March 14, 2020 – 3:00pm
Dear Church Family and Friends,
Out of an abundance of caution and a recommendation from our Bishop, church leaders and I have decided to suspend our worship services until further notice. This decision was very difficult and was made with great sadness. Being together in worship is a hallmark of our faith … God created us to be in community … and we need one another to live our call as disciples of Christ. Lord knows I need to see all of you on a regular basis for strength and encouragement, and I know many of you feel the same. However, the health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance at this time.
So what do we do in the meantime??
- I’m working on some ideas with our organist, Richard Byrd, to provide online opportunities for prayer and worship. I’ll email more about that as these things come to fruition.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and encouragement.
- Please don’t forget about giving financially to the church. Even though our worship and normal ministry activities may look different right now, we are still doing the work of Christ and need your financial support to make that happen. You can give online by clicking here or mail your offering to the church (500-40th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222).
- Check in on other church members through phone calls, texts, and emails. It is incredibly important that we stay connected to one another, especially to our elderly and immuno-compromised members and friends.
- Many ministries have been suspended indefinitely, including our Parents Day Out preschool and STAIR tutoring program. I am in conversation with key leaders of our food ministry programs through Avondale Samaritan Place (ASP) to determine how we can still provide food to the folks we regularly serve.
Although we can’t physically be together in the church sanctuary right now, we have to find sanctuary and solace in other places. One definition of sanctuary is “a place of refuge and protection.” Psalm 46 reminds us that God is our refuge and strength in the midst of life’s uncertainties, fears, and anxieties. During this time of social distancing and isolation, seek to draw strength (1) through deep breathing and prayer to God and (2) by connecting with others in creative and healthy online ways. I recently discovered a song that resonates with me in the tough times of life. I hope you find it meaningful to listen to during these days ahead. It’s called “Sanctuary” by Carrie Newcomer. Click here to listen online.
May you feel God’s deep and abiding peace within you.
Rev. Malinda Jowers Weaver