Dear beloved Philippians,
Out of deep love and care for this community and in response to Jesus’ call to care for the vulnerable and marginalized, we have decided to suspend all-in person events until April 1. At that time we will re-evaluate and consult the relevant authorities. We do not make this decision lightly, but after consulting reports from agencies and recommendations from the Virginia Synod, we feel that it is the best way for us to care for one another during this COVID-19 outbreak. As a letter from Bishop Humphrey stated, “there is a growing consensus among health organizations that our best chance to slow the spread of this virus and to avoid overwhelming our healthcare system is to immediately respond as calmly, but as aggressively, as possible to limit person-to-person direct contact.”
As Paul wrote to the early church in Rome, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We give thanks that while this time is chaotic, nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ! And just because we are not meeting together physically, does not mean cease to be church! The Holy Spirit abides with us and connects us in every time and place. During this time, we will utilize the gifts of technology and stream our worship services. The services will be available here. We will stream the services at 8:30 and 11:00 with both pastors facilitating each service. Please join us! We look forward to worshipping together through this online platform. Additionally, Monday Morning Bible Study will continue at 9:30am through Zoom. On your computer or mobile device, follow this link to join in as we delve into God’s Word together.
You may access these links and find other helpful information on the church website. Please continually check the church website as this will be the go-to place for sharing information with the congregation.
This can feel like an anxious time for all of us. Please know that Pastor David and Pastor Laura are available for pastoral conversation and prayer. In times of uncertainty and fear, we are held together by the love of God in Christ Jesus. We also acknowledge that in this time of uncertainty, providing for yourself and your family can be difficult. If you are in need of food assistance or help with utilities, please contact one of the pastors and they will confidentially work to provide some assistance to you.
While there feels like so much chaos going on around us, God’s love is still present. God’s love is present in the medical workers who work selflessly to care for the community. God’s love is present in agency workers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe. God’s love is present in each of you and we give thanks for all of the ways you are reaching out to care for those most impacted by this pandemic. Please continue to use great care and discernment as you go about your daily activities. Below are links to resources you may find helpful during this time.
St. Philip Lutheran Church Website
ELCA Churchwide Resources – Video Message from Presiding Bishop Eaton
Pastoral Message from Bishop Humphrey
In God’s care,
Pastor David and Pastor Laura