3/13 Update: The church building is closed, but the ministry continues.

Friends in Faith,

Last night, the First Presbyterian Church of Beacon session took action to faithfully respond to the coronavirus pandemic.  The session voted to close the FPC Beacon church building to all group activities for the next two weeks, effective immediately.  Recognizing that there is still much that we don’t know, we believe this decision does the most good for the most people.  While we acknowledge the heightening anxiety in all of us, this decision was based on faith, not fear. Our hope is that, by limiting potential contact for all of those who travel through our building each day, we can help slow the spread of the disease.  By taking steps to keep our community – and ourselves – as healthy as possible, we will be better able to respond to potential challenges down the road.

Given all that God has been doing among us recently, it was a painful decision to close our doors.  And yet, it is an opportunity to strengthen our ability to stay connected, even when we are physically apart.

What next?  The FPC Beacon leadership is in regular communication, and we are already thinking of ways that we can continue to worship, learn, and care for each other remotely.  The plans for how we stay connected as a congregation – as well as opportunities to serve the broader community – will be emerging, so stay tuned.

In the meantime:

  1. We will be moving our worship online for the next two weeks.  
  2. We will be offering regular updates (likely daily for the next few days).  Tomorrow, we will have more details about how you can join us online for worship.
  3. We will be working hard to stay connected with those who aren’t online.
  4. If you have questions, please feel free to call my cell: 845-475-6102.  I may not be able to respond right away, but I will follow-up when I am able.  *We will likely have other contacts to share soon (eg, if you have a question about worship or want to volunteer to run errands for folks).  But, I am glad to be the point of contact for now.
  5. When in doubt, reach out.  This especially goes for folks you know and love in the congregation.

We will have lots of time to ponder God’s presence in the midst of this, how we are to faithfully respond, and also to do some of those things we’ve been putting off (like reading scripture).  I’m looking forward to all the ways God will use this challenge – in ways we can’t even imagine now – to grow in faith, support each other, and serve the community.

One, last request: Pray without ceasing.  My hunch is that, like me, you love someone(s) who are vulnerable to covid-19.  Pray for them. And, pray for the countless people we don’t know who are already suffering – and those who will suffer – from this disease.

In Christ,

Pastor Ben