March 17 Updates

Dear Friends in Christ,
First things, first. God is with us. Christ will make all things new. The Holy Spirit is moving us to find new ways to be the church in this current pandemic reality. In this time of anxiety and uncertainty, the one thing we can absolutely rely on is the presence of God at all times. We are not alone. We are all in this together.
As you probably already know, our church building is closed. Please do not go there as we focus on deep and thorough cleaning. Our leadership has made provisions to keep watch on the building, gather the mail and deliveries, deposit offerings and pay bills. I give thanks for their resiliency and creativity to do these essential functions. One note: because we are not in the building, please do not leave voicemails. At the end of this email are the emails and cell phones of our staff. We are available — please contact us directly!
We are experimenting with what it looks like to be community in ways that do not involve our physical presence together. At this moment, the best tools we have are the phone, emails and the church’s facebook page. Instructions will be forthcoming about how to get an account on facebook and connect to our community. Next week, we will venture into a new platform, ZOOM, where we can use land lines, cell phones and computers to host groups that can talk freely to one another. (One thing at a time… that’s next week’s project!) We can look forward to interactive bible studies and prayer groups — and other things not yet imagined. Right now, Council, Childcare Board, and the staff are meeting via Zoom and it is going well (even with the often comical and unexpected presence of pets, children and other household realities!) 
WORSHIP on Facebook LIVE:
Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.– Holden Evening Prayer (see the attached worship resource to follow along at home)
Sundays at 9:30 a.m. – Sunday worship (We will email worship info ahead of time so you can follow along with music, scripture, etc.)
CHATS on Facebook LIVE:
Join us for “Facebook LIVE” offerings by our staff and leaders each weekday at 11:30 a.m. You can watch and comment in real time — or come to the page later and watch the recorded video. At this time, the tentative schedule is this:
Mondays: Live CHAT with Pastor Jenn – updates, concerns, ideas, etc.
Tuesdays: Live CHILDREN’S CHAT – songs, prayer and conversation aimed at children
Wednesdays: Live BIBLE CHAT
Thursdays: Live MUSIC CHAT with Drew
Fridays: TBD – maybe more children’s time with Deacon Deb
Things are changing quickly and we are trying to get the word out as we can about opportunities to serve. A quick idea list:
– PRAY the prayer list and the directory; pray for healthcare workers and those who are losing their jobs in this crisis; pray for families with children and the elderly; pray for everyone!
– FIND your neighbors in the directory and call to check in — especially those who do not have email.
– REACH out to Deacon Deb if you are available to make deliveries/pick up items at the store for our vulnerable members. 
– WRITE CARDS/NOTES for shut ins and elderly folks who are isolated. Contact Deacon Deb for addresses (or just look in your directory!)
– DONATE food, gift cards and funds to Pennridge FISH. 
– SEND IN YOUR OFFERING to the church to keep our ministries going in this time. You can mail them to the church or sign up for electronic giving through your bank or Simply Giving. Ask us how if you need to!
We will be in touch via email and facebook. Please stay connected to let us know of needs we can respond to as a community or to share ideas for ministry in this time. While our building is closed, we are still loved by God and called to care for one another. We are called to accompany one another as we grieve the loss of “normal” life, adjust to major life changes and weather the consequences of this virus. The actions we are taking to stay away from one another are signs of love and care for the most vulnerable in our midst. 
The Rev. Jennifer L. Phelps, D.Min.
Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
19 S. 5th Street
Perkasie, PA 18944

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