Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At this time of rising concerns, panic, and fear over the Covid 19 Pandemic we need not fear. Our Christian heritage and teachings reminds us that from the very beginning God repeatedly and consistently instructs us to “Fear Not for I am Your God and I am with you.” That does not mean that we are immune to worldly events, but that we will not be overtaken by them. Even when we cannot see God actively working in our lives, it has no bearing on the fact that God is indeed working powerfully in ways we may not perceive as yet. We can be confident that God always keeps His promises. So we can respond to this challenge without fear.
How shall we respond? Once again our Christian scripture aids us. Jesus’ paraphrases the Hebrew Bible when He calls us to “love the Lord thy God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind and love our neighbors as ourselves.” The World Health Organization has identified “social distancing” as the most effective way to stem the spread of the Covid 19 virus. In keeping with Jesus’ command to love others in that sacrificial way and in accordance with the recommendations of the Southern New England UCC Conference we at New Hope United Church of Christ will be suspending physical church worship services and meetings until further notice. We will continue to pray and monitor the situation and will keep you posted. However we will continue to support one another spiritually through the use of technology. We will continue to provide a weekly abbreviated service on our website. It will consist of: Extinguishing of the Lenten Candles, Scripture Introduction, Scriptures, Sermon, Prayers and Benediction. There will also be a Children’s weekly story on our website as well. We would love your feedback and commentary on what you found helpful and what else you might like to see. Of course I will also be available by phone, video-chat, text, and email.
During this, or any time of crisis, it is important that we, as disciples of Christ, do our part in leading the community in calm and confidence. We have Biblical directives for both. Please continue to check in on one another and notify me if a need arises. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, or just to chat.
As Jesus said in John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”