Reverend, Joshua B. Shuster
I'm writing you this evening after the President stated that churches are essential and should be open as soon as this weekend. I will start this by saying I appreciate the President saying churches are essential and that this country needs more prayer, not less.
With that being said, I have been in dialogue with the town and with our Conference and we have decided it is best at this time to remain in online worship. I want to be clear, the church is not closed, we are very much in ministry. We are seeing many new people worshiping with us, are feeding over 100 people a week with the food pantry, offering small groups, and other things on a weekly basis. While the building is closed, the Church and ministry are not.
We want to open safely. Safely for everyone. Holding a press conference at 1pm on a Friday does not leave us anywhere enough time to have everything ready for people to come and worship in person on a Saturday at 6pm or Sunday at 10am. It's just not possible for anyone.
I can tell you this. We miss you, we miss you all dearly. This has not been easy for any of us, please understand that. This has been very hard. Pastor Barbara, Alla, and I are tired of being in an empty Sanctuary. We want to interact with all of you in person. I can tell you that we are aiming for an opening sometime this Summer, hopefully, after talking with the town late this afternoon. The Council at church is already having discussions about developing a plan for opening safely.
Please stay safe everyone. Again, we miss all of you dearly, and we want to worship in person again. The church is not closed, we are very much alive. Please be in prayer for your pastors and leadership.