March 17, 2020
Dear Grace Church Family,
Much has transpired since our update last Friday on the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we thought it was of utmost necessity to send you this update today.
Our staff met this morning to discuss how we would navigate these uncharted waters moving forward. Again, I want to assure you that all the decisions we are making are not based on fear, but rather on being responsible members of our community and out of a concern to care for our church family, especially those most vulnerable at this time. Here are some of our decisions:
1. All events (big and small) are now canceled through the month of March. We will be assessing the situation next week to determine how we will proceed as we enter the month of April. As you know, the government’s guidance for us has been changing daily. Please pray for our government leaders at all levels for the wisdom and the courage to make the right, even if difficult, decisions which must be made.
2. We will continue to do a live-stream event on Sunday mornings in a similar format as last Sunday. The feedback from both those inside and outside our church family has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks to many of you who contacted us! Much appreciated! You can watch the livestream on boxcast, facebook, or the church website. If you watch on facebook, you can comment prayer requests live!
3. We are also considering some additional brief videos as well to send your way during the week. I believe keeping “face time” alive and well is important during this trying and uncertain time. In addition, Charlie Hirschy is compiling a list of resources to give to parents for at home worship and how we can best love our neighbors over this period of time (be on the lookout for this).
4. All staff are being encouraged to work remotely as much as possible. At present, we will be keeping a skeleton staff to keep the office up and running during regular office hours.
5. Of course, since we missed last Sunday’s services (and will be missing the next several the way things appear) we are concerned for our church finances. Although many give through automatic giving, online or text giving, the majority of our giving comes through the offering received on Sunday mornings. So even though we are not meeting at present, we still have utility bills to pay. We also have staff wages to cover and mission commitments to keep. And numerous other expenses to keep our ministry moving forward at this time. The good news is that even though we are not meeting, you can still continue to invest in our ministry here at Grace as we seek to continue fulfill our mission of reaching and equipping people of all generations to love God, love others, and address our world’s need of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Below you will find the various ways you can continue to give.
Ways to Give to Grace Church
1. Mail cash or a check
2. Give a one-time or recurring gift online
3. Text to give at (717) 619-8833
6. Realizing in addition to our church facing a financial “hard time,” we realize that some of our families will be experiencing this as well. Please do not hesitate to contact me if this is true of you or someone you know. We do have some funds which can help lighten the load for those in financial need.
7. With our onsite Easter services in jeopardy, we have decided to refund all of those who have given money to buy Easter flowers. If you have any questions about this, please contact Shannon Heverin or call 717-464-2782.
8. If you or someone you know is in need of a grocery run, a medication pickup, etc., please contact Shannon Heverin, our Office Manager or Charlie Hirschy, our Community Outreach Pastor.
9. Finally, if you have any questions about a specific area of our ministry, please contact the appropriate staff or ministry team leader.
Be assured, that God is still on his throne and is in control of this situation. We can trust him. Let’s continue to ask for his mercy. And let’s pray for one another that we might be proactive in reaching out to our neighbors around us. Let’s keep on keeping on as we love others in Jesus’ name!