General NewsWorship

Coronavirus Related Changes at First Pres: Live Stream Worship Service, Sundays at 10am.

By March 13, 2020April 5th, 2020No Comments
When God’s people were in exile, they wondered how they were to live in this strange land. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord told his people, “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare, you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)

In this moment of public health crisis, it is even more important that our church community does everything we can to seek the welfare of our surrounding community. Below are some steps the church is taking, as well as a few encouragements for us all.

  • The CDC tells us that those who are higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 are older adults and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. If you are in the most at-risk group, please consider staying home from most everything, including church activities.
  • On Thursday evening, Illinois Governor Pritzker issued guidance encouraging gatherings of 250 or more people to be postponed in order to slow the spread of the virus in the state. In keeping with the spirit of this request, First Presbyterian will not physically assemble on Sunday.
  • On Sundays, until further notice, there will be one worship service at 10:00 available via live stream on the web.
  • Please join us for a time of community prayer, a continuation of the winter sermon series and the opportunity to participate in worship from your home by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresGE/
You should be able to stream worship through this link whether or not you have a Facebook account, but if you are a Facebook user, you can chat with others who are also steaming on Sunday, just like you would in the Gathering Place after worship. (I don’t think there’s a way to get donut holes to you through the web though!)
  • We will be doing our best this Sunday and going forward to create worship experiences that are well-suited to a streaming experience. Let us know how you find the experience and what could be improved.
  • We are not cancelling church; you are the church! This is actually a tremendously important time for the church to find new and creative ways to be the church together for the benefit of the world. I am excited about how God will lead us in this calling.
  • If you need help during this time, let your church know. Whether it is with groceries, getting medical attention, or other odds and ends related to self-quarantining, please let others assist you.
  • Please reach out to those you know who are elderly or more isolated during these days. Checking in by phone or text to make sure those around you have what they need during this time is super important.
  • Stop and pray throughout the day for those in need, for healthcare workers, for our nation’s leaders, and for God’s mercy to be evident in this challenge.
  • Don’t panic (or panic-buy items). It seems to me that part of seeking the welfare of the city in which we live is doing our best to help others remain calm and rational, making sure we are not hoarding resources, and being generous with what has been entrusted to us for the mutual good of all. Even as we practice “social distancing” we want to be moving relationally closer to one another and those in our community through love and service.
  • I’ve adjusted my sabbatical timing in order to be present with the staff and congregation in this extraordinary time. I’m looking forward to connecting with you again and have missed you these past eight weeks. The time away has been productive, refreshing, and a great gift. I feel bad that I won’t be able to shake your hand or give you a hug when I see you!
Through prayer, thoughtful responses, and modified lifestyles, let us all work together to make a positive impact upon the challenges being faced by our community and those around the globe.
Chris Griggs, Senior Pastor