As you know, we are all in a situation that we have never quite been in before and things are changing day by day. My feed has been filled with churches that are canceling services or continuing on as normal. Both are options, and neither is right or wrong …but what is right for us? That is difficult, because like a hurricane, we all know we need to be prepared for the worst, but we also hope that in the end all of that work proves unnecessary. But, if a Category 5 does hit, everyone is thankful they planned for the worst. The Staff and Board have been in communication all week striving to do what is best for our congregation and our community.
Our decision is that: WE WILL NOT MEET TOGETHER IN PERSON ON SUNDAY, BUT WE WILL BROADCAST AN ONLINE-ONLY SERVICE AT 9:30AM ON SUNDAYS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
We hope you will join in at live.jupiterfirst.org at 9:30am this Sunday for Church Online.
THIS ALSO MEANS THAT ALL CAMPUS CLASSES AND GROUPS ARE ON PAUSE AND WILL NOT MEET UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
There are many considerations that we weighed in our decision. The primary reason we decided to take quick, proactive action is our call to “love our neighbor as much as ourselves.” Paul says in Romans 13:10 (which we will read in the New Testament Challenge on Tuesday) that “love does no harm to our neighbor.” We choose to be a church that shows our community neighbors that we care deeply about their health and are willing to gather together in a different manner (online) in order to be a part of protecting our neighbor’s health. While we know that, for many, this virus poses little health risk, we feel a strong responsibility to do absolutely everything within our power to protect those in high-risk categories, both those in our congregation and those in our broader community. We also, again in light of Romans 13, feel a need to respect our governing authorities’ request to hit pause on large-group gatherings during this time. We are boldly and clearly choosing to help support the community and global effort to slow the spread of the virus and show our neighbors that our love for them is deeper than the sacrifice.
We do not yet know how long we will meet online-only for worship, but we will keep you posted.
We are hearing a LOT about “social distancing” during this time. I believe that we need the opposite! We need to be even closer to our neighbor than ever. People are scared; people are worried; people are looking for hope in this. Would you work to find ways to safely close the distance between you and your neighbor during this time?
Here is a few examples of how we are doing that as a congregation:
- We are building a Response Team to coordinate food to shut-ins, provide assistance to those in need, and make daily phone calls to those who are self-quarantined. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of the team.
- We are compiling a list of those who are shut-in or quarantined so we can provide support to them. Email email@example.com if you or someone you know is shut-in.
- We are actively planning an online Jupiter Community Interfaith Prayer Vigil and Information Meeting with community leaders and our three congregations’ clergy.
- We are trying to identify all food insecure families in our community who will be without food because of loss-of-work and school closings that mean loss of meals. We want to ensure they are fed during this time.
- We have reached out to the Mayor and City of Jupiter to offer all of our resources and facilities to the community for any need they may have during this time
Thank you for all of your support and help during this time.
If you have questions, please let me know,