Updates About this Weekend

Beloved Big Red Family,
With very heavy hearts, Council leadership and I have decided to cancel and reschedule this weekend’s special events, and to make significant modifications to our worship services. We will not be holding our Pot ‘O Gold Pantry Fundraiser Friday evening, and my Installation will be postponed and rescheduled once we know we can do so safely. Worship on Sunday morning will be moved to the Fellowship Hall, and adapted to limit physical contact. Our Wednesday evening Lenten Soup Suppers and Learning Circle will be cancelled until further notice. Please, if you feel sick with any symptoms, or are in an especially high-risk group, please stay home and let me know. I would like to check in on you. 
These decisions were not made lightly, and with much awareness of our shared anticipation for these events, and with shared grief for our volunteers who have poured so much time, effort, and resources into these events. To do our part to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, we are following the directives issued by Gov. Newsom, in conversation with our NCNC Conference leadership, and after speaking directly with Fresno County Public Health officials to confirm the importance of following these protocols locally. You can find their specific guidelines and recommendations for limiting the spread here
Like many challenges of today—climate change, mass extinction, racism, environmental destruction, resource inequity—the Coronavirus threat is both personal and collective. On the one hand, we fear for ourselves and our families. We want to insulate, isolate, protect. On the other hand, solutions to challenges like this one come in community. 
  • The Whidbey Island Institute 
Church, our task is to care for each other both individually and collectively. I know that we can follow the directions of social distancing while not spiritually distancing from each other. It is in this spirit, and out of concern for our members, community, and loved ones in higher-risk groups and with compromised immune systems, that we decided to support the larger Fresno community in being proactive and to avoid putting people at risk. 
In this moment of increased concern and anxiety, let’s use this as an opportunity to actually strengthen the fabric of our community. Could this occasion actually build up our spiritual life together? Even if not in person, we are still connected through the Body of Christ, and we still need our community and collective resources. Please call and check in on your elderly neighbors and those whom you know having underlying conditions, or who have self-quarantined. If you’ve self-quarantined, please let people close to you know, so that we can support each other. Let us all remember the community we have here and the covenant that we share. Let this moment be a time to build up the Body of Christ.
With Love, 
Pastor Raygan 

3 thoughts on “Updates About this Weekend

  1. Kevin M says:

    Thank You for your courage to continue worship services in an environment where that is politically unpopular.
    My own church closed its doors when many need it most. Peace

  2. Adeline (Diddy) Wagner says:

    Thank you for your consideration in this difficult decision. It is very reassuring to be cared for.
    Jennifer has to work, but I have chosen to isolate myself as much as possible. Being retired it is not too hard. Jennifer’s Apt. is right next door and she checks on me thru out the day.
    We are well and do not show any signs of the virus. Jennifer’s work is going to allow her to work from home. Not everyone has been offered this opportunity and she is so grateful. Her work is even providing her with a laptop, since she doesn’t have a computer. I have a good stock of food, etc.. If we see a shortage of food etc. we will combine whatever we have.(or have whatever delivered. Right now we are very desperately praying for a continued clearance for our scheduled and paid for vacation to Cancun, Mexico, May 12- 18. Right now we know that we can get in, and are in constant contact with our travel agent, about if we become quarantined at some point while we are there. I know that sounds trivial and inconsiderate but we have been planning this for sometime. We both will continue to pray for this whole situation and everyone involved.
    Pastor, we are so grateful and fortunate to have you for our church.

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