COVID-19 Virus and Church Closing

“I lift up my eyes to the hills - from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121

You! Are Welcome!

Things are changing. The weather is changing…constantly…but then that’s about normal living up here in the north. Culture is changing…we have become incredibly adapt at working from home, wearing a mask (I’m making much less trips back to the car to retrieve it, lol!), meetings on zoom for work, play and entertainment, and I’m wondering if we’ll ever be a culture of handshakes and hugs again.  

Another thing that’s changing is that more public places are opening up. And that’s what I want to share with you in this newsletter piece this month.  

I am so excited so many of us are getting our vaccinations completed. I am also excited that conditions with regard to the pandemic have improved enough for Forbes to go back to in-person Sunday worship, which we have allowed for some weeks now, the only difference now is without a limit on numbers.  
So, as of this Sunday, May 2nd, I want you to know that you are all welcome in our sanctuary for worship. We encourage you to continue to wear a mask, and we ask you to be respectful of one another’s space.

Above all, however, my desire is to have you feel welcome and wanted in worship!  I also ask that you bear with me as I learn to adapt to addressing and including both an in-person and a virtual congregation. This type of hybrid-style worship is new for most pastors. I just ask that you please be patient as I maneuver yet another new learning curve. On we go!

Now two very important notes. 
First, if you are hesitant to come to worship, whether because you have an underlying health condition or live with someone who does, you haven’t been vaccinated yet, or are just feeling not ready for large gatherings, please hear me say clearly: that is okay!  Feel good about worship online and connecting with your faith and church in this way.

Second, it will be wonderful to have you in our sanctuary again, but I want to be clear that pandemic-adapted worship, particularly absent choir and congregational song, will be different.  

In closing, I want to thank you for your willingness to sacrifice in order to fulfil Christ’s command to love our neighbor. And please continue to wear your mask and being especially careful in your interactions. We are so, so close in coming out of this pandemic.  The last several weeks have seen much progress, but still numbers continue to go back and forth. Which is a reminder that we are close, but not there yet. We’ve come too far, and sacrificed too much, to falter now.  Keep up the good work!

We will get through this, dear Forbes Church.  We will get through it together and, by God’s grace, come out stronger and better on the other side.

Because of His Grace, 
Pastor Karen Ashton