Dear PCJH Family and Friends,
The PCJH Session (Board of Elders) met this morning and we unanimously decided to suspend in-person worship this Sunday, March 15, at PCJH and into the coming weeks due to the COVID-19 world pandemic.
We encourage you to virtually gather together online through our PCJH YouTube channel (see detailed instructions below) and live stream our worship service at 10:15am MST or watch it at a later time. I will be giving a message tomorrow morning on 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 which are the Apostle Paul’s words of comfort and encouragement to the church in Corinth. God also has words of comfort and encouragement for us today in the midst of this global health concern.
I want you to know that the PCJH Session made this decision with calm prayerful prudence based on the ever-evolving situation of COVID-19 and the recommendations from the CDC and our local Teton County Health Department. We want to be proactive and do our part to help Jackson Hole respond to this virus so that we can safeguard and protect the most vulnerable (many who are in attendance at our worship services) and also to prevent an overload to our local healthcare system.
We did not make this decision out of fear, but instead we made this decision out of love. We made this decision out of love for our neighbors, those among us who are most vulnerable, and for our healthcare workers.
I would also like to say, it’s okay if you are a little fearful; this is an uncertain time. I think if we can extend to one another a little bit of grace in the midst of our fears it would do us all some good. Ultimately I pray that we would all hear Jesus’ words to us: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
My friends, this is a great opportunity for us to shine as the Body of Christ! May we love God and our neighbors well during this time of uncertainty, isolation and disruption. Here are a few things we can do during this time:
- Pray. Pray for those who are sick, for our leaders, healthcare workers, for those whose lives and livelihood are impacted the most, and for those who are anxious or frustrated. Also, please pray for our church as we respond.
- Be Wise. Follow all of the health protocols laid out by the CDC. If you haven’t read through this yet, please do so. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf
- Serve. We are already mobilizing our church leadership to rethink how we do ministry in this unique time so that we can be salt and light in our community and to one another. Perhaps you can help someone with groceries, fill up their car with gas, visit with someone who is anxious or depressed or lonely, or help assist someone who is quarantined.
- Give. Your continued generosity is so critical at this time. Our staff is continuing to minister and our mission partners are counting on our support. You can give online or mail a check. Instructions for both are here:
Status of other PCJH programs and ministries:
- PCJH Choir is cancelled for this Sunday. Stay turned for more details about rehearsals and Easter preparations.
- Wednesday Community Dinner has been cancelled and we will look into other options as to how to best serve our community through the use of our kitchen resources.
- Little Lambs Preschool, After School Adventures, and Music Academy have not yet been cancelled as we will be following the lead of Teton County School District for these three children’s educational programs. Stay tuned.
- Church office remains open for ministry planning and preparations. Please follow all CDC guidelines for determining if it is safe for you to come to PCJH.
- Wednesday night Pastor’s Study with Ben is cancelled.
- Fellowship Bowling Night this Friday is cancelled.
- Centro de Vida Cristiana services are cancelled.
Here are instructions on how to stream our online services on our PCJH YouTube Channel: Live streaming will begin at about 10:10am, with worship starting at 10:15am MST. Click here for PCJH’s YouTube page. Once we at the church have started the recording, you’ll see a video on our YouTube channel’s page with the title “Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole Live Stream.” Click on that, and you’re ready to worship! The Sunday service will be saved and available on our YouTube page, as well as placed on our website by Monday at noon.
Prayer for a Pandemic
by Cameron Bellm
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between their health and making the rent.
May we who have flexibility to care for our children when the schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the turmoil of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other
Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbor.