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Canton Presbyterian's response to the coronavirus (Covid-19), sent to the congregation Thursday, March 14
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’” – Jesus, Matthew 22:37-40
How do we love our neighbors during a pandemic?
We keep them healthy.
This is the conclusion of a difficult conversation among our session and staff. Along with many other churches in Canton and western NC, we are moving all our worship services and meetings online and through the mail for the next two weeks. This means we will not meet in person on Sunday mornings for worship or faith development. The next Sunday we plan to gather at the church will be March 29th.
During these next two weeks, we will be creative in how we live our mission. Worship resources, including Esta's sermons, will be online. We will provide instructions for accessing those, if anyone needs help. If you prefer, we can mail everything to you. We will also be sending more information on how you can continue to support the ministry of the church financially.
As disciples, each of us can stay in close contact with our neighbors. Pray. Call. Text. Skype. FaceTime. Cook for each other. Whatever works, whatever we need, we will care for each other, especially those who are most vulnerable and isolated.
Canton’s Missional Network is thinking about ways to help children in the (hopefully unlikely) event schools close. I know many of us are concerned about children who do not reliably get meals at home. I will keep you posted on how we can help them.
With so many careful precautions being taken by so many people, we pray that we will not see the number of cases here that other regions are seeing. If that is the case, then our efforts will have succeeded.
As Christians, we trust God, we listen to and learn from scientists, we care for each other, and we plan for the long term.
“I don’t like it. But I agree it’s necessary.” – Bill Rolland
Bill speaks for me too, and, I’m guessing, for most of us. May God bless us in our turmoil, our questions, our careful planning, our love for God, and our love for each other.
Grace and peace,
For more information, read this article about what epidemiologists call “flattening the curve,” which shows how staying home and cancelling events slows the spread of a virus such that the health care system isn’t overloaded. This is something that younger and healthy people also do for the sake of more vulnerable groups in our community and beyond.