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Weekly Notes March 19, 2020

Dear Friends;
You will notice that even our Weekly Notes looks different - there are no announcements of upcoming activities.  As of this writing, we are holding to our announced activity restrictions through the end of March, including worship and any other gatherings on our campus.  The end-of-March date may be extended, as we are in a fluid and ever-changing news cycle.  We will be sure to communicate any changes to you next week as we know more.
In the meantime, let me urge you to do a few things:
1.  Become an active follower on the Saint Paul's UMC Facebook page.  This is where you will find our streamed worship on Sunday morning; the Daily Bible Readings; along with any updates and other faith formation resources during these times. 
2.  Watch for new opportunities in the next week to connect via social media and other easy to utilize platforms.  We are hoping to have our intercessory prayer team meet remotely, and will be exploring other ways to use these technologies for Bible Studies and other check-in groups.
3.  Join us for worship online and participate fully in our time together either alone or as a family.  This worship will be pre-recorded and posted Sunday morning.  You will want to have a candle nearby to light as we pray together and celebrate Christ as light of the world.
4.  Please continue to be faithful in your giving to the church so that we can continue the ministry and mission to which we are called, and so we can protect our staff during this uncertain time.  You can give online through our website (it is securely encrypted) or you can mail your check to the church office.
5.  We will be operating on a very skeleton staff in the next week, and several of our staff will work from home.  If you need any assistance in shopping or running necessary errands, please let us know - there are people ready to assist you.  When we are together (even two or three of us) we are taking all necessary precautions to be safe.
6.  This from a conference call this morning with Mayor Dailey and faith leaders:  Follow all recommendations by the CDC in terms of physical hygiene and distancing.  If you feel sick, please CALL your doctor first - they will give you instructions on next steps.  If you do not have a primary care doctor, please call the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Transition Center at 850-431-4470.  They will provide on-phone screening and if necessary, a referral for testing at the Northwood Center site.  Please do not go to your doctor's office or ER so as not to overwhelm our medical systems at this time.
7.  Check in with one another - we have a wonderful community here at Saint Paul's.  Check on one another by phone or email.  Use your Sunday School and ministry connections to their best advantage. 
8.  Already we are talking earnestly about how ministry may change in light of the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  I am so impressed with our ministry leaders who are educating themselves and participating in webinars, and look forward to working with our strong laity to move forward with a strong vision for care and compassion.
Please know that we are making all decisions and actions with the very best intentions of individual health and the church at heart, and are praying daily that we will emerge from these days more strongly connected to each other, and to God.
Continue to be in prayer for our front-line responders, those who are serving our community, and all leaders in these days.  Know that you are being lifted in prayer as well.
Blessings and peace,
Kandace

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