|Dear First Church Community,
This has been a trying time for our country and our community as we come to terms with the very sobering reality of a global pandemic in our midst. The COVID 19 or Coronavirus has swept through the world in a matter of weeks and has compelled all of us to rethink our normal behaviors and practices. I’m sure you have heard many news accounts and I hope you will follow CDC guidelines for your day to day activities. We had hoped that we would be able to maintain a modicum of normalcy with just making a few common-sense adjustments to our church activities and worship. Unfortunately, with new information and new recommendations from the SNECUCC (Southern New England Conference United Church of Christ) and the CDC, we have decided to suspend all church activities, including worship, for at least the next 2 weeks.
The prophet Isaiah promises that God will give us “a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.” (Isaiah 32:2). Sometimes it is necessary for us to shelter ourselves from the storm for the common good of our community.
What does this mean? From now, and for at least 2 weeks, we will offer worship exclusively online. Our groups, boards, committees, choirs – anything for which meets at First Church, will, henceforth, be conducted via Zoom, conference calls, or other digital platforms.
PRAYERS and Parish Caring
- Look to the First Church in Windsor Facebook page for live stream worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. It will be modified worship with a small group of staff and a few leaders.
- Audio recordings of the service will still be available on the website. Look for postings Sunday afternoon.
- We encourage you to continue your normal giving patterns, by sending in your pledges and offerings by mail or using our online donation option HERE.
CHURCH SCHOOL & CONFIRMATION
- Please email or call the pastors for personal prayer or to add your prayers to the prayer chain. Pastor Nicole email@example.com/(860) 990-2291 or Pastor Adrienne firstname.lastname@example.org /(480) 307-2115.
- April Michaud, Parish Caring Ministries Coordinator, will be working with the pastors to coordinate care for homebound and sick. Please feel free to contact her email@example.com/(860) 550-5904
- We are in the process of compiling a calling list to check in with those most vulnerable to this novel virus and/or to the mental health effects of a season like this. There will be opportunities for more people to be mobilized to help our most vulnerable members weather the storm at home. We are anticipating developing a team of people who would be willing to do grocery shopping, food delivery, and small errands for our vulnerable community members. Please watch for an email sign up or contact April Michaud.
The Christian Education team and Pastor Adrienne will be developing a plan to continue to engage young people with Faith Formation. Please watch emails as the plan is put into motion.
AUCTION MARCH 14 POSTPONED
Thank you to everyone who donated goods/services or bought tickets. We intend to reschedule the event and will share details when we have them. As you might imagine, there is a financial impact from postponing the event as we prepaid for catering and the venue. If able, we ask you to consider donating the cost of your tickets. Of course, if anyone would like an immediate refund or wants their donated items returned, please contact Scott Burghoff at 860-461-9870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUERTO RICO SERVICE TRIP POSTPONED
The Puerto Rico Service Trip March 22-29 has been postponed. Thankfully, JetBlue has offered a full ticket credit for the plane tickets, so we will be able to use the credit toward purchasing tickets later this year. We are tentatively planning for a fall trip. Because we did not receive a cash refund, we are not in the position of offering full refunds for the trip. If participants cannot attend the rescheduled trip, we will try to find new people to replace them. If this puts anyone in a difficult financial position, please contact Pastor Nicole and we will work something out.
If you have specific concerns or questions, the office will continue to be open as usual and the staff will be available. I pray for all of you as you navigate this difficult time in our country. With God’s help, we will continue to journey in the wilderness of Lent.
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Nicole, Senior Minister