After today’s announcement that multiple cases of COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed in Allegheny County, and in consultation with church leadership across the Partnership, we have decided to close for the following three Sundays (3/15, 3/22, and 3/29), as well as cancel church events across the same time period.
We cannot take the risk that someone gets sick from worship. Pastor Diane and I can’t bear the thought of having to visit any of you in the ICU (or, worse, not being able to do so) because of a dangerous illness that you could have avoided by staying home from church. I say this not to be alarmist, but to express the depth of the risk that is being explained to us by doctors and public health experts.
This is an incredibly hard choice, one which we are hoping will look like an overreaction in hindsight over the next few months. That will mean it worked!
We will be doing our best to figure out some sort of online worship service, in the meantime, to keep us all united in prayer and worship. Stay close to God, even when you are home, and perhaps use this moment as a Lenten opportunity to strengthen your faith and spiritual practices. Additionally, please remember that the expenses and ministry of the church continue, even as our doors are closed. If you are at all able, your continued faithful giving is crucial at this time, and we are deeply grateful, not only for your tithes and offering but also for your contributions to Fairhaven’s food pantry and clothing closet.
By all means, keep in touch with your pastors. We are still available for needs that arise and to keep you in prayer. “Social distancing” should not mean social isolation, so also keep in contact with your church family, looking after them in love, perhaps with the occasional phone call. Please, also, pray for your pastors, and for all of the shut-ins across the SHP, as well as the sick, and the doctors, nurses, scientists, and leaders charged with keeping people safe around the world.
May God’s grace and protection be with you. The Lord our God–our Savior and our Great Physician–walks with us always.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Dylan Parson