Greetings to our CBC family,
Jennifer and I left for Jamaica before there was much happening with COVID 19 and returned to what appeared like the ‘TWIGHT LIGHT ZONE’! Everyone in the airports wearing masks, some with very elaborate decorated ones, sterilizing any seats and arm rests before sitting, and landing in Philadelphia International Airport was a ghost town. And now in quarantine for two weeks we can only look at pictures of supermarkets with empty shelves or some masked people frantically searching isles. Yes, so much in our lives has changed in the past few days, as we respond to the crisis of the new coronavirus pandemic. There is much disruption in from our regular routines. How can any of us not feel some sort of anxiety even as we each must limit our physical interactions with others creates a whole new set of needs.
At this time, I am working with John Andrews to maintain continuity in our communications as well as how we may continue our Sunday services remotely. We are researching platforms such as ‘Zoom’, ‘Constant Contact emails’ and a new platform, ‘Horizons’. The latter is typically a stewardship guide and service that are now reaching out to churches to help in many ways to maintain communication. I spoke with a pastor from Ohio and employee of Horizons who has offered to help me work through this process as I proceed. If others have ideas, please feel comfortable in emailing or calling the church office or me personally.
We all agree this pandemic has shifted or derailed our normal way of living with hope and prayer that it is short lived. No one knows that answer. In the meantime, we will work through this difficult period as a united church family. We learn in Sunday school and come to church each week to learn Christ’s many messages. This can be a time we put our Christian values to the test in keeping our faith strong, and to reach out to all our neighbors in need. No one is immune from this pandemic so keeping our physical distance is most important yet let us find ways to reach out in calls, emails, letters, waving and speaking with a neighbor from a good distant when out for a walk or meeting someone at a shopping center. John Wesley once said, “One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us.”
If you or someone you know needs any assistance especially financial, food or human connection please call or email me. If God allows (and the Governor does not change the quarantine time), I will be back at the church in little over a week. I am hoping to set up the foyer, sanctuary, or Clarke Hall for daily or needed times to meet in small, limited numbers (TBD) with any member needing to speak with me, pray, or simply share human contact from a distance. This will all depend on current warnings about small group gatherings and at this time is not possible. I like to think optimistically and when possible, this may be our initial plan to physically reconnect. Please do not use or enter the church at this time and if you must, please sterilize anything you touch. Also, the Food Pantry is busy most days with a rigorous sterilization regime during each entry.
The Jamestown Community Food Pantry has been a tremendous godsend for our Jamestown community filling bags of food and hygiene products for people to pick up curbside or have delivered to their homes. The volunteers have increased and are working tirelessly to maintain the exponential increase in food distribution. This includes hours of shopping, sterilizing purchased products, sterilizing the pantry, calling residents, receiving calls, working with Jamestown Senior Director, Betsey Anderson and delivering to homes. Most of you know the Board members yet perhaps not all or the volunteers. A note of thanks or donation to the pantry would be a great help and encouragement to these gracious volunteers. You may feel you have time to also volunteer. If you are so inclined, please call the pantry @401-560-4080. Please do not show up in person. Deb Nordstrom will either answer as she is present most days or will call you back as she checks the messages daily. The JCFP’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and website is http//www.jamestownpantry.org.
As John and I investigate the resources for remote Sunday worship, I will be forwarding more emails to keep everyone updated and those without email will receive letters. Please, please listen and adhere to the infectious disease experts regarding their safety messages for your personal health, others you may encounter and to slowly end this virus.
Learn the facts and be healthy smart and careful. Coronavirus symptoms (most common) are fever, tiredness, sore throat, runny nose and dry cough. Thankfully (80%) will recuperate without needing intervention. If you do have any of these symptoms, please get medical attention immediately.
Here are some helpful links to educate ourselves.
I want to reach out to our whole church community to understand any needs we share and those that are imminent to our health and well-being. There are links to places you can call for information or if you may be experiencing any symptoms. Please never hesitate to contact me directly by email, through the church office 401-423-1651 (Tanya will be on a limited schedule – more information coming).
I have never been a fan of Facebook however if someone can beef up the CBC’s Facebook by submitting helpful information and keeping us informed of up-to-date information, this would be welcomed and very helpful.
We all are tightening our financial belts, yet the church continues to necessitate the offerings people have generously presented in our 2019 stewardship campaign. We will research and promote electronic giving and with help, list the ways we all can continue to give through our website or through your bank’s bill pay. As we attempt to upgrade our technology to live streaming worship services we will not only become more accustomed to this technology for communication but have another tool to use with Board and Committee meetings where people will not have to leave their homes during inclement weather and help people feel connected despite not physically being present at the church.
More than anything, people need to come together in prayer. Deploy a phone tree campaign and invite people to call and check in with each other. With anxiety being high, it will be reassuring to know the church is praying together and for each other. Using your online communications channels, share a daily devotion or prayer that enables people to stay grounded in God and connected to each other.
When you call the church, I realize you want to speak to someone rather than a recording. If Tanya or I cannot be present, we may investigate ‘call forwarding’ or volunteers to man the church phones so we have extended coverage. You will always have someone to reach through my personal cell or volunteers who will donate time to cover calls via their personal cells.
We all are sailing uncharted waters and I put out a plea for all of us to KEEP THE FAITH. This virus is certainly not some test by GOD yet we can strengthen our faith and our community bonds with the beliefs we have heard, learned and already put in place through our hospitality, compassion, generosity of time, talents, treasures and mostly in love for God and neighbor.
In Christ’s love,
Please remember: Nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Little Dresses for Africa
The mission of “Little Dresses for Africa” is to provide relief to children of Africa, by distributing home-made dresses to little girls, primarily in African villages, but also other countries in crisis. These meetings will be on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Clarke Hall. Meetings postponed until further notice.
CBC Walking Work-Out
Free and friendly! No gym membership fees required! Walk with us to up-beat music on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. We start with a gentle warm-up, walk about two miles, then cool down, followed by gentle stretches. This full-body workout is non-competitive and can be done at your own level/pace. Wear comfortable clothes and whatever shoes you like for walking, as well as a water bottle. We meet in CBC’s Clarke Hall for a well-lit, non-slip, and even flooring location. Questions? Contact Ellen Greene. Walking Group Postponed until further notice.
Simple Blessing: Centering Prayer and Spiritual Reflection
Join the Christian Education Board of Central Baptist Church in Clarke Hall on from 1 – 3:00 p.m. We will be viewing a Good Friday and a Holy Saturday ritual that was presented at the Universal Christ Conference with Richard Rohr in March 2019. Please join us as we prepare for the Easter Celebration. For information Contact Central Baptist Church 423-1651 or Janet Larson. Simple Blessings postponed until further notice.
SHRI Open Yoga classes
Please join us at Central Baptist Church for weekly SHRI Open Yoga classes.
Open Yoga is a chair-based yoga class to reduce stress and to increase flexibility and focus within a nurturing community through gentle yoga postures, meditation and guided relaxation. Shri is an outreach yoga organization with skilled teachers trained on a trauma-sensitive curriculum. This class is made possible by Shri Service Corps, Shri’s 501(c)3 nonprofit arm.
WHEN: Tuesdays 10:15 - 11:15 am
START DATE: POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
WHERE: Central Baptist Church, 99 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown
WHAT: OPEN to All Levels / Adults
WHO: All Levels in the Community
SHRI TEACHER: Midge Kahn
FREE to Members of the Community / All Levels Welcome / With Chairs
OTHER: In Partnership with the Jamestown Community Food Pantry
“Shri is thrilled to deliver this weekly free class in such a beautiful space in partnership with the pantry. We started teaching Shri Adaptive Yoga classes with Bridges a few years ago on the island, so this is a natural extension of what our team can authentically offer. ”~Alison Bologna, Founder & Executive Director
Shri Studio, Service Corps & Bark