Updated: Mar 28
Dear friends, I write to let you know that we are aware of the precautions being taken all around us in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Our Bishop has stated that "it is in the best interest of our communities to suspend worship services and other large gatherin
gs until the end of the month." Also, the Dekalb County School District is closed until further notice starting Monday, March 16.
Therefore, we will not have worship, programming, or any gatherings (to include outside groups) for the rest of March, starting Sunday, March 15th. This includes Sunday school, small groups, the BBQ, and Wednesday Night Supper. We are already working on ways to produce virtual worship and small group opportunities, so please stay tuned for more information on how to continue to participate in worship and spiritual growth opportunities. The North Georgia Conference has suggested several ways to continue to stay connected to the church and each other:
Pray for the health of friends and strangers alike. Pray against the spirit of fear. Pray that God would use this season to deepen your dependence upon and obedience to God, your delight in God’s presence, and your appreciation for small blessings. Pray for our church. Pray for our mission. For your kids, your neighbor’s kids, and for the village raising them. Especially if schools are closed. Pray for the vulnerable: the elderly, the infirm, those undergoing cancer treatments, and others with compromised immune systems: the food unstable, the housing unstable, those with limited access to clean drinking water, let alone hand washing supplies. Pray for those serving on the front lines of illness and disaster response including medical professionals, civil servants, caregivers, and custodial staff. And then pray again: pray for your own courageous faith in uncertain times.
Practice faithful stewardship. There are several ways to continue to give to Embry Hills even when we cannot be together, including online giving through the website (www.embryhillsumc.org/give), text to give (text ehumcgive to 73256 with the amount), mailing your check, or sending it through your bank. If you have any questions about your giving, contact Lori Cora at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help with your method of giving, contact the office at email@example.com.
Read Luke 12. In this passage, Jesus directly addresses finding that balance between preparedness and worry. He warns against leaning too far into worry that you begin hoarding goods out of fear. Take a look at the supplies you have collected. Then ask yourself: what does this say about the amount of control fear has over me right now? Consider, how could you conquer fear by practicing generosity? Who around you could benefit from your preparedness? Have your local schools, nursing homes, shelters, clinics, the church, etc. asked for donations of hand soaps and sanitizers? You might consider making a donation.
DUE TO THE TIME SENSITIVITY OF THIS INFORMATION, IF YOU KNOW OTHERS IN THE CONGREGATION AND COMMUNITY WHO DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS, PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH THEM. The church staff will be working remotely and will regularly check email and voicemail. If you have a pastoral care emergency, call the church and dial 787 when the answering service picks up. We will continue to stay in touch with you when we have new information to share. Peace,
Rev. Susan Allen Grady