Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Monday, March 30
Grace First Members and Friends,
Check out the video link below to hear what we have going on this week at GFPC. We hope you’ve continued to find worship meaningful as we adapt from in-person to at-home worship. We have a lot coming up in the next two weeks with Holy Week services and that will not change. Expect to receive all the details for Holy Week at-home worship in next week’s Monday Morning Announcements (Steepleton Mail). In the meantime, there’s a lot going on this week and all those details are in the video below. We look forward to seeing you on Zoom this week!
Monday Morning Announcements: https://vimeo.com/402223373
Below are the links to our Zoom meetings this week including:
Tuesday 12:00 noon following the Lenten Midweek Gathering service: https://zoom.us/j/207666748,
Meeting ID: 207 666 748
Thursday 4:00pm Virtual Coffee Hour: https://zoom.us/j/733447108,
Meeting ID: 733 447 108
Office Hours (Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3):
Wednesday and Thursday: Closed
You’ll notice on our website homepage that the link you had been clicking for church updates has been renamed from COVID-19 Response to GFPC Weekly Updates. We continue to pray for your well-being in body, mind, and spirit! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of your pastors with prayer requests or concerns.
Blessings on your week ahead,
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Below you will find all the material you need to have a full worship experience at home. The items are listed below with links which will take you directly to the document. Also, if you click on the bulletin you will find embedded links the hymns.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Midweek Lenten Gathering audio
Monday, March 23, 2020
Note from the Trustees:
Dear Grace First Family,
While it is sadly necessary to keep the church doors closed for worship services and for our usual gatherings at this time, we still want to stay connected with each other and with those whom we have been serving through outreach and ministry. Please know that Ashley, David, and Marialice are continuing to offer support for our spiritual well-being and that Lacey and Alycia are working to take care of the business of the church.
We know, too, that this is a challenging time financially for our community and for families within the church. We want to be of service now, as always, in as many ways as possible, so we encourage you to continue to mail your pledges to the church office, giving as you are able. If you have questions or want to share a concern, please contact either Ashley or David.
We are grateful for your prayers as we navigate these uncharted waters of Covid-19. We are learning together to find new ways to worship God and to serve as Christ in the world.
The Trustees: Dave Deison, Ed Moss, and Linda Crownover
Note from your Pastors:
See our video announcement for today: https://vimeo.com/399916503
On Tuesday we will post on the website and our FB page a recorded Tuesday Lenten gathering service (including scripture reading, prayer, and 20 minutes of organ music). You can listen to it in the morning and then join on Zoom at 12:00 to discuss the service and check-in with one another.
Tuesday Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/207666748, Meeting ID: 207 666 748
On Thursday we will have a virtual coffee hour at 10:00am to check-in with one another and have a time of prayer.
Thursday Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/733447108, Meeting ID: 733 447 108
Sunday: we are also working on worship materials for you to use at home on Sunday. Unfortunately until the internet at the church is working properly we will not be able to do a live stream service.
Church Matters Communication: You will hear from David tomorrow with an activity for children and families for the week. And, you will hear from us again on Friday with worship materials for Sunday.
Office Hours Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27:
Tuesday: 9am-12 noon
Wednesday and Thursday office closed
Friday: 9am-12 noon
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Below you will find all the material you need to have a full worship experience at home. The items are listed below with information on where each item can be found. Also, if you click on the bulletin you will find embedded links to both the hymns and the scripture reading/message video.
Friday, March 20, 2020
Grace First Members and Friends:
This week has brought changes to our lives that we did not expect. Yet, in the midst of it all the people of God are called to continue being the church. This will look different for some time but it does not change who we are.
At its meeting on Thursday, March 19 the Session has decided:
to suspend in person worship through Sunday, April 5 (Palm Sunday). That will include March 22, March 29, and April 5.
there will continue to be no in person gatherings at the church. Groups that would like to meet are encouraged to use Zoom or another online platform to host the gathering.
Office hours will be as needed. We desire to keep our staff and their families as safe as possible and will practice social distancing while in the office together. We will reduce the number of hours we are in the office. Those changes will be communicated via Church Matters. If you need to reach someone immediately you should call Pastor Ashley or Pastor David on their cell phones.
Your GFPC staff has been working diligently to get up to speed on all things technological so that we can best serve you during this period of quarantining and social distancing. We know not being together on Sunday mornings and all the other times throughout the week will be difficult. Our goal is to alleviate as much of the added stress as possible by providing multiple times and ways to connect throughout the week for as long as we need to.
For this Sunday, we will offer an opportunity for worship, Sunday School, and Children’s worship at home. Tomorrow you will receive an email from Lacey with the following items:
3 links to Sound Cloud where you will find 3 hymns to use during worship. These were recorded this week at GFPC on our Organ played by Marialice Parish.
1 pdf attachment with the hymns (please note these are hymns from our hymnal, Glory to God, and should be used only for at-home worship).
1 Link to the GFPC Vimeo page where you will find a video including a welcome, prayer, scripture reading, and homily from me, to be used in your home worship.
1 pdf attachment of the bulletin that includes all the liturgy that would normally be read by the lay leader.
1 pdf attachment with a children’s lesson that accompanies the scripture reading.
1 link to a Visio Divina lesson that would have been the model for our Intergenerational Sunday School time together.
I know this is a lot of material and information. Use it however it is most helpful for you.
On Monday, David and I will send out a video and note letting you all know of other opportunities to engage with us and one another throughout the week.
The Session is committed to meeting weekly with one another to assess our ministries and response. We will do this as long as it is needed.
Most importantly, know that your pastors, staff, and Session are praying for and with you as we navigate new ways of being in community together. This is a trying time, but we will continue to trust in God our Creator, Jesus Christ our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit our Sustainer through it all.
Grace First Presbyterian Church Session Members
Ashley Drake Mertz, Moderator
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Dear GFPC Members and Friends:
The Session of GFPC met this morning to determine the best course of action for us as a congregation moving into this next week as things continue to unfold around COVID-19. Our priority is twofold: ensuring those who are in sensitive health groups are supported and providing on-going spiritual support.
In light of those priorities we are moving forward with the following plan:
We will gather for Sunday School and Worship as normal tomorrow, Sunday, March 15, 2020.
We will NOT have food served before worship and will NOT have the 3rd Sunday lunch (as previously announced).
Choir members are asked to contact Marialice directly letting her know if you WILL or WILL NOT be attending worship tomorrow.
Session members have spent this morning wiping down the building and ensuring as many surfaces as possible are cleaned. We will distribute hand sanitizer to each of you as you enter the building tomorrow. We will modify worship slightly so that we are not passing offering plates. The Pastors will not be formally greeting people after worship.
This week (Monday, March 16-Saturday, March 21):
The office will be open normal hours. We ask you to limit any unnecessary visits to the office/church building.
There will be no outside group meetings in the church this week or next (thru March 28)
Yoga will not meet this Tuesday (March 17) or next (March 24).
PW Circle will meet but will NOT bring food to share.
The Midweek Lenten Gathering scheduled for this week (March 17) is canceled.
LOGOS and Wednesday night Bible Study will follow the school schedule moving forward.
Session will meet Thursday for its regular stated meeting. If there are any changes at that point we will communicate those on Friday via Church Matters, the website, Facebook, and Instagram.
We ask that you make the best decision for you and your family in regard to attending Sunday School and Worship. Given that we have many members who are part of the at-risk community for COVID-19 taking precautions to keep yourself healthy and preventing the spread of the virus is highly recommended. If you need assistance with grocery shopping or medication pick-up please contact the office (817-594-2744), Pastor Ashley, or Pastor David. We want to support you in the best possible ways.
We pray that each of you is healthy and we continue to hold the world in prayer as we respond to this pandemic. We trust that even in times when we are encouraged to socially isolate, we can be in community through phone calls and prayer and we encourage you to do both. May God bless you and keep you.
Grace First Presbyterian Church Session Members
Ashley Drake Mertz, Moderator