A message from Rev. Jim and Jerry
To Members of the Congregational Church of East Hampton:
As predicted earlier in the year, we have seen a rapid rise in the number and severity of COVID-19 cases across our town, state, and nation as we head into the winter. Given our unique role in providing support and fellowship for our members and the community, it is a difficult decision to make in order to protect everyone while still meeting our intentions. Our Church is small, and with the change in seasons we can no longer open the windows and doors for ventilation, and many people have health concerns that make COVID more dangerous, and many more are related to someone they want to protect.
As such, the Church leadership, Church Council, and Diaconate have made the determination to suspend in-person worship services after Sunday December 20, 2021.
We will hold our Christmas Eve Service and subsequent Sunday Services through Zoom. You may remember that prior to our return to in-person worship services, we used Zoom exclusively for our Sunday services. Our on-line gatherings overall have been very well attended and provide us a unique and valuable fellowship, and using Zoom gives us the opportunity to interact with each other. We hope that you will continue to worship with us.
You may feel disappointed, as many of us do. There may be a lot of disappointment going around this year during the complicated holiday season. A verse in Romans 5 may be appropriate:
“… suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts…”
Watch for revised instructions on how to access the Zoom Christmas Eve and Sunday Services which will be sent out shortly. Please feel free to call the Church office or reach out to one of us if you have any questions, and we will help make sure that you can join us for any of our lively and rewarding Zoom services.
The constantly changing circumstances of the coronavirus means the church must be flexible based on what the data shows. No one is sure what the next few months will bring. Will the virus spike or fade? When will vaccines be available for the general public? Will people get sick or will they just get sick of COVID caution? Educated guesses abound, but no one knows for sure. But we do know that as people of faith, our commitment to the health and well-being of ourselves and our communities takes precedence.
Please keep our church, our community, and our nation in your prayers as we face these challenging times together.
Jerry Gerkey, Moderator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jim Latimer, Minister (email@example.com) 610-568-2480