It’s a strange time.
It’s been a rough week for a whole lot of folks. Even though we thought it might be coming, to actually hear the announcement of schools being shut down, of business being closed for 30 days, churches allowed online worship only, and to hear of the massive layoffs, it was frightening and a real punch in the gut. It is a week I won’t soon forget, as I’m sure many of you won’t either. I know several in our church family who run businesses have been effected and had to close up. A number of folks in our church and neighborhood have been laid off. In my family, both my niece and my brother-in-law were laid off this week. Amy and Lydia were both upset with the school closing announcement and they have been trying to figure out what they do now with regards to school. And although I’m a lot of fun, Lydia is missing her friends and her volleyball teammates.
As difficult as these past two weeks have been and as difficult as the weeks ahead might be, I can’t express to you how proud I am to be your pastor. You continue to find ways to be the body of Christ in a world that is broken and you offer sustenance and love and healing and hope.
Shawn has been meeting regularly with our youth and we realize now more than ever how important the community they have formed is. Susan is reaching out to our children and to their parents and soon we’ll be offering up a take home Easter egg hunt opportunity. Our crafters have switched gears and instead of making trinkets to sell at a bazaar, several are making masks for seniors and health care workers. Our Micah Volunteers got together to provide a meal for the homeless in Fredericksburg. Others are coming together to provide a meal to be distributed to our friends and clients in our Mobile Ministry. Donations for our Grab and Go distribution on April 5th keep coming in. Our Lumberjacks keep going out delivering wood. Our Women’s connection has taken on the task of making phone calls and just checking in with those among us who may feel even more alone from being isolated. Because of you all we were able to make a financial contribution to the Food Pantry at St Mary’s just down the street. They have been slammed with requests in this uncertain time and they were so appreciative of our help. We are now also working with several other pastors in our community, who do not have online worship, in order to have them and their congregations be able to worship with us on Easter. I say thank you to everyone who is stepping up to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Thank you to all of you who have sent in your offerings. It is so appreciated as we continue to try and do ministry in this time of upheaval. We hope you’ll continue to give and if you’re able, to give even a bit a more, to make up for those in our congregation whose jobs and income have suddenly disappeared. We know that our ministry is going to be vital in this community over the next several months as we make our way through this health crises. Our address is P.O Box 193 Ladysmith VA 22501 or you can give online at wrightschapel.org.
I know one of the parents of our youth sent me a note just to say thanks for the online gatherings that we’re holding with our kids. She’s been worried about her son and she said, he looks forward to it and it gives him back a sense of normalcy to see you, Shawn and all of his friends.
Unfortunately, we are going to have to operate in this manner for at least several more weeks. We are allowed to only do on-line worship through April 19th and then there will be another evaluation.
Shawn has been at work so that we now have a way for those not on Facebook to join us through Youtube for Sunday morning worship. You can click here to go to our channel on youtube and subscribe!
Thank you again for all that you do. It feels strange not to be together and for everyone to be stuck at home. But I wanted to write and let you know that I still have the privilege of seeing all the way you are impacting other’s lives in the name of Christ. Peace Charles