To: Members and Friends of East Granby Congregational Church

Date: March 13, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

 

Grace and peace to you from our church’s leadership, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

This email is to let you know that Dave Harrold (our Moderator) and Pam Turner (our Vice Moderator), and Pastor Denise met last night to discuss the church’s response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19).   Below is the information regarding the decisions we have made in the interest of the health and safety of our congregation, staff, and community.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the church facilities for a minimum of 2 weeks, and until further notice, beginning tomorrow, Saturday, 3/14 at 12:00 Noon.  We will NOT hold public worship on 3/15 or 3/22.  We will be re-assessing this situation during these 2 weeks, and continuing to make decisions for the good of our congregation and community.  We will continue to be in communication with you during this time.

 

We are aware that it is only just over 3 weeks until Palm Sunday, and then Holy Week and Easter.  We know that there is a lot of advance planning, rehearsals, etc. that typically occurs prior to that period.  We will be evaluating this over the next week or two, and making decisions about how to proceed, regarding worship services.

 

Beginning tomorrow at Noon, and for the next two weeks, there will be no meetings, activities, rehearsals, or gatherings of outside groups that utilize our facilities, held at our church.  We are taking actions to make everyone involved aware of this.  The Pre-school will also be closed until further notice.  We are postponing New Member Sunday from March 29th to a future date, to be determined.  We have been, and will continue to be in communication with Friend to Friend Directors, and they will facilitate plans to continue to provide food to those in our community who rely on our Food Pantry, in a way that keeps everyone as safe as possible.

 

We will not be hosting any Potlucks, Easter Egg Hunts, Pancake Breakfasts, etc. until further notice, and through at least Easter Sunday, even if the church is re-opened.

 

The church office will be closed for the next two weeks, and until further notice.  Janet May, our Administrative Assistant, will be working from home during this time, and she will be calling in to get the messages off the church answering machine, and responding to them each day.  She will also have access to our church email account, and will be managing that as well.  She can be reached via her cell phone at 860-392-9417, if necessary, during her usual work hours of 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Monday thru Friday.

 

Dave Harrold, Pam Turner, and Pastor Denise will continue to be available to you, and to the congregation and community during this time.  We do not want you to hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions, or concerns.  Dave’s home # is 860-653-2677.  His cell # is 860-264-7068.  Pam’s home # is 860-658-6901.  Her cell # is 413-386-6038.  Their email addresses are davedah16@outlook.com and mommiopat@gmail.com 

 

Pastor Denise’s cell phone # is 860-471-7727.  She is scheduled to be on vacation from March 16-22, and we are trying to do everything we can to preserve her time off. She does want to be notified of any Pastoral emergencies, including hospitalizations or deaths, and she will be responsive to them.  She is also keenly aware of the Pastoral needs of people who may be anxious, or in distress during this time, as well as those who may become ill.

 

Here’s how you can help!!

In times like this, it can be easy for people to feel isolated, disconnected and alone.  In uncertain times, when schedules and routines are upended, it can be easier for some of our friends to become anxious or afraid.  

 

We would like to invite you to be in closer contact with members of our church family via telephone, email, and notes or cards via snail mail, during this important time.  Pam Turner will be facilitating our efforts to maintain contact with our congregation members and friends.  If you would be able and willing to contact one of two church members every couple of days, for the next couple of weeks, to check on their welfare, and to just be an encouragement to them, please email Pam Turner at mommiopat@gmail.com.  Who knows!! Perhaps, you’ll even make a new friend!

 

If you know already who you would like to be in contact with, you can let Pam know the names of the those people via email, or she can suggest one or two people who would appreciate your phone calls and care, and she will provide you their contact information.  If you become aware that any of our members or friends are in need of additional support or care, you can let Pam know, and we will be responsive.  

 

We have no reason to believe at this time, that there is any evidence of the Coronavirus in our facility, but we will be taking prudent measures to sanitize the facility before we re-open the church.

 

Please know that our first concern is the health and safety of our staff, and our congregation.  We are also concerned that we all stay connected to one another, and to our faith in God, during this complicated time.  If there is anything that we haven’t communicated to you in this email, or that we don’t communicate to you in future contacts, which you feel warrants our attention, please don’t hesitate to let us know.  

 

We are confident that, as a church family, we will emerge from this time closer, stronger, and even more sure of God’s presence, love, and providence.

 

In God’s grace,

 

Dave Harrold, Moderator

Pam Turner, Vice Moderator

Rev. Denise Terry, Senior Pastor