Dear Point Washington Friends,
As you know, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has now been designated a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In the past few days, we have seen the federal and state governments, as well as sports leagues and universities, take steps to curb the outbreak in our country. These decisions are being made to protect the most vulnerable people among us and to not overwhelm our healthcare system.
As of today (March 13th), the CDC has issued guidelines for the state of Florida to help prevent further spread of the virus. These guidelines can be found on the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/FL_Community_Mitigation.pdf
These guidelines advise all faith-based organizations to cancel gatherings that bring together people from different parts of the country, gatherings that are over 250 people, and any gatherings of over 10 people who serve high-risk populations.
Even though we have had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 related to our congregation, in order to help our community contain the spread of the virus and in order to care for those at greater risk, we will be suspending worship at our physical campus for this weekend Sunday, March 15th and next weekend Sunday, March 22nd. In addition, all church related activities (meetings, small groups, Bible studies, etc.) will be suspended through March 22nd.
In the coming week, church offices will remain open and staff will be present for our normal office hours. Please reach out to us through the main number 850-231-4928 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help you in any way.
As we mentioned last Sunday, we will continue to worship online through Facebook Live at 10am. You can participate in worship from home by going to our Facebook page. We hope to see you check in at 10am on these Sundays.
Though we will not be physically meeting this week, our ministries continue in many ways. Your gifts to God through our church touch the lives of untold people and help bring them the hope of the Gospel. Especially in this season of uncertainty, the voice of Jesus Christ needs to be heard over and over, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me” (John 14:1) Please continue these gifts as they support thriving ministries for those in our community and world. If you normally give your financial gifts during the offering on Sunday mornings, you may mail these gifts to the church address at 1290 Co. Hwy 395, Santa Rosa Beach 32459; or you can give online through CCB at this link: https://powash.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving If you need help to learn how to give online, please contact us at the church office; and we will happy to walk you through the process.
Finally, friends, we have just read through the epistle to the Philippians and we have been focusing on the spiritual practice of gratitude during this season of Lent. The words of Philippians encourage us, “Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus” (4:4-7). As we move through this time in which we find it easy to be overcome with fear, to let our frustration out on other people, remember to lean into the provision of God, to call out in prayer, and to care for one another with the compassion of Jesus.
Point Washington United Methodist Church has been a vessel for God’s grace and an active body of Christ that cares for members and the community for over 130 years. God will continue to use our church to be a light in the darkness and a voice of calm in the midst of chaos. We will continue a long history of helping and caring when the need around us is great, and God is using us even now to help bring hope and healing. If you need help, if you need prayer, if you need the comfort of talking to one of our staff or pastors, please reach out to the church office. We are the Body of Christ together. We suffer and rejoice together. We are not alone. Christ is with us now and always.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Amy Persons
Dear Point Washington Friends,