March 14, 2020
These are unprecedented times in which we live, times that call us to live out our ideals: That the church is not a building or place; it is a people who seek to follow Jesus and love others. In that spirit, I am writing to share with you how A Simple Faith will be adapting to the COVID-19 outbreak over the next few weeks.
First: After Sunday, March 15th’s worship service, there will be no gatherings at A Simple Faith through at least April 4, 2020. This applies to Bible Studies, Prayer Groups, Yoga Classes, and Worship Gatherings. As the State Health Department has made such a recommendation, and our local school district is following the directive, we will follow as well. The building will be sanitized during this period. If you are one who feels that this is an over-reaction or unnecessary, consider that our community will have hundreds of thousands of visitors for Spring Break over the next couple of weeks (even with the outbreak) from all over the world. Also, be mindful of the aged and vulnerable in our congregation. A bit of inconvenience and disruption may prove lifesaving for some that we love.
Two: We are committed to staying connected and in service to one another. If you are not on our email list, contact Garet McHugh to be added. Garet can be reached at (402) 650-9463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To be added to our text update list, text “Simple” to 84576. Garet will also be the point person for compiling a list of people in need. Many work paycheck to paycheck or rely upon tips and tourists for their income. Such folks will be crushed by these events. We will help them all we can. If you get against the wall financially, contact Garet. Get on this list (it will be confidential). Now is not the time to hoard our resources. We never have, and we aren’t about to start.
Three: We will be actively supporting those who are serving public health. This applies to Sacred Heart Hospital and the Point Washington Medical Clinic. Much of their work is directed toward the uninsured and the poor. These “least of these” are the ones who could potentially suffer the most.
Four: The Sunday morning service will be broadcast via YouTube and other social media sites at noon on Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, March 29. With the help of Bobby Rains, Garet, and a couple of others with technological savvy, you will be able to “tune in” from home. Please follow our Facebook feed or check the Simple Faith website regularly for updates, prayer requests, and the ability to give online (www.asimplefaith.net).
I anticipate that this disruption will be much longer than two weeks. Even after the virus wanes, the economic and communal recovery will take a great deal of time. We will walk through this together. In the meantime, wash your hands. Take care of your neighbors. Resist fear and panic. You probably have enough toilet paper. And remember the beautiful benediction of Henri-Frédéric Amiel: “And now my friends, life is short. We haven’t much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind. And may the Christ who made us, who abides with us, and who keeps us, give us his peace.” AMEN.