace,

Rev Meg

99 South Waverly Street    I    Shillington, PA 19607    I    610.777.7107    I    immanuel@immanuel-ucc.org

 ©2018 Immanuel United Church of Christ      Online Giving
 Website by Brandon Buterbaugh
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle