Pastoral Letter, 3/18/20

Dear Church of the Incarnation,

 

May grace and peace be multiplied to you!

 

We seek the glory of God and the good of the city. This has always been our vision. We do this by being a worshiping community that seeks to grow into the image of Jesus Christ and to proclaim him in word and deed. It is more important now than ever that we worship and pray together corporately, and that we connect with and support one another as much as we are able. 

 

Worship: We remain steadfast in our commitment to corporate worship and the work of the church to proclaim the gospel and be a source of encouragement and hope, especially in times of uncertainty. It was great being online together on Sunday, and we will be holding another livestream worship service this Sunday at 10am. (The front page of our website will have a link to the service and to a worship guide.) We’ll be rolling out other opportunities to worship and serve one another in the days ahead. Stay tuned for more details.

 

Small Groups: If you are not in a small group, please click here to find the small group closest to you and join that group. We strongly encourage our Small Groups to connect each week via Google Hangouts or Zoom or some other platform. (Whoever is technologically “savvy” in your small group can help all of the other folks in the group to learn how to do this.) Our small groups are especially important at this time; they are the main way we care for one another and remain connected to one another. We ask that our small group leaders be especially attentive to those under your care in the coming weeks. We recommend reaching out every few days by text, email, or phone. Reach out daily to those in your group who live alone, are sick or especially vulnerable and at-risk, or are experiencing heightened anxiety.  And please continue to reach out to our pastors for support as you have needs and care for others. In addition to reaching out to pastors directly, you can always reach us at church@theincarnation.org.

 

Pastors: The clergy remain available for meetings, although we will most likely be moving these meetings to phone or video calls. This includes membership interviews, which can be scheduled by emailing Beth Nealon, our parish administrative assistant (parishadmin@theincarnation.org).

 

Connecting: Please make sure your information is up-to-date in our church directory. (If you haven’t uploaded a picture, now is a great time to do that!) We use a system called “Breeze.” It is on our website under the “Contact” tab and is labeled “Directory.” Click here. Please enter your information and also download the app to your phone or computer so that you can have access to one another. If you have difficulty with this, please contact Beth Nealon, our parish administrative assistant (parishadmin@theincarnation.org). She will help you gain access.

 


Offices: Our church offices are closed, and the staff is working from their homes. We plan to minister to and pastor everyone who needs spiritual guidance, advice, and encouragement in this unique time. If you feel extra stress or anxiety then please let us know and we will help in any way we can.


 

Building: Our church building will be shut down for the next few weeks. If you have any questions about building use, or if you have previously reserved the building, please contact the church office.

 

If you meet with someone in person, please be sure to avoid physical contact and maintain physical distance (six feet is recommended), wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, use hand sanitizer, remove shoes at the door, do not share food or drinks, and cover your mouth with your elbow if you cough or sneeze. If you are sick with fever or have symptoms of sickness, please stay home.

 

More Information: While more information is coming out that any of us can read, I have found these two items to be particularly helpful: (1) An interview with Francis Collins who is a man of deep Christian faith and the director of the NIH. He offers a perspective of serious and sober realism along with real Christian hope. (2) WHSV update with essential information.

 

I am praying for you and for us all. I am trusting that as God used Paul’s imprisonment to advance the gospel (Philippians 1:12–14), He will likewise use the evil and madness of the Coronavirus to advance His kingdom in us and among us. Please join me in praying for this.

 


Grace and peace,

Aubrey