Covid-19 Service Updates

COVID-19 - Church Building and Ministry Update
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM DR. MATTHEW RICH


March 17, 2020
Dear Friends,

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

In these days of anxiety and uncertainty, Paul’s words to his beloved church in Philippi have spoken to me and I pray they are words of comfort and strength for you as well.

I am writing after a called Session last night to share with you the ways Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church will continue its witness of faith, hope, love, and joy in these constantly changing days of the COVID-19 virus. These are not easy decisions, and yet with great prayer and hope, we seek to follow Christ’s call to best love one another, especially the most vulnerable in our congregation, and to best nurture the health of our community.

In accordance with the latest CDC guidelines and recommendations that group gatherings of more than 10 people be limited for the next eight weeks, Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church is:

• Closing our church campus and suspending all face-to-face worship, activities, and events through Sunday, May 3rd. If conditions and advisories change, we will return to normal ministry sooner. Please remember that while the church buildings might be closed, we are the church and together we continue to be the body of Christ.
• We will be worshiping on-line on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM and Wednesday nights (until April 1) via livestream on Facebook Live and with a recording posted on the RMPC YouTube page and website. After a good start this past Sunday, we will improve the broadcast and seek ways to make it even more interactive for you at home as we become more accustomed to worshiping in this new way.
• You will provide resources in print and online so that bible studies, small groups, committee meetings, etc. can continue in a new and creative ways. Watch for more information from individual leaders and staff members in the days and weeks ahead.
• We will continue to provide pastoral care, but recognize that it will be largely through phone calls, emails, text messages, and video conferencing.
• Our church staff will be working from home, so if you call the church office, please leave a message so that we can respond to you as quickly as possible.

(continued)
As we are the church in this new dispersed way, I want to ask several things of you:

1) Please pray: Let your requests be made known today. Pray for the peace that passes all understanding. Pray for those who are sick and those who are caregivers. Pray for public health officials and health professionals. Pray for our leaders who make decisions. God hears us as we pray, so keep praying.
2) Please love your neighbors: I never expected a time when loving our neighbors would mean not gathering face-to-face, but this is that time. However, telephones still work and are a vital tool for us to care for one another. We are encouraging our church staff, elders, and deacons to be in touch with you regularly. I encourage you to do the same with one another. In addition to emails, texts, social media, and other communication, please continue to call, talk, and pray with one another.
3) Please continue your support of the church: While our ministry is different during these days, it continues in new and important ways. We are committed to continuing to pay all of our church staff. We are committed to supporting our ministry partners near and far as needs will increase, not decrease in the months ahead. We need your financial support. If you normally give in the offering plate each week, send in your offering by mail or use the online giving option at www.reidchurchaugusta.org. Someone will be receiving the mail each day, so your gifts will be secure.
4) Please share your needs: These are uncertain days. Let us know your worries and we will pray with you. Let us know if you need help with shopping or prescriptions, etc. and we will seek to be of help. Let us know your concerns and we will do our best to respond. We are the body of Christ and God has given us all we need to care for one another in this and every day.
My friends, God has gifted us with this amazing community of faith and support. We are called in times such as these to be ready to stand together in love, fighting fear with our confidence and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we unveiled our new church vision last fall, Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church: We’re on the Way!, I do not think any of us expected all the twists and turns ahead. Yet, we are confident that we walk this way with Christ and he is the way, the truth, and the life.

God bless,
Matt


March 15, 2020
Third Sunday in Lent
Dear Friends,

Our God our Help in Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.

In these uncertain days, we rely upon our God who has been and will be faithful always. Despite our faith, there are many questions about the best way that we as a congregation can be of aid to our communities and health professionals in light of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Last Sunday I shared a letter in the bulletin with our initial response as a congregation. As you know much has changed since that time and the situation continues to be a fluid one.

I had intended to send a message to you earlier this evening sharing our plans for modified worship on Sunday. However, based on requests from Governor Kemp and advice of local medical professionals, instead I have asked the Session to cancel "face-to-face" worship, Sunday School, and other church activities on Sunday, March 15.

I want you to know that we make this decision not out of fear, but out of a desire to best love one another, especially the most vulnerable in our congregation, and to best nurture the health of our community.

So, instead of "face-to-face," we will study and worship differently.

At 10:30 AM on Sunday we will be "live streaming" a modified worship service with prayers, scripture, hymns, and sermon on Facebook. On Sunday afternoon we will post a video recording of the service on the RMPC website and YouTube page. I'm working with Richard Cook to ensure that the hymns will not be solos by the pastor!

Facebook Live-stream link - https://www.facebook.com/Reid-Memorial-Presbyterian-Church-100860219958698/

RMPC YouTube page - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2TMURYFf05HNFJpeumFLJg

Pastor Nadine will record a lesson for week 3 of our Love Does series and it will be posted at the above sites as well.

The Session will meet early next week to consider the ways that we will continue to worship, study, and care for one another and our community. We will continue to monitor guidance from health professionals, our government officials, and our denomination. I anticipate that further temporary modifications will be necessary for our life together. We will share more with you as soon as we are able to do so.

It is especially important that we continue to find ways to show care and love for one another, so I ask you to call someone during the worship hour on Sunday and pray together. Think about those who normally sit around you in worship, let them know by phone, text, or email that you are praying for them. If you have or know of needs we might assist with, please let me know via email or phone.

In these uncertain times, I urge us to remember what I heard today from a friend: Reading daily devotions will never be cancelled. Singing your favorite hymns will never be canceled. Studying scripture will never be cancelled. Praying will never be cancelled. Love will never be cancelled. People of faith, we can do this!

God bless,
Matt

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