God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
These last six months have been challenging for us all. We have had to learn to do old familiar things in new ways. We have been building a bridge while walking across it. Soon we will be entering yet another phase of our life as a church. Scott Herr, our pastor-to-be, will be arriving, and after quarantining, will take up his responsibilities in September.
In the meantime, be assured that our congregation continues to be the church. Although the church building is largely closed, we still worship together, care for each other, and care about our neighbors far and near. Here is an update on how we are carrying out our ministry and mission.
We have taken our first small step back into the sanctuary. For the past few weeks, worship leaders have been in the sanctuary, preaching, praying, reading scripture, and having music. We use face masks when not speaking and keep a safe distance from one another. We can do this because we are no longer using Zoom for virtual worship. Cameras have been installed in the sanctuary and LocalLive broadcasts the service. We intend to continue using LocalLive even after we can fully return to in-person worship so that those who cannot be present can join in worship.
We will continue to use Zoom for virtual coffee hour. You are invited and encouraged to join in.
The pastoral care team continues to reach out by phone and notes to members who live alone or are facing some challenging situation. If you know of someone who would appreciate contact, is ill, hospitalized or in need, please call the church office (203-966-0002). If we are unable to answer, please leave a message. Although the office is closed, the phone is being monitored. We also are happy to receive prayer requests.
Helping one another
As this shutdown continues even on a modified basis, it is important to keep in touch with those who live alone. If you would like to “adopt” someone by committing to call and/or dropping a note regularly, let us know. We would be happy to match you up. The importance of such relationships was brought home recently when power, phone, and internet services were disrupted.
Virtual Offering Plate
We are not able to pass the plate on Sundays, but you can still contribute your tithes and offering. You may use the link on the church website (FPCNC.ORG) or by clicking here. You may send a payment through your bank app or a check to the church (178 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan 06840). Automatic withdrawals from your checking account or automatic charges to your credit card can be arranged through Jim Riehl (Jriehl@fpcnc.org).
Beyond our congregation
With an extraordinary number of people out of work, food banks and pantries have been hard hit. Consider supporting the New Canaan Food Pantry. Food donations are being accepted again, as are cash donations. Financial donations can be sent to New Canaan Food Pantry, 77 Main Street, New Canaan 06940. For more information, call New Canaan Human Services, (203-594-3076).
This is a challenging time in so many ways, a time when we would ordinarily have turned to one another for comfort and support. One of the most difficult things is that we cannot do that in person. I miss seeing your faces. I miss sharing the peace with a touch or a hug. I long for the time when I can again hold your hand and pray together. In many ways this is a wilderness time, but, thanks be, our God has a history of being present and at work in the wilderness. May we claim that in this time, God is with us.
Rev. Mary Marple Thies