Dear PCJH Family,
Our staff, elders, deacons, and mission teams have had several meetings this week and we want you to know what PCJH is doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read this blogpost thoroughly as I hope to unite us together in purpose as we seek to care for one another, our community, and our world.
In the midst of this crisis I have been reflecting on Philippians 2:1-4:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Read that again… let it sink in… reflect on it. These are important words for today.
May we truly be united in Christ during this time apart as we care for one another.
PCJH COVID-19 WEBSITE
We have developed a dedicated webpage at www.pcjh.org/covid-19-updates/ where you can go to find the latest updates from PCJH, instructions on how to join our live stream worship on Sundays, how you can find support for yourself, and how you can support others. We have also provided a local community resource list and informational links regarding health and travel. Please take some time to browse our COVID-19 response webpage as it is very thorough and comprehensive.
PCJH SPECIAL OFFERING
Starting today and for the next several weeks we will be taking up a special offering that will go to the PCJH COVID-19 Response Fund. To give go to www.pcjh.org/donate. These special gifts will go towards the following efforts:
- PCJH “Take-Out Thursdays” initiative to the community with the possibility of expanding this if needed. Starting this Thursday we will provide curbside take-out dinner to our community: a free, safe and delicious meal prepared by our professional chef, Christine Goodman, in our licensed commercial kitchen. We are also including with each meal an encouraging Scripture and invitation to join us in worship via live-stream.
- Deacon Ministry financial support for those who are in need, unemployed, etc.
- Financial support for PCJH employees who have lost wages due to the closure of some church programs.
- Contribute to One22’s local relief efforts in town.
- Other efforts that are yet to be determined.
Please also remember that PCJH is relying on your continued generosity towards our general operating budget so we can keep doing all the things we do in our community as the Body of Christ. Thank you!
SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER
- Please fill out our online request-for-assistance form on our PCJH COVID-19 webpage and/or our volunteer form so PCJH can help coordinate supporting one another.
- I encourage you to support one another in informal ways too. Don’t wait for the church to have some sort of program or initiative. Please take initiative yourself to reach out to members and friends and check-in with each other to see how you can support one another during this time apart. Be especially mindful of those who are vulnerable to the virus, those who live at Legacy Lodge or the Living Center, those with physical or mental health concerns, those who have lost work, those who live alone or are more isolated than others, those who are juggling childcare.
- The pastors and staff are available if you want to talk by phone or in person. Know that we are around and happy to connect with you to offer friendship and support during this time.
- Meet together in small groups if it is safe to do so, or meet together using video conferencing software like ZOOM or www.freeconferencecall.com
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
In addition to Take-Out Thursdays, there are some other ways in which PCJH is supporting our community during this time.
- We have partnered with Jackson Hole Food Rescue by giving them free use of PCJH’s commercial kitchen in order to prepare food for our community several days a week.
- We have offered our facility and grounds to the community for various needs. We will keep you posted on what transpires in the coming days and weeks.
- We are partnering with a few other churches in town to host an Ecumenical Live-Stream Worship Night featuring musicians and pastors from various local churches as a way for the Big “C” Church to come together during this time to encourage one another.
BE WISE AND CONSIDERATE
While the church office remains open for now, please DO NOT come to PCJH if you are experiencing flu like symptoms: cough and fever. Please DO NOT come to the church if you have recently traveled or returned from a virus hot spot. Please be wise and considerate in your interactions with others. Practice social distancing and good personal hygiene and hand-washing. We have ample soap and hand sanitizer in the building. We are doing everything we can to ensure PCJH is a safe place through thorough and consistent cleaning of the facility. Also, please be vigilant to avoid online scammers who will try to take advantage of this crisis (i.e. people claiming to be Pastor Ben and asking you to wire money or buy gift cards).
STAY “IN TOUCH”
Although we can’t physically touch one another, we can still stay in-touch. If you haven’t already signed up for our email distribution list, please do so now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so you can stay informed. You can also find us on Instagram (username: pc_jh) and Facebook as we have increased our social media presence during this time.
LIVE STREAM WORSHIP
Please join us for live stream worship every Sunday at 10:15am on our YouTube channel, “Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole”. There are instructions at our COVID-19 webpage to help get set up, step by step. It is really easy to do. We are making improvements each week and will keep you posted. I also invite you to check-in with us on our YouTube channel when you are logged in on Sunday morning so we can see who is worshipping together. It was super encouraging last Sunday to see all the various people commenting and sending in prayer requests. We had 55 live views and 241 views by Tuesday evening. Great job everyone!! Let’s keep worshipping together!
MY CHARGE TO YOU!
While everything has changed in our world in a flash, remember, God has not changed. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Also, our vision as a church hasn’t change. Our vision is to see lives being transformed in Jesus Christ. Our mission hasn’t changed either. Our mission is to be a community, rooted in Christ, reaching out in love. There is no better opportunity than today for us to fully embrace and live into this incredible vision and mission as Christ’s church. I believe the local church provides hope for the world. The church is still God’s best idea! Although we may not be able to go to church, we are called to be the church… the hands, the feet, the mind, the heart, the love of Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus’ words to us from John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”