Dear Seaside Family,
We continue to adjust in this difficult time. I am amazed at the participation and engagement demonstrated by the staff and congregation of this church. It just continues to prove what I have heard repeated since I arrived on scene here several months ago. “This is an amazing congregation.” Thank you for your faithfulness and your flexibility as we continue our sensitivity to the threat this virus poses.
Yesterday our Bishop sent out another email which affects our initial projection for getting back in the church for worship. In part, this is what she stated: “This morning, I was in zoom conferences with faith leaders, public health professionals and several episcopal colleagues. In addition, with you, I received the directive of Governor Cooper for schools to remain closed through mid-May. I urge you to continue the compassionate practice of not gathering for worship, funerals, weddings, studies, and other groups for the next two months.” So, as it now stands, we have shifted our plans to worshipping together and resuming our “normal” services on May 17. This does not mean that the church is “out of business.” The building is just closed.
Over the course of the remaining weeks there are several things that we will be doing to keep ourselves in touch as a congregation.
Lenten Disciplines: I believe that it is God’s Prevenient Grace that has placed the Lenten Disciplines in our lives to aid us in this time that we are apart. By continuing to read the scriptures, pray for one another, write letters and make the phone calls, we continue to experience the fellowship we enjoy as the Body of Christ.
On-line Worship Services: Hopefully you have been able to enjoy and participate in the on-line video services that we have been sharing on youtube and Facebook. Granted, these are pre- recorded but Stefanie and Meg have worked very hard to be sensitive to the normal worship times to which we are accustomed. You will receive an email early on Sunday morning and you can participate in worship by viewing it on Facebook. In addition to the worship services, we will be placing certain meditational moments on-line as well.
Holy Week & Easter: If matters continue as it presently appears, we will not be able to join together during Holy Week or Easter at the church as we would prefer. Please rest assured that we are exploring the best possible plan we can utilize so that we can worship during this important time in our life of faith. Congregational Care: Our Congregational Care Team has continued our weekly meetings via Zoom video conferencing. There are many people who have stepped up to make phone calls regarding health and wellness for those who are alone and vulnerable. While these persons are valuable and their willingness to serve is very much appreciated, it is important to remember that each of us, lay and clergy alike, are part of the congregational care of this congregation. Please take the initiative to check on one another and let Carol Sigafoos (585-749-2576) know if there are special needs that you discover. One excellent way to check on one another is by calling our prayer partners that we received on the second Sunday of Lent.
Committee Meetings & Classes: We continue to explore video conferencing so that we can once again establish our routine for committee meetings and classes. Continue our Faithfulness in Giving: Because of your financial support Seaside is able to:
· Continue our ministries of congregational care, reaching out to those in our family of faith who are in need of connection and care during this unique time.
· Support Seaside’s staff who continue with the daily operations of the church, being creative in keeping Seaside connected, and work toward the day we worship together in person. To assist you in this endeavor, especially since we are in a season of remote worship, you may mail your offering to the church at 1300 Seaside Road, SW, Sunset Beach, NC 28468 or set up on-line giving or automatic withdrawal by contacting Seaside’s Financial Secretary, Wayne Matthews
(910-575-4267). Wayne continues to monitor Seaside’s financial health.
Once again, thank you for your faithfulness. Please continue to pray for our church, our leaders, those who are affected by this virus and one another in the hopes that this will soon pass and we can gather in person.
Still in One Peace,