The following is a letter authored by Rev. Andrew Prin (Senior Pastor) and Mark Meier (Congregation President) from March 16, 2020…
Members and Friends of Bethel:
As we shared in worship yesterday, the ever-changing events of the past week related to the COVID-19 virus have been challenging. Case in point, the CDC issued updated guidelines on Sunday evening that now include groups down to as few as 50 along with a recommended postponement of events for up to 8 weeks.
One of our brothers compared the communal fear we are experiencing to the same kind of fear which gripped the country during the polio epidemic prior to Dr. Salk’s vaccine. While few of us may personally remember that fear, all of us can relate to and understand it now as we experience this global pandemic.
To that end, both of us visited with a number of our brothers and sisters after worship on Sunday who shared concerns about continuing to attend worship in the near future, and how to keep our congregation safe during this time. We spent significant time connecting with the leadership team and elders Sunday afternoon to elicit feedback for a plan to continue our service to God and our neighbors – if you didn’t hear the message on this Scripture (Luke 10:25) yesterday, it will be available soon on Bethel’s website.
We will continue to worship! Although current circumstances will require us now to do so virtually versus in-person, we are already hard at work ensuring that we will have access to liturgy and the proclamation of God’s Word. Look for a more detailed plan to be communicated with information on how we can worship in our homes or with small groups beginning with our next Lent service this Wednesday. Our goal is to have this plan shared by March 17 at midday.
As you did on Sunday, please reach out to either of us with questions, concerns and/or comments. We welcome them and appreciate your patience, as we navigate these unique and challenging days.
The Lord be with you.
Rev. Andrew Prin – Senior Pastor & Mark Meier – Congregation President