Pastors’ Message– Summer 2020

Are we there yet? How many of us have been on either the speaking and/or the listening end of this question, especially on long trips and summer vacations? Are we there yet? These words communicate our excitement and impatience at reaching our destination, whether it’s a quiet getaway, a family reunion, a long- awaited adventure, or even just a rest stop along the way.

When are we going to open the church? When can we have worship together again? These questions are a lot like “Are we there yet?” because they communicate our impatience and weariness with our current situation of separation and physical distancing. They also communicate how much we are looking forward to being able to gather together again in the sanctuary for worship, the fellowship hall for coffee, the classrooms for Bible study and Sunday School, the Pantry and mission projects. These questions reveal how much we miss each other and the friendship and fellowship we share together.

Please know that we hear you, and we miss you too! We can’t wait to be back together again, and we are doing everything we can to figure how to do that in the safest and most faithful way possible.

The Session has appointed a Re-Opening Team (Nancy Caswell, Alice Chin, Lynn Edling, Bill Herman, Jeff Kephart, Tami & Chip) that has been carefully sifting through lots of information, guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, New York state, and the Presbytery. We are hoping to present a plan to Session in early August, so that we can start planning for the fall. In the midst of this ever-evolving situation, our priorities remain the health and safety of our staff, our membership and everyone who uses our facility.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; …a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” In this time of corona- virus, we might add, “There is a time to gather together and a time to stay apart; a time to risk and a time to protect; a time to discern the safest way forward and a time to implement the plan.”

In the meantime, we will continue to find creative ways to gather and connect with each other online. We are so very grateful to all of you for your prayers and patience, your ongoing support and commitment to our mission and ministry together. Throughout this newsletter, there are many opportunities for you to engage your faith and our church family in the midst of this summer season of uncertainty.

As we journey together, may we know God’s presence and peace all along the way.

“See” you in church, Tami & Chip