To the Congregation of First Christian Church: 08.05.2020
When COVID-19 began spreading in the United States early this year, most of us did not anticipate we would be taking strong measures to protect ourselves and others for this many months. All of us are tired of being physically separated from friends, from our Church Family and from worshipping together. On the afternoon of Sunday, March 15 the CDC released guidelines that caused the First Christian Church of Pittsfield Elders to restrict services to the extent we had never anticipated. We have prayerfully tried to set up reasonable guidelines for worship the last 6 months.
We realize that in all things the Holy Bible gives us wisdom and guidance such as:
Joshua 1:9 (ESV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Philippians 2:4 (ESV) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Philippians 4:6 (ESV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
The Elders have been meeting each month and there have been many communications among us and Pastor Michael weekly. We have exchanged our opinions, news articles and opinions from leaders of other churches. We have considered tradeoffs between personal safety and meaningful in-person worship. One product of these exchanges has been the creation of small groups who choose to worship together at Crossroads Center at 8 and at 10.30 Sunday mornings in addition to the encouraged home based small groups. If you feel like your worship experience is better being with other like-minded Christians, please give this a try. For several weeks this has been a way to worship with others at FCC while avoiding the contact of a large group in the sanctuary.
The Elders met on Tues, Aug 4 and decided to re-open the sanctuary for worship services the Sunday of Aug 16. We very much look forward to worshipping together as a church family.
The Church Board has also been meeting each month to discuss reports and make decisions related to the business of the Church. We discuss Church finances each month. Offerings to our Church have fallen below budget and everyone should realize that the financial obligations of FCC continue. Everyone is encouraged to set up regular on-line contributions, make one-time on-line contributions, mail a check to FCC or bring a check to the Administration Building.
As always, we ask that you pray for God’s guidance for Church leadership through these difficult times and pray for and protect one another as we mov e forward continuing our walk as the Body of Christ.
Yours with Christ,
Elders of First Christian Church