Dear UPC Family,
It was really exciting when we returned for worship in our sanctuary, and you are to be commended for abiding by the guidelines the CDC has set for in-person worship. There were many brave souls, who wore masks for an hour and tried to socially distance. However, the continued reports of the rising number of Covid 19 cases in KY thus far must have shocked all of you as it did those of us on Session. We have to accept the fact that this virus is spreading in our state. Mercer County Health Dept. shows 264 cases with 64 active, 23 hospitalizations and 8 deaths in our small community. Because of the steep rise in Covid 19 cases and the fear that our getting together will only add another possibility of contracting the virus to our vulnerable population, in spite of our best efforts, Session has decided to suspend in-person worship until this escalation ceases, and the numbers of virus cases reach a plateau. Hopefully, with the mask mandate, travel advisory, and limited number for social gatherings, the plateau will happen in the next few weeks.
What can we do at this point? As Christians, we can pray. Those who are struggling in hospitals and at home with this virus need our prayers. The doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, and many other vital workers need our prayers. The states whose population is in such threat because of the continuing spread of the virus need our prayers. We can also pray for our governmental leadership, who have so many decisions to make and a tremendous burden on their shoulders with so many of their constituents hurting. As Rev. Baker said last Sunday, in times such as these, we see issues spiral out of control that usually lie below the surface. Many of our cities face these conflicts and need our prayer. Finally, pray for each other. Even though we may not physically see each other, those prayers will be felt. God’s word always has a message for us in times of trial.
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)
If you need assistance in any way, please let one of your Session members know as we have many Christian friends who are willing to help.
Leslie, Leona, Pat, Tim, Butch, Jackie
UPDATE: After writing this letter, Session received an update from Philip Lotspeich at Presbytery. In his update, Philip said he had met on Zoom with the Governor today who asked that our churches stick with virtual worship until the measures he adopted such as mask wearing, travel advisories, and fewer in group gatherings had time to help contain the spread of the virus. Though we hate to close, this seems to be the best choice at this time. We replied to Philip explaining our decision to close again, and he thanked us for being so conscientious about the well being of ourselves and our community.