On March 27th Pastor Matthias wrote:
Dear CPUC Community,
How are you all doing? These are stressful times, so it is good to check in with our loved ones, friends, and communities.
As you know, earlier this month the Council made the decision to suspend in-person worship and gatherings through the end of March, with a plan to reassess closer to April. Last night, the church Council met via phone conference to do just that.
Grounded in our love of one another and God, and drawing on recommendations from the Presbytery and UCC Minnesota Conference, the Council unanimously decided to extend our suspension of in-person worship and gatherings through the end of April, with the awareness that it may be even longer before we are able to gather in person again.
We will continue to livestream from church for now, observing social distancing. Worship streaming was exempted from Gov. Walz’s stay home order and described as an essential service.
I want to name the sadness and grief at not being able to gather for Holy Week. I also want to remind us that resurrection still comes. It is not contingent on us all having everything perfectly figured out or being able to gather.
In the meantime, I’ll offer you all these suggestions and gentle reminders for moving through this Stay at Home time and the ongoing COVID-19 developments:
- Pace yourself–despite what we’ve heard from the Oval Office, experts are telling us this pandemic will last many weeks, or even months. Don’t feel you have to get everything done or figured out right now.
- Unplug!–The news keeps coming so fast and there are lots of stories of heartbreak and loss and fear. While it is good to stay informed, it is also good for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health to turn of all your devices once a day. Leave your phone and go for a walk. Close your computer and write a letter by hand or do some art.
- Pray–Yes, pray. However makes sense for you. Connect to God, unload your anxiety, anger, fear, and then let yourself ripple outward into the rings of gratitude and mindfulness of others. God is compassionate, loving, and an excellent listener.
- Find purpose–set a small, achievable goal each day. It can be so disheartening to not have our normal rhythms that help shape our lives and inform our purpose. Find something small you can do each day and do it. (And forgive yourself if you don’t).
Friends, we are in this together, and Jesus is walking by our side through this hard time. There are lots of ways to connect with one another and care for each other. Reach out to someone to check in, and continue “being church” in our various places.
Stay home. Be well. And abide in the Grace of Christ.