Please do not suffer in silence! Both Pastor Phil (508-813-9334) and Pastor Karen (269-932-8602) are happy to meet with anyone who would like an in-person visit or to schedule a time to talk by email, text, phone, or Face Time. If you or someone you know has a financial need, please reach out to Pastor Phil.
Same Mission - Different Approach
In the midst of constant change, uncertainty and questions without answers, UCC Medfield youth programs will continue to embody God's love for our students. The way we support and encourage will look different over the following weeks. Arturo will send details on what happens next at both Focus On Youth and Senior High Fellowship families. Watch for an email today, stay safe, and love one another!
Liz will be emailing the CM families weekly Sunday School videos and activity pages for families, as well as posting prayers, activities, challenges, and resources regularly on the CM Facebook page. Please be sure to like the CM Facebook page to stay connected. If you're not receiving the CM emails, please let Liz know.
As Pastor Phil detailed in the letter he sent out yesterday, worship has been suspended and all events cancelled at UCC Medfield through Palm Sunday, April 5. A weekly worship message will be uploaded to our Facebook Page on Saturday evening, so that you can watch it on Sunday morning. While we had planned to have the sanctuary open from 9 am - 11 am on Sunday morning, do to changing circumstances and the desire to be as prudent as possible, we have decided NOT to open the sanctuary on Sunday, March 22. However, Pastor Phil will be happy to talk with anyone by phone or Face Time. He can be reached at 508-813-9334.
As promised in the email we sent out last week, we want to keep you informed about how UCC Medfield seeks to connect and minister to you and our greater community. We know these are unprecedented times, and we want to assure you that we are praying for you and seeking God’s wisdom, courage, and love to find ways to help us to continue to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.
On Monday, the staff met with Steve Carlson to discuss our ongoing response to the pandemic. After considering a number of different options we might take, we made the following decisions (all of which may change depending on the course of the pandemic and how things actually work—we want to be flexible).
I want to remind you of what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea…” Times of trial are also times of opportunity so we must keep our eyes, ears, and imaginations open to perceive how we can find ways to support one another, serve others, especially the most vulnerable, and grow in faith in our Master, Jesus.
We want to keep you informed about what UCC Medfield is doing to address the coronavirus pandemic and how we are adjusting to the new restrictions. First, tomorrow morning (Sunday, March 15) the sanctuary will be open for anyone who would like to stop in to pray or meditate. I will be there from 10 am - 11 am and will be happy to talk or pray with anyone who is interested. Second, Pastor Karen and Liz are working on finding resources that families can use at home to worship God on Sundays and will share these resources this coming week. Third, a video message from me will be posted shortly on our YouTube channel, the church website, and on the church Facebook page. Fourth, we are exploring ways of worshipping next week that will be more substantive, perhaps involving live streaming. Fifth, please remember to pray — “pray without ceasing” in the words of Paul.
Any ideas that you might have concerning how we can worship and serve others, please share them with us. We want to be as effective as possible and we are looking for creative ideas.
On Monday we a professional cleaning crew will be doing a deep cleaning of the church building include both levels of the church and disinfection of all high-touch surfaces - pews, counter tops, doorknobs, faucets and handles, etc.
Update on Covid-19
As we informed you yesterday, the staff and leadership at UCC Medfield have been discussing the Covid-19 situation daily.Yesterday we communicated the cancellation of our post-worship brunch and coffee hour. However, we remained hopeful we would be able to continue to hold our worship service. We also noted our expectation that the number of infections would continue to increase, and it was likely that we would not meet for worship at the church at some point. Further, we had had determined if the Medfield Public Schools closed, we would follow suit and not hold worship.
Unfortunately, the situation evolved over the course of the day yesterday. In the evening, the Medfield Public School system made the decision to cancel school for today, as well as many extracurricular activities. Other local school systems cancelled school as well, with some cancelling school for at least the next week.
In addition to school cancellations, our local Conference of the UCC denomination has recommended all churches in the Conference suspend in-person worship for at least the next two Sundays.
As a result, the Staff and Board at UCC Medfield believe it is in the best interest of our congregation, and community, to cancel worship this Sunday, as well as next week, March 22. We are also cancelling all church meetings and gatherings except for Food Cupboard, Caring and Sharing, and Soup to Go through March 22. We encourage your teams and small groups to meet virtually through social media and video conferencing where possible.
As we advised yesterday, the Staff and Board are discussing ways that we can continue to minister to people as well as continue other critical functions of our church. The Staff and Board are committed to continue our conversations relative to these issues and remain committed to keeping the congregation informed. We will continue to use email as our primary means of communication, and updates will also be posted on our website.
Let's all remember to keep our congregation and community in our prayers: that everyone remains healthy and safe; that this disruption to our life and worship together is brief; and that we all continue to experience His guiding and calming presence.
Pastor Phil and Steve Carlson