IMPORTANT UPDATES – COVID-19 RESPONSE

March 31, 2020

 Dear Church Family,

As we move into our first full week under the “Shelter in Place” order in Minnesota, we can take heart in knowing that we are doing our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep our community safe and healthy in these unprecedented times.

As a congregation, we are continuing to follow the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other local and state health organizations and suspend in-person worship and cancel all public activities, events, and meetings at the church through April 10th (and most likely through the end of April).

Since things are changing so rapidly in these days, we will continue to provide detailed updates about what is happening at the church through these weekly emails. We will not be producing the Cross Connection newsletter for the month of April, however, as most of the information would be redundant to the weekly emails and those members who receive printed copies of the monthly Cross Connection have been receiving printed copies of the weekly emails to keep them updated as well.

Last week, Pastor Bryan and Emily Olson led online worship from their home and will do so again this Sunday (April 5th). Worship will continue online each Sunday at 10:15 am through Facebook Live until we are able to resume gathering safely in-person. Please keep an eye out for a separate email later this week with links to download the order of worship and lyric sheet so you can better follow and participate in the service from home. These resources will also be posted on the church web site (www.cgucc.org) under the Online Worship tab on the home page.

This Sunday (April 5th) is Palm Sunday and we will be celebrating this Holy day in the life of the church   
in a new and special way in these days. First, we will be celebrating and receiving Holy Communion together for the first time in a virtual setting. Please see the simple preparation instructions on the Online Worship page of this web site for you and your family to use to fully participate in the sacrament. 

Second, the palm branches that we normally hand out before worship on Palm Sunday have arrived and we would love to physically get them into your hands so you can wave them at home as we celebrate once again Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. Pastor Bryan will be at the church on Saturday, April 4th from 2-4 pm and you are welcome to “drive up” to the main (south side) doors of the church to pick some up for you and your family. 

Children (and adults too) are invited, if they would like, to make their own palm branches out of art/craft supplies they may have at home. Please CLICK HERE for the step-by-step instructions.

Please join us in continuing to pray for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic both here and around the world. Let us pray for the healing of those infected, strength and health for the doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and all those caring for them, and wisdom for the medical researchers as they work on developing a cure/vaccine for the virus.

Every day at 9:30 a.m. CST, a group from CGUCC will be praying (wherever we are at) for a cure to be found for the COVID-19 virus and an end to these days of pandemic. This will not be a virtual meeting but a time for us to collectively come to God in prayer and boldly ask for what our world so desperately needs. We will continue to pray this way every day until the pandemic is over. Take heart in knowing that at 9:30 a.m. every day we are joining our prayers to hundreds and thousands of other people’s prayers in our local community and around the world. Please pray with us daily and invite your family members, friends, and neighbors to join you!

If you are in need of things like groceries, medications, and cleaning and personal hygiene products and are unable to go out and get them or have them delivered at this time, please contact Pastor Bryan at pastor@cgucc.org or 651-459-1501 and we can help to arrange a member/friend of the church to come and assist you.

Let us continue to do our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community and keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the One who is our true Healer, Protector, Provider, and Redeemer; Christ Jesus our Lord.

Be well, stay safe, and God bless you all this day and every day.
Peace,
Pastor Bryan and the CGUCC Council

COVID-19 RESOURCES
 
Coronavirus (CoVid-19) is a respiratory illness that causes flu-like symptoms including fever, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

 If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical advice.  Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about any recent travel and your symptoms.  Stay home. Do not travel while sick. Avoid contact with others.
 Ask to join meetings via video or telephone conference call while you are recovering. Join worship via livestream.

Helpful links:

 Short educational video on the “5 Things to Know About COVID-19”
 Latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Talking with your children about COVID-19

As the faith community, we have a special responsibility to care for our fellow congregants and communities. When we are prepared, we are in a better position to help others. Get the facts and restate them accurately. Check in frequently with our fellow congregants. And counter scapegoating such as already has been shown to some Chinese and Chinese-Americans. They are not to blame for the coronavirus!