March 27, 2020
Dear Celtic Cross Family and Friends,
I wanted to update you with important information regarding the church.
As you know, worship has been cancelled until at least April 12th. Sadly, I expect that to be extended. In the meantime, I have started posting a daily devotion to the church’s public Facebook Group (Celtic Cross Presbyterian Church).
In an attempt to keep us connected, we have started a private Facebook Group, (Warren’s Celtic Cross Family Group). This group is strictly for our church family so that we have a private place to share with one another. I imagine that, as more people join it, this will be a great place to share joys and concerns, much like we do on Sunday mornings. Beginning this Sunday, March 29th, those with Facebook can join me at our public group page for a time of worship at our regular service time. At the same time, I will also be experimenting with Zoom Video Conferencing during worship.
With Zoom technology, we can have church meetings and bible studies and see one another on the computer. People with the internet but without Facebook can watch the worship and I believe those without the internet can call in and listen.
If you don’t have Facebook or are interested in experimenting with the Zoom format during worship, send me an email so that I can send you an invitation in order to be included. We are also looking into posting the devotions and worship on Youtube, but aren’t quite there yet. If you have experience working with Facebook Live, Zoom or posting on Youtube, please let me or the office know.
Staff: Office Administrator and I are working from home. Pamela can be reached via email at email@example.com. Generally, she will be available to respond during her normal work hours: Tuesday -Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I will be available for church business, during the daytime: Monday-Thursday and, as always, 24/7 for pastoral emergencies (firstname.lastname@example.org or cellphone which is listed in the directory). During my work hours, please be aware that I may not be available due to virtual meetings, worship and daily prayer planning, and videotaping web content. We are monitoring church phone messages remotely.
Finances: Please see the Finance Committee update dated March 27, 2020, for finance information.
Session and Deacons: The Session and Deacons will be able to meet via video conferencing, using Zoom. To participate in a Zoom video conference, they will just need to click on a link in the email invitation for the meeting.
Several people in our congregation have been, or know someone that has been laid off. Others have had the necessary medical procedures postponed. From all reports though, people are doing ok in this vastly different world.
Mission: As you know, we had to cancel the warming center week at the church. The Mission Committee decided to make a donation to the Macomb C0unty Warming Center to help them address the immediate needs of the homeless in Macomb County during this crisis. Our food pantry has helped out a few people in need as well.
If you are able to help someone out with shopping or with other needs, or, if you need help, contact the office (with a voicemail or email). Of course, we can’t make any promises, but we will attempt to help where and when we can.
If you are or know of, a senior citizen in need of food, please let me know. The City of Warren is attempting to make sure all their senior citizens, in need of food, are taken care of. While this is for Warren, I imagine other cities are doing the same and will try to match people’s needs with resources.
Additional Items: Please be aware that, in less than two weeks, we have had to adjust to a new way of doing things. For me, this means learning a whole new way to do church. Many of these technologies are new and different to me too. There has been a learning curve and I am not perfect at it yet. I invite you to jump in and experience God and church in this new way. In doing so, it is a great opportunity to practice grace, patience, and a sense of humor as we learn together with these new ways of connecting and doing the work of the church.
Even as I look at utilizing new technologies, I recognize that not all of our people are on the internet. I am also looking at ways to care for them and keep their church connection strong. Because I have been focused on learning and working with the new technologies, this week Pamela reached out to our people without emails. The deacons and session are trying to connect with all our members as well.
What can you do? Check-in with your church friends and family, stay connected!
Let me know if you hear of concerns I should be aware of. Please join the private Facebook group and then don’t just be a “lurker”, but do your part to connect with your church family by commenting and posting. Remember the goal here is to be a safe place to take it all, including our concerns, questions, doubts, and fear.
We are looking at starting a newsletter again, just 1-2 pages to start, to help keep people connected (particularly those that exclusively use snail mail). If you have any thoughts for an article, write it up and send it to the office. Snail mail notices of major church communications will be sent to them as well.
As we think about the events of the world and in our community, remember that our God takes the very worst experiences of this world, transforms them and uses them for God’s good purposes.
May the peace of Christ be with you,