First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
815-544-6402

Friday, March 13, 2020

Corona virus precautions

Please view the below note from Pastor in regard to our plans for the current health concerns.

Coronavirus Precautionary Rubrics on the Corner of Lincoln and Main

 A  political ad back in the race between 39 and 40 comes to mind: “Some say there’s a bear in the woods.  Some say there is no bear in the woods.  Isn’t it better to be prepared just in case there’s a bear in the woods?”

 These days seem, uh, rather eschatological; or, at least, bring Jim to mind: “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near!”

 While I am not an expert on this Coronavirus challenge – When I first heard of it, I thought it was a beer shortage in Mexico! – my parents taught me to close doors, turn off the lights, pick up after myself, take out the trash, clean up after myself, wash my hands, avoid mobs, cover my mouth and other personal hygiene habits and common courtesies.

 Pero I am a news junkie and was taught by my best teachers to review a plethora of disparate “experts” from left, right, up and down and all around; and recognize when folks like CNN and Fox agree on anything, there’s truth.  When they disagree so diametrically, there’s just opinion.

 Intersecting reports, analysis and agreement from a plethora of disparate sources have convinced me that the Coronavirus is a serious global ergo national challenge.

 I recognize it is already being politicized with an increasing hyperbolic hysteria fueled by political aspirants along with “real” and “fake” news pseudo-journalists.  Frankly, it is nauseating, pathetic and proves our politicians and kin are more concerned with personal ambition than the public welfare.

 Our responsibility as Christians is to salt, shine and leavenate with grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in agape.

 An undershepherd to the Good Shepherd aka sheepdog is called to guide, provide and protect with grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in agape.

 The Coronavirus challenge is an opportunity to love Jesus by loving like Jesus with grace, mercy and forgiveness wrapped in agape.

 Redundant?

 Yes.

 “Those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.”

 Anyway, with that rambling introduction of our intent to establish some precautionary rubrics on the corner of Lincoln and Main, here’s where we are for the moment; acknowledging this challenge is moving very rapidly and requiring timely responses:

 *Worship remains as regularly scheduled;

 *The church office is closed;

 *Apart from worship and pastoral emergencies, we hope our family will respect the need for “social distancing” and not drop by apart from worship;

 *While worship, weddings and funerals will continue SOP, all other programs, activities and ministries are cancelled/postponed until further notice; including Midweek, Bible studies, Sunday School, Youth Group, Compassion Closet, Circles, AA, church committees, Confirmation Class, potlucks, dinners, bake sales, fundraisers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and everything else that I forgot to mention;

 *While worship remains as regularly scheduled and will include all elements including a Moment for Children, the sacrament of Holy Communion is suspended until further notice;

 *While worship remains as regularly scheduled, we are not encouraging or dissuading attendance; rather asking everyone, especially the aged and parents of newborns and toddlers, to exercise common sense and pay attention to the intersecting truth through disparate government and news agencies;

 *A slow rebound of worship attendance, programs/activities/ministries and financial support is to be expected.  Noting we have already moved into a financial crisis and there are voices telling folks to be careful about discretionary expenses with the note that worship attendance and financial support for ministries have moved from obligatory to discretionary in America, I anticipate some very, very, very painful days ahead with increased cost-cutting and downsizing measures as one of the lasting ramifications of this challenge;

 *Anticipating a lot of second-guessing, bantering and moaning, transferred anger and pain, defiance and other pejoratives directed at anyone trying to respond responsibly to the challenge, I encourage you to blame me.  I’m used to it and I take full responsibility for these evolving rubrics while thanking our elders and deacons for encouraging my proactive executive decisions;

 *These rubrics will be reviewed constantly and especially on April 1.  I am asking our “Committee” chaired by DB to add Coronavirus challenge consultations avec moi to their docket; and

 *Pastoral care will not be interrupted during this challenge.  Please alert me to hospitalizations and emergencies via drkopp@belvpresbyterian.org, text me at 815-222-9216 or leave a voicemail at 815-544-6402.

 I am sure I have not covered everything.
 We didn’t cover this in any of my worthless degree programs.

 Please remember this is a rapidly developing challenge and opportunity to honor Jesus.

 Our officers have been very helpful in assembling these rubrics and I am sure you will have helpful suggestions as we move through this to victory.

 I know you join me in praying for our world, America, each other and all of God’s children.
 Blessings and Love!

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