A message from Rev. Jim and Martin
To Members of the Congregational Church of East Hampton:
As we are all aware, the global spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has become a central topic of discussion and concern for many of us. It has caused us to think about the things we take for granted and to rethink how we go about the activities of our daily lives. In the church, this pandemic has caused us to consider new ways to approach what have been longstanding practices and traditions.
As a preventative measure, we have closed our church building and suspended in-person Sunday services and meetings. For most of us, this is the first time something like this has happened in our lives. At our recent Church Council meeting, the leadership decided to keep the church closed through April 20 in accordance with state and federal recommendations.
But even though our church building is not accessible, as a church community we are still active. Last Sunday, we held our first ever virtual service using the internet. It was well attended by more than 50 participants and we will continue offering this opportunity to the community until the church building re-opens. We also conducted our Church Council meeting via Zoom this week. Reverend Latimer is making plans for additional weekly meetings for our congregation to ‘call in’ for prayer and fellowship. We will endure this crisis and come out a stronger and more resilient congregation.
I am aware of the financial strain this event has on everyone and I see the church experiencing the same uncertainty. Our investments have seen significant reductions by the stock market and our rentals of fellowship hall and loose plate offerings are for the time being, lost.
However, our expenses continue. We need to be able pay our bills, insurance, and all the other incidentals that are part of the day to day business of the church. We cannot accept your pledges at the office so please use the US Mail. If you have an envelope you normally drop in the basket during the offering, it is pre-printed with the church’s address. Or feel free to use your own envelope and mail your pledge to CCEH, 59 Main Street, East Hampton, CT 06424. Many of us have our pledge directly transferred to the church and we encourage others to sign up for this free service. We are also looking at using Paypal or another electronic payment service to make the process easier. Watch for more to come about that.
We still have a way to go in handling our physical distancing situation. Together we can persevere and triumph over these challenges. With our ever-abiding faith in God who is the healer, we pray that we, as well as our fellow Americans and the peoples of the world, will conquer this disease. Feel free to reach out to me or Reverend Latimer if you have any questions or concerns.