1200 South Carbon Street · Marion, Illinois
Faith Development – 9:00 AM * Worship Service – 10:30 AM

Pastoral Letter Regarding COVID-19

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
      Right now there is one topic that is drowning out all others in local, national, and global news, and that is the news of corona virus, or COVID-19. It is classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and different areas are handling the situation in different ways, in ways that we hope are both appropriate and effective. 
     Your Session and church community are also paying close attention, and trying to make good decisions about how we can best care for one another, our community, and provide for our witness to the Great Physician and the Good Shepherd who is Jesus Christ. In the days ahead, we expect to use technology to allow us to worship and study in order to limit and reduce the chances of infection. Please watch your email for more details on how we will be using technology to extend our worship and share our witness. 
If you feel sick, or are concerned about getting sick, please stay home from our scheduled events. It is possible that events will be cancelled or postponed, and at this time we are asking you to be proactive in your own care.
     The instructions from experts in public health are for us to limit contact with one another in order to slow the spread of this virus. They have also identified those at greatest risk as people over 60, or people with chronic health conditions, or those with compromised immune systems. Many nursing homes in our communities have closed to visitors in an attempt to limit contact and illness. 
      In limiting direct physical contact, our opportunities to care for one another are also limited. Often, we provide care with the touch of a hand, a hug, or simply sitting down for a conversation. Right now, that form of care restricted. We will need to be more intentional at providing care and presence from a distance. Please pick up the phone, send a text, an email, or a Facebook message, put pen to paper and drop a note or a card in the mail. Care for one another. Pray for one another. Pray for your neighbors and our community. Pray for those who are out of work, for those who cannot get to the services they rely on, and those for whom the crisis will not be over when the pandemic passes. Let people know that you are praying for them and thinking of them, and that lack of physical presence does not mean lack of love or care. 
      Our work as the body of Christ, a visible manifestation of Christ’s love in the world, does not take a hiatus because of pandemic. At this time, Christ’s love is even more necessary and needed. Please take the time and effort to show Christ’s love to the world.

In Christ,