Responding To Pandemic
IMPORTANT UPDATE: March25, 2020
Dear St. Paul UCC Family and Friends,
Blessings to each of you as we continue on our Lenten journeys during these unprecedented times. With the institution of Governor Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order, we have decided to officially close the church office. Likewise, we will continue to refrain from holding in-person worship services until further notice.
While there is no true substitute for meeting in person, the worship team and other volunteers will continue to make virtual worship experiences available to you for as long as this wilderness season lasts. You are encouraged to visit our website, www.stpaulucc.com, on a weekly basis to read updated church news and find the weekly worship services. We are also frequently posting devotional materials on Facebook. If you have family members who are less tech-savvy, consider helping them learn how to access these materials. We want to continue to meet the spiritual needs of every member of our congregation.
Even though the church doors are closed for the time being, the church staff are all still working and will continue to do so. Staff are able to work remotely from home and will be checking phone messages on a daily basis.
If you or a family member has any need during this time, do not hesitate to let us know. Church staff and volunteers are able to run errands for those who need to remain in their homes. If you need groceries or prescriptions, or have need of some other errand, please call Pastor Becky on her cell phone (567-356-6773) to let her know. There are those in the church who will gladly run these errands for you. Additionally, we have begun a weekly meal delivery program, with meals delivered on Tuesday evenings. If you would like to be part of this program, please contact Pastor Becky or any other member of the office staff.
We look forward to the day when we can return to worship together on Sunday mornings. Until then, let us hold one another in prayer, knowing that the love of God fills the space between us. Stay safe, everyone, and may Christ’s Peace be with you all.
VIRTUAL WORSHIP IS COMING!!!
Pastor Becky, the Elders, and the Worship Team are planning on making a recorded worship experience available for you sometime tomorrow (3/15) via YouTube. A link should be available on Facebook and the church website sometime tomorrow. We’ll be just a click away!
Dear St. Paul UCC Family and Friends,
We write to you today in the name of Jesus Christ to share our church’s current response to the growing concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Body of Christ, we have a responsibility to one another and to the community around us to do all that we can to keep one another, especially the most vulnerable among us, healthy and safe.
With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel in-person worship services at St. Paul UCC, Wapakoneta for the remainder of the month of March. Know that this decision was not made lightly. It grieves us whenever we are unable to gather together as the people of God. Our current decision was made in accordance with a recommendation from the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ and in consultation with local health professionals.
We have also cancelled all other church-sponsored events and programs for the remainder of the month, including FEAST, youth groups, Chancel and Bell Choir rehearsals, Bible study, and small group meetings. Midweek community Lenten services and other special events (Girl Scout Week, FEAST Lock-in, and the upcoming Memorial Tea) have also been cancelled or postponed. At this time, outside groups who use our facility for classes or meetings are free to act at their own discretion.
So we now face a question that God’s people have asked many times before through the ages—“How do we remain God’s people when we are unable to be together in our sacred space?” Remember that we are still the Church, whether gathered or scattered, and that God fills the space between us.
In the coming days, Pastor Becky, the St. Paul UCC elders, and our music staff will be exploring ways to try to make some sort of “virtual” worship experience available to you through Facebook, our website, or some other medium. Be looking for updates, especially on the church Facebook page: St Paul UCC Wapakoneta.
If you are concerned about keeping up with your regular Faith Promise pledge, offerings can be mailed or dropped off at the church office, or may be made through our online giving portal on our website: www.stpaulucc.com.
In the meantime, know that the church office will remain open, and the staff will be as available as possible. Pastor Becky will gladly meet with you for private prayer or to address any pastoral care concerns that may arise. You are encouraged to come to the church during the week, as the sanctuary will be available for meditation and prayer.
Our namesake, the Apostle Paul identifies the fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Now, more than ever, let us commit ourselves to be a people who embody these things, remembering that God is present with us in every situation and will surely see us through these uncertain and difficult days.
Peace and blessings to you all,
Rev. Becky Sunday, Pastor
Mark Vaughn, Council President
Cindy Preston, Council Vice President