Good Morning Gardens,
At a called session meeting last night, the session of GPC voted to take the following action to help stop the spread of the corona virus:
In accordance with the recommendations of the CDC, the President of the United States, the Governor of Florida, and the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, all face-to-face and in person gatherings, meetings, and events of Gardens Presbyterian Church shall be suspended until further notice.
Please understand the Session did not take this decision lightly and much thought, reflection, and prayer went into making this decision. This decision was not made out of fear; we are not afraid. Rather this decision was made out of faith and faithfulness. As the people of God in Jesus Christ, we take Jesus’ call to love our neighbors seriously. We also are mindful of God’s call to God’s covenant people to seek the “shalom” (or peace and good) of the city. We believe that in order to love our neighbors best, and to seek the good of our city, county, state, nation, and world, it is imperative that we do the responsible thing, and act with an abundance of caution to do our part to ensure a mitigation of the spread of this dangerous virus. As followers of Christ we are called to be salt and light, leading with compassion in this world and setting an example to others. We believe this is the most Christ-like and faithful thing we can do for the good of our community. Because we love others, we are choosing to make this difficult decision to stop in person gatherings for the time being.
That does not mean we will stop worshiping together. Our Sunday morning worship will continue! We will be utilizing a variety of online platforms including Facebook Live and Zoom to gather together for worship. In a separate email, more information will be forthcoming regarding how to access and participate in our online worship services that will take place Sunday mornings at 10:30am.
In addition to our corporate worship services we will also be offering other opportunities to connect with one another using these online platforms. Plans are currently in formation regarding some of these opportunities, and we will communicate with you shortly to convey the nature of opportunities, schedule, details, and ways to participate.
If you need help or a tutorial on how to access and utilize these online platforms, please do not hesitate to call Lynda Hart or me, and we will be happy to help you get up and running online.
These are strange times indeed. While much is uncertain these days, one thing remains – God’s love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on us. God IS. God is mighty, powerful, loving, present, and with us always. Christ, the great physician, has redeemed us, authored our redemption, and is at work even now healing this virus-infected-world and transforming it into the beautiful Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit is present within each of our hearts – within us and surrounding us, on our right and our left, above us and below us. Do not fear. Do not lose hope. This is but a moment, a brief season in time, that will soon change. All things are passing, but God never changes.
We will be in touch soon with further details regarding online Sunday morning worship, and other ways to connect to ministry and community during these days of social distancing.
Be well; stay healthy; and to God be the Glory.