Coronavirus Health and Safety Update
April 2 update
Note: if you would like to get updates from the church via email and are not currently receiving them, please send an email .
Amid all the news about coronavirus (COVID-19), and with word that Rye City Schools will be closed through the month of April, your church leadership has decided to suspend all meetings and worship services for that period of time. Beyond that, we will closely monitor how events unfold in the days and weeks to come.
Worship during this time
Remember that you can always listen to our sermons here on our website - just go to the Worship tab and down to Sermons. During this time we will also be live-streaming our regular 10:00 a.m. services, a Thursday evening Contemplative Service, and all Holy Week services. Check your email for a Zoom link.
In addition, as this situation develops and if you end up needing assistance of some kind, please do not hesitate to email or call the church and leave a message for one of your pastors. We receive voicemails on our cell phones. Even if the church is closed, we remain committed to the ministry of the church to all in need throughout this time. We have people ready to help with grocery stores runs, or to lend a listening ear and a friendly voice.
PERSONNEL UPDATE FROM KATY RIDLEY, CLERK OF SESSION, AND MARGARET BLUM, PERSONNEL CHAIR:
We are delighted to share this update from the Session. Our church staff and leaders have been working very hard to keep RPC running and serving in new and creative ways as we live out our mission and calling. Some on staff are working from home, but many are unable to do their work without being on-site. Out of concern for their well-being, our Personnel Committee asked the Session to thoughtfully consider the continuance of the staff and hourly payroll. Session voted unanimously to continue paying these staff members who are paid hourly through April 30th, even if they cannot come in to work. This includes our administrative staff, sextons, choir section leaders, night/weekend cleaning staff, and Sunday caregivers in the toddler room.
Their responses of gratitude have been truly powerful. Here are just a few of their words:
... I'm actually taken aback by the kindness and generosity of this gesture. It definitely eases the anxiety that has been lurking and I'm overcome by emotion by such an unexpected and welcome email.
...I am sitting here in tears with my jaw DROPPED after reading your email. Thank you all so much for your and the church's generosity. After losing every job I have for the next two months, as well as my day job, this truly means the world. Thank you so much for letting us know, I'm proud to be involved with an organization that genuinely practices what it preaches.
We want to thank you, our Rye Presbyterian family, for your continued generosity. We are blessed to be part of a community that has the resources and generosity of spirit to support the church through this difficult time.
As we continue to take steps to slow the transmission of the virus, let us also continue to turn to God in prayer:
God of all that is seen and unseen, our anxiety rises as this virus spreads. We worry about the impact of this illness on healthcare workers, older adults, those already physically fragile, the vulnerable among us, and people whose livelihoods are tied to the regular movement of people and commerce. We recognize in this moment how inextricably connected we are to one another, and we hope that this unmistakable realization will shape all our actions in ways that foster the common good, increase compassion, and expand communal care.
Give people in positions of leadership in religious communities, educational institutions, hospitals, government and local communities wisdom and discernment as they face difficult choices about how to address the complex challenges this virus brings. Knowing that we are flawed and that our knowledge is incomplete, make us humble in our judgment, patient with one another, and gracious toward those tasked with the burden of making hard decisions in the days ahead.
Bring healing to the sick, strength to the caregivers, comfort to those who mourn, peace to those in quarantine and mercy to all of your beloved creation. Amen.
Dan and John