A Pastoral Letter Concerning COVID-19
Dear Church of the Foothills Family,
Out of a deep concern for the many vulnerable members of our church and local community, beginning this Sunday, The Church of the Foothills will hold only an online worship service. We join congregations across our community and the world who are making the difficult decision to suspend gathering as a community in person in response to the spread of COVID-19. Suspending in-person worship is not a decision come to lightly. The leadership of the church is relying on the recommendation of the state and local Departments of Public Health that individuals practice “social distancing” to minimize the risk of spread. This is a moment for our community to step up in leadership. The sooner we all implement the practices urged by the CDC and W.H.O. the sooner we will come through this and get back to normal.
Christianity is an embodied faith. At the core of our faith is the claim “the word was made flesh.” While we will not be physically present with one another starting this Sunday, we can still make efforts to be emotionally and spiritually present with one another. Maybe that’s our calling right now: to be the Body of Christ to one another and our neighbors. (That’s always our calling, but now we have a special opportunity to really live it out!) Please call and check in on your neighbors and friends from church. Make sure they know about this change and, more importantly, ask how they are hanging in there. Keep yourself and our community safe by staying home as much as possible.
What is an online worship service? We will be using Facebook Live to stream our service on the internet at our usual time—10AM. The service will include music, prayers, and a meditation. It is certainly no replacement for gathering as a community, but during these difficult times, I hope it provides a moment for peaceful reflection, prayer, and connection to our community. You can find the livestream on the Church Facebook Page.
In this Wilderness time, may we know the presence of the Spirit with us as we wander together. May we experience the unimaginable Easter hope even in these difficult Lenten days and nights. I pray for God’s blessing for you and for us all during this time.
Rev. John Forrest Douglas
Pastor, Church of the Foothills