Update from Pastor Moritz
(March 24, 2020)
Our journey of faith entails both times of celebration and challenge. In recent weeks the latter road has stretched before us in ways we have never seen or traveled before. Yet no matter where we are in our journey, the Promise of Christ to always be with us remains our great assurance.
Our church building is very quiet these days as we stay home to overcome the coronavirus. But our ministry goes on in new and creative ways as we learn to share God’s Love in the changed environment in which we are now living. Here are some of the things we’re presently doing.
* We’ve taken to the internet to provide worship services every weekend. If we can’t meet in person, we’ll meet online. The services which include Scripture readings, a children’s message, a sermon, and prayers are posted on our church website and Facebook page, as well as placed on YouTube. My thanks to Brian and Thomas Uber for filming and editing each production! I’m happy to note that St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Pennsburg is also participating in our new worship ministry.
* Daily devotional messages are being shared via constant contact mailings Monday through Friday of each week. Last week’s theme was coping with the fear we’re all experiencing. This week we’re meeting some Bible friends who can keep us company during these days of staying home. If you don’t have computer access to these devotions, please let me know and we will mail them to you.
* We, likewise, continue to care for our friends at Pennsburg Manor. Since we can’t be there in person for our monthly worship service, we’re making sure residents, as they wish, have access to our weekly online worship service, daily devotionals, and worship bulletin.
* Even though our child care services have been suspended due to Gov. Wolf’s closing of schools and gathering places, we are every day monitoring developments to see how we can best care for our 90+ families who send their children to our child care center and our 30+ teachers and staff. Through the leadership of our Executive Committee and our UPCCC Director, Carla Allen, we are exploring options for how we can best guide our child care ministry through these unprecedented times.
* We continue to provide pastoral care for our church family by staying in touch through phone, email, and social media. We might not be able to be there in person, but we will be there in prayer and heartfelt conversation. During these times of having to stay at home, let’s also reach out to each other with cards and letters - remembering birthdays and anniversaries, lifting each other’s spirits on gray days, and offering encouragement to one another when facing health concerns.
* Our church staff continues to go about their ministries, largely from home - keeping track of our finances, sending out communications, maintaining our building, and envisioning worship possibilities. Please keep them in your prayers.
* Security cameras have been installed in our building during these quiet days. A new drinking fountain has been placed in the hallway near the kitchen. Thorough cleanings of the building have continued on.
Life and ministry go on at St. Paul’s in new and innovative ways. And they will continue to go on, into the weeks and months ahead, as we slowly and surely defeat this horrible coronavirus. As Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). And we have His words to share. That is our blessing and our responsibility.
To keep our ministry going, though, your continued financial support is needed. Not having the opportunity to meet for worship on Sundays, we can’t place our offering in the offering plates. But there are other ways to give. And I encourage you to use them. Now, more than ever, we need to bring the ministry of God’s Word to our community.
* Mail your weekly offering to the church. Do it every week. Or send it altogether at the start of the month. One of our staff or myself are at the church every week, receiving and opening the mail.
* Move to online giving. Our church offers an electronic giving service that allows you a convenient and consistent way of directing your offering to our church. To find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity, please go to www.stpaulredhill.org/electronic-giving or call our church office and leave a message for our Financial Bookkeeper, Laura Foreman (215-679-5553 ext 126).
* Consider making a special contribution, above and beyond your weekly offering, to help our church through these unprecedented times. Even though classes aren’t presently meeting, we have a child care center ministry to run. Even though we can’t gather together for a while, we have a building to maintain. As St. Paul reminds us, “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Sharing our faith and spreading God’s Love. That’s our mission. And neither the presence of the coronavirus nor the suspension of worship gatherings at our church building has changed that mission. If anything, it’s only made it a grander and more important calling. Together we’ve been making a difference in our community. Please join me in continuing to do so by actively supporting our church’s ministry with your offerings.
With my appreciation,
Concerning the Closure of Gathering Places in Montgomery County -
A Note from Pastor Wayne
(March 13, 2020)
Good morning everyone! We are awakening to a new day on this Friday the 13th and to a new chapter in our lives. Hopefully, it will be a brief sojourn. But it certainly is one we can travel together and will travel together in hope and confidence.
As you know, Governor Wolf has ordered a two week closing of all gathering places and schools in Montgomery County to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In compliance with his directive, and wanting to do everything we can to promote the health and well-being of our community, our Upper Perkiomen Child Care Center is closed for two weeks, starting today, March 13.
Upon action of our Church Council, at last night’s monthly meeting, no worship services will be held at the church for the next two Sundays, March 15 & 22. We hope to have an online worship devotion ready for this Sunday, March 15, so that we might still worship together gathered in spirit and prayer, if not physically together. More details will soon be provided you about how you can tune into the online service. During these two weeks ahead, kindly remember the importance of your offering and how your gifts support our ministry. Since we will not be gathering at the church (and if you do not use vanco), you may wish to send your offerings into the church office via the mail or set them aside to bring with you the next time we gather.
In consultation with other area churches, the community Midweek Lenten Worship Services scheduled for Wednesdays, March 18 & 25 have also been cancelled.
Starting today all gatherings at the church building are also suspended for two weeks. This includes all planned church activities and meetings of community organizations. During this time, cleaning of the church and child care center will continue on its regular schedule to ensure that a clean, healthy environment is maintained.
We will continually be gathering more information in the days ahead to share with you concerning changes in our ministry. Please be attentive to notes being sent via constant contact, placed on Facebook, posted on our website, or noted on WFMZ.
May the Lord bless you and keep you through the days ahead. We continue on our Lenten journey, although in an unexpected fashion, making our way to the Cross and, ultimately, to the Glory of Easter Day and the gift of New Life. Through Christ we have the promise of conquering all things. And so we shall.