Pastoral Letter for June 26, 2020
Do you know our bulletin has said “Welcome Home” for years?
We want people to have that sense of belonging when they come to Potomac Hills!
We will be gathering for the third time this Sunday, June 28th, at Harper Park Middle School. We will gather for worship at 10:30 am, and will still be operating under Phase 1 of our updated Plan for resuming in-person worship (which you can find here: https://www.csmedia1.com/potomachills.org/plan-to-resume-worship-2020.pdf). Please read the whole plan, but the gist of it is that we will have numerous safety precautions in place (masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing are all required, and separate doors for entrance and exit).
Please be aware that there will be no Nursery, Children’s Church, or Sunday School again this Sunday. However, even though our Children’s Ministry won’t be up and running, we would still love to see your kids. Having our covenant children in worship is a good thing. I recently posted on Realm a couple of resources to keep children engaged during the sermon.
We will be restarting our Nursery next week — Sunday, July 5th. We’ll see how it goes, and then we’ll plan on restarting Children’s Church, hopefully within a few weeks, but that will depend on how and when the state guidelines change next.
The upcoming July 1st change from Virginia’s Phase Two to Phase Three will have a negligible effect on churches and religious services. Therefore, it will be a while longer before we’re able to restart Sunday School. We had hoped to restart on July 12th, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to make that date. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information, so in the meantime, I would encourage you to continue to utilize the children’s Sunday School materials that will still be offered online.
The teen and adult Sunday School classes will still meet via Zoom, starting PROMPTLY at 9:00 am and will end no later than 9:45 am, allowing everyone time to get to Harper Park for worship. Hopefully, the adult class will be recorded and posted online. This will allow those on the Worship, Set Up, and Sound teams to view the class later. For privacy reasons they will only be posted on Realm (not Facebook). If you don’t want your face seen in the recording, we would ask that you turn off your camera on Zoom.
After so many months of the pandemic, it’s hard to ask people to be patient with the process of reopening. If you remember, when we shut down, we brought back various ministries one at a time over a period of many weeks. We will be doing that again as we reopen. We want to make sure we not only restart our ministries, but we do them well, and we do them safely. And that’s just going to take some time.
Joanne and I had a wonderful trip to the Carolinas last weekend, where I co-officiated the Memorial Service for Margaret Rambish. Many of you didn’t know Margaret, but she was a delightful person who exuded joy despite her disability. You would have loved her.
So, I’m very glad that her husband, Butch Rambish, will be joining us for worship this Sunday. For some of you, it will be good to see an old friend, and for others, a chance to make a new friend. Isn’t much of the Christian life like that? We’re always welcoming new friends and renewing old friendships. And we do that in-person, online, and forever and ever, Amen.
After one of Jesus’ many healing miracles in The Gospel of Mark, He said, Mark 5:19, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” That’s something we ought to strive to do every Sunday when we gather for worship. We want to say ‘Welcome Home’ to our friends, tell them how much the Lord has done for us, and then exalt Him for His great mercy on us.
So, let’s do that — this and every Sunday — at our worship service!
Dr. David V. Silvernail, Jr., Senior Pastor
Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church