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re:imagine the future

We keep hearing on the news that plans are being made for a slow re-opening of our city and state in the next couple of months. We do not yet know what those plans might entail nor do we yet have a timeline, but that doesn't mean the church is not preparing. Quite the contrary, in fact. In the upcoming weeks, our Director of Operations and Church Life, Jolene Wade, in collaboration with our elder chair of Facilities, Buck Buchanan, are working on a plan for the facility and how we might redesign our church for a temporary "new normal."

The staff, in consultation with the elders, are also making decisions about worship, summer programs, and other group gatherings. Once we have more details, we will let you know. 

That being said, as disappointing as it may be, it is not likely that we will be able to return to our large group church gatherings for quite some time. Even if the orders of shelter-in-place are lifted this month, we expect there to still be restrictions on group size and population. As we toy with different ideas (i.e. multiple gatherings of small groups on Sunday morning, hybrid models of in-person/online), please rest assured that no one will be left behind. We continue to work hard to re:imagine all of our ministries at the church and, where possible, cancellation continues to be a word stricken from our vocabulary.

  Friends, there will come a time when we will gather again face-to-face in worship of our Lord. There will come a time when we will again sing songs and chuckle at our off-beat clapping. There will come a time when we will chat around tables and break bread together. And there will come a time when we will hear again the laughter of children and youth being together in community. This may happen slowly, but there will come a time. So until that time comes, let us continue to be patient and seek the Lord's guidance on who we are becoming through this shared experience.

April 8, 2020

Good day friends,

I received an email this week stating "this is the lentiest lent we have ever had" and I couldn't have said it better myself! I hope that means this is the holiest Holy Week as well.

Over the last few weeks, PLCPC has not skipped a beat. I have been amazed at how quickly we have adapted to new ways of being together in worship, small groups, and other venues. We have had to cancel very few events, instead we have simply postponed, or in most cases RE:IMAGINED. We have also added a number of ministries to our "life together". This may be one of the most fruitful times in ministry we have had in many years. Thanks be to God!

Some highlights over the last few weeks:

  • Our preschool re-opened on April 6 in a modified form for essential workers. At present, guided by the CDC, we are only able to accommodate full-time, all day care, but it has been a gift having the laughter of children back on our campus again. Thank you to our preschool director, Nicole Hage, and our preschool teachers who are making this a possibility!
  • For our preschool students who are not able to take advantage of our on-campus care, a virtual learning platform will launch on April 13. This in-home option has also been extended to families in both our church and community who are at home with 2.5-5 year olds and want a taste of alternative education (spread the word!). I am very proud of how quickly our preschool has adapted to a "new way of being."

And they are not the only ones!

  • Our prayer quilt ministry has shifted their focus from quilts to making masks for the present time. These masks are being delivered through our hospital connections for people in need. What a gift!
  • We have new small groups that have formed for connection and prayer, including a "Debriefing the Sermon" live chat room that begins on April 19. They will gather via Zoom after approximately 10 minutes after the Sunday services end. If you are interested in participating please be sure to join us for Worship on Sunday. We'll share more directions in the chat room after the service.
  • Elaine Burrell, our Director of Senior Ministries, has been sending out an informative and fun newsletter each week to those that have not had the capability of engaging with us online. This, in addition, to our call-in line at the church office for daily devotions has been a gift to those that are more technologically challenged. The newsletter can be found on our website if you'd like to check it out.
  • Our elders and deacons continue to contact all of our constituents for check-in. Pastor Alex is pairing up some of our high-risk folks with family "shoppers" to eliminate people from having to leave their homes.
  • In addition to playing great music, our musicians and media support have also become production and tech specialists. You should see the creative stunts they have had to pull off to bring you worship on Sunday!
  • Finally, our Children and Youth Ministry continue to find ways to engage the youngest in our church family. With our exclusive kids' worship service, bible trivia quiz, online groups, children's choir "dance" practice and all kinds of other inventive things.

Thank you for continuing to support the efforts of the church with your time, talent, and financial resources! I am honored to be a part of this church family and am so grateful for the ways God is working through us during this time. Praise be to God!

I hope to “see” you online on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday this week. Please do invite 2-3 people to join us as we celebrate the RESURRECTION! At the end of our story, there is always new life, and for that we can be thankful.

Blessings,

Pastor Karla

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