To Our Church Family:
Over the past several weeks, many of us have faced difficult decisions related to the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Events have been cancelled, travel plans have been disrupted, businesses have asked employees to work from home and schools have been closed. The COVID-19 situation is literally changing by the hour. We know from watching events unfold in other countries and regions that this illness can spread rapidly. We also know that social distancing – limiting gatherings of people – can help to slow the spread of COVID-19. After discussions with medical professionals in the community, and communications from other churches in the Madison area, Session has voted to take the following measures in an effort to help safeguard the health and safety of our church family, staff and surrounding communities:
Beginning this Sunday, March 15, and until further notice, the Session is suspending ALL gatherings that bring people into close contact in the life of our church, including Sunday worship.
To confirm, we will not be gathering for worship on Sunday mornings until further notice. Please do not come to the church on Sunday morning.
We are working on plans to distribute a Sunday morning message online, which members of our church familycan watch in the comfort of their own homes. We hope to have the first message available for you this Sunday afternoon. You will be able to access the video from the homepage on our website (www.myfpc.org). This will feel quite different from our regular Sunday mornings, and we understand that. However, we are grateful that today’s technology can help us hear the word of God and provide some spiritual fulfillment. Please be aware that delivering God’s message in this way may be our only option in the foreseeable future. We will keep you posted!
These are the implications for other group events or gatherings planned in the short term:
- The Wednesday evening Lenten dinners and children’s choirs are suspended until further notice.
- All musical practices and rehearsals are suspended until further notice.
- We will not have Kingdom Kids, Sunday school or Cocoa and Conversation classes until further notice.
- Wednesday night meetings of Graceland will be suspended until further notice.
- New Horizons and Light Team meetings will be suspended until further notice.
If you are part of a group that meets regularly and is not mentioned above, please contact the Elder responsible for that group to determine your options.
Please know that none of these decisions has been made lightly. Session feels a great responsibility to do our part to protect the health and safety of our entire church family, particularly those who are most vulnerable due to age or underlying health concerns. We recognize that taking these measures will feel uncomfortable and may cause a rising anxiety in our church family and in our community. At times like this, remember God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1
We will do our best to keep the congregation updated as the situation changes. Please go to www.myfpc.org for the latest updates.
As a reminder, our Deacons, our Stephen Ministers and our pastors remain available for pastoral care
We encourage you to lean on God and on your faith as we navigate these challenging and changing circumstances. Please pray for patients who have been diagnosed with the virus, and for their families and communities. Pray for the dedicated medical professionals who are facing overwhelming challenges. Pray for the millions of people whose businesses and livelihoods are threatened by this global turn of events. Pray that the measures we are enacting here at FPC will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Waunakee and surrounding areas. Support one another and check in with each other through phone calls, e-mails and notes to ensure that no-one in our flock feels anxious or isolated. With patience, understanding and compassion, we are confident that our church family will emerge from this unusual situation stronger than ever, Living Faith Together.
Pastor Kirk Morledge
Pastor Ben Ehrets
Harry Argue, Stewardship Elder
RJ Binau, Building & Grounds Elder
Doug Brown, Personnel Elder
Kate Dietry, Fellowship Elder
John Englehardt, Student Ministry Elder
Dianne Larson, Clerk of Session
Glenn Myers, Mission Elder
Wes Ray, New Member Outreach Elder
Alan Roberts, Finance Elder
Melissa Schall, Children’s Ministry Elder
Liz Weller, Worship & Music Elder
Peter Zielski, Adult Spiritual Nurture Elder