We’ve all been living through a very unusual season. For many of us, it’s been a season of loss: the loss of gathering with friends, extended family, and our church family; the loss of treasured school activities and graduation ceremonies; the loss of jobs or of income, due to pay cuts. A number of us have lost loved ones. We grieve with all those who grieve. Every one of us has been affected in one way or another.
During this season, it has been a sweet gift to gather online for Sunday services – to sing, receive God’s Word, and share the Lord’s Supper. But of course we’ve been longing to regather in person as soon as possible. We’re made by God to be together and that craving for connection is a very good thing.
So, we’re grateful to God that this morning (May 18), Governor Charlie Baker included churches in the first wave of re-openings in Massachusetts. Churches may open so long as they abide by mandatory safety standards.
We’ve read these safety standards and believe they are wise and reasonable. To see the checklist that will guide our preparations, click here. PCF will work hard to abide by these safety standards as we reopen – both from a desire to submit to our governing authorities wherever possible (when it doesn’t conflict with our conscience or with obedience to God) and from a desire to show love to every member of our church community (and beyond) by ensuring their safety. Because we’ve already been working hard on a plan for re-opening, we believe we’ll be able to implement these safety standards fairly rapidly.
Some of you will not feel safe gathering in person for some time to come. Indeed, if you’re a senior or have pre-existing medical conditions, it may be wisest for you not to immediately return on Sundays. We will continue our livestream service during this re-entry process (which may take months). We want to serve you well as you worship with us from home.
Some of you are very eager to gather again in person! We, in turn, are eager to serve you by making that possible. Our goal is to resume services at PCF by either Sunday, May 31 or Sunday, June 7 – whichever is the soonest date we can ensure that we have implemented all of Governor Baker’s guidelines and that all participants at our in-person Sunday worship services are safe and well-cared for. A crucial part of this effort is making sure we have enough trained volunteers. We’ll need additional greeters and ushers (and perhaps volunteers serving in other capacities as well). If you’re able and willing to serve our church family in one of these ways, please contact Amanda Johnson in the church office (contact info can be found on our website).
In the days ahead, we will all have an opportunity to love one another, show patience and care for one another, and bear with each other in love even (and especially) when we disagree in our instincts and opinions. What a beautiful gospel opportunity lies before us. Let’s embrace it for the glory of Christ. Let’s seek to display the worth of God to the world.
We’ll be in touch with you soon to let you know which Sunday we’ll be resuming services, and also to provide more information on the new protocols for participation in our in-person gathered Sunday services.
With love in Christ, and prayers for each of you,
The PCF Elders