To the Members and Friends of East Whittier Presbyterian Church,
As I begin this, I want to say… Actually, I’m not sure what word to use. “Thanks” is a part of it. “Congratulations” too. And “Honor.” The point is this: You have been remarkably faithful. You’ve been faithfully participating in worship through our YouTube videos. You’ve been faithful in remaining connected one to another. You’ve been faithful in giving. You’ve been faithful on prayer. You have been amazing. You have been wonderful. What we are doing together is historic, and it is God working in and among you that is making it happen, and I am so privileged to be a part of it.
Now, at various levels of government, there is encouragement to end Distancing Orders and to open the churches again. And with that, we are getting calls and questions about when we might do that.
With that said, the Novel Coronavirus is still out there. It has now killed well over 110,000 Americans, and many, even of those who’ve survived, have been left with lasting impact such as stroke damage, heart damage, and scarring in the lungs. And even now, we’re still averaging, in America, more than 1,000 deaths each day.
While there is still very good reason to hope for effective treatments and an effective vaccine, the development of such treatments takes time. And we aren’t likely to see any of these treatments until at least the last part of this year and more likely into the Spring of next year.
We didn’t put our worship gatherings in the sanctuary on hiatus because any government official told us to do so. We freely chose to do so, out of love for one another and for those most vulnerable among us, because we believed that God would want us to care for one another in that way. We did so with prayer, with tears, and with much open conversation. And we believe that opening must also look to health and safety as our first concern.
Our plan right now is to try to hold a single worship service in our Sanctuary at the regular time (10:30 AM) on June 21. We would have a number of strict rules as we do this. Afterwards, we’ll be able to talk about what we did right, what we did wrong, what worked, and what didn’t. We’ll be able to learn. Then, a few weeks later, we’ll try it again. Hopefully, later in the Summer, we’ll be able re-start on a more ongoing basis.
In between, we’ll continue to make our “Worship At Home” YouTube videos available at our website (ewpc.org). And even on those Sundays when we do have worship in the Sanctuary, the video of that service will be available later in that afternoon.
For our in-Sanctuary worship service on June 21, the rules will be as follows:
This all sounds crazy, and we all wish it didn’t have to be this way. But for now, it does. It isn’t just that we don’t want to be on the news as the latest “super-spreader” event. It’s that we love you, and we can’t bear to lose a single one. And we will continue to flex and adjust and adapt this plan as circumstances dictate or allow.
Again, I want to thank and commend you for your faithfulness. You are and have been amazing. I hope that many of you will be able to make it, as we begin with a couple of “trial runs” for Covid-19 Safe Sanctuary Worship. It will be wonderful to worship together again. We hope to return to a more regular and consistent schedule before too long. And, in the meantime as well as in between our “trial runs”, please continue to join us for worship time though the website and our YouTube channel.
Rev. Jeff W. Rumble
Prayer is an important part of our lives as christians.
Please submit an online prayer request to let us know how we can pray for you.