serving jesus christ in portsmouth, oh since 1875
A brief intro of what to expect from COVID-19 changes to the physical space and service + special musical bonus at the end!
Dear Members & Friends of Second Pres,
I am so grateful that while our building has been closed, the ministry and mission of Second Presbyterian Church has never stopped! I am also thankful for the time we have spent united in worship and service to our neighbors and our community even as we have remained separated due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
We know that COVID-19 will continue to affect our individual lives and our life together as a community of faith, though none of us knows exactly how long that will last. As the rest of Ohio begins the process of re-opening, the Session has discerned it is time for us to move into the next phase of our own re-opening plan.
After much discussion, Session has cautiously yet joyfully decided to resume in-person worship on Sunday, June 7 at 9:30 a.m.
In addition, we will broadcast the service LIVE simultaneously on WIOI. It will be uploaded to YouTube and my sermon podcast later in the day.
Implementing crucial physical-distancing precautions to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 will undoubtedly change your normal experience of worship. Most notably:
- Seating in the pews will be designated to allow for at least 6 feet of space between households; you will likely not be sitting in your usual place
- Music will be led by soloists; there will be no congregational singing initially
- Unison readings will be limited in length
- All worshipers will be expected to wear a mask while in the building; masks will be available if you forget yours
Of all these changes, we were most thoughtful about whether to expect people to wear masks or not. In the end, we decided to expect each other to wear a mask as a way of loving our fellow worshipers; controlling the source of the infection; and honoring the first responders, medical personnel, and essentials workers who have labored long and hard to keep us safe and healthy.
It is our prayer that the value of worshiping as safely as possible together in the building is worth the small inconvenience of wearing a mask.
I know many of you will not feel comfortable returning to worship yet. And you have my express permission to continue to worship at home if you are in a high-risk category (age 65+; have underlying medical conditions including chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, and/or are immunocompromised, etc.) or simply want to remain cautious.
As we begin slowly to resume church activities, please know that we are doing so carefully and with an abundance of caution and concern for the most vulnerable among us. We will use the best scientific data available and diligent prayer to guide us, with full trust in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Since what is known about COVID-19 is ever-changing, our goal is to monitor new information and alter our safety practices as needed.
Be of good courage & know that you are loved,
Please CLICK HERE to read more about our plan for re-opening the building and what to expect now in worship.
Many of the people you see holding signs are also singing in the "Hallelujah Chorus!"
A little video montage for one of the pieces of special music from Pentecost Sunday - "Sweet, Sweet Spirit" sung by Sarah Simmons and accompanied by Dr. Stan Workman AND Justin Wiget!
Even while the building is closed, we can still #bethechurch in our community!
Our latest effort at being the church and a peaple of prayer during this pandemic is the creation of a pandemic-oriented prayer book (with special attention to health care workers) prepared by Pastor Allison with contributions from Lindsay Monihen (Member, All Saint's Episcopal) and Rabbi Susan Stone (Rabbi, K.K. Beneh Abraham Congregation).
Please feel free to use it in your daily prayers and share it with your praying friends!
From a Christianity Today article:
“In recent days, as COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic and countries have taken urgent measures to stem the spread of infection, I wish I could say that my first impulse has been to pray. It’s probably more honest to say that I’ve obsessively refreshed my feeds.
The crisis is urgent, and I feel powerless. But perhaps feeling small is the best reminder to pray. Prayer is how we actively practice believing, so simply, so confidently, that God has the whole world in his hands.
It’s where we “let petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers, letting God know our concerns” (Phil. 4:6–7, The Message).
Prayer is never the last resort of God’s people. It is our first point of action.”
CONNECT IN PERSON
SUNDAY SCHEDULE at church
8:45 a.m. Choir rehearsal
9:30 a.m. Sunday morning worship (sanctuary)
10:45 a.m. Coffee fellowship (parlor)
11:15 a.m. Post-sermon discussion for youth & adults (parlor)
12:00 p.m. Bone & Fiddle Dance Collective rehearsal
7:00 p.m. New Beginnings NA Group
Facebook: Second Presbyterian Church - Portsmouth, OH
Sermon podcast: revatbauer.podbean.com