December 8, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church, Monroe,
Your Session Members and I are extremely appreciative of all your efforts to use the most health-conscious practices possible in all the church gatherings for worship, fellowship, and outreach we are observing. We also have total respect for your decision to participate in worship and education from the safety of your home computers. However, even with the most stringent adherence to health and public official recommendations, the COVID Virus is still spreading. The recovery rate is increasing, for which we are most grateful. But medical professionals, purely objective statisticians, and sister churches are advising REDUCING the numbers in family gatherings and/or worship services, or foregoing them altogether.
I remember an interesting statement from various medical professionals: “If you believe you are taking precautions beyond what is necessary, that is a good thing.” It reminds me of Paul’s statement in Romans 12:9-10. “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” I believe we are being called to outdo one another in showing care, respect, and love for our brothers and sisters.
AT THIS TIME, The Session agrees to limit worship to the 12 speakers/musicians/leaders necessary to present the Service and to broadcast it via Livestream into your homes. We will maintain the two Services: Contemporary at 10am and Traditional at 11am. Watching from home is not the same as being present. But you can sing more freely, pray just as fervently, and connect with the Holy Spirit just as fully regardless of your location. Every place, every prayer, and every person is sacred in the eyes of God.
Lynn Thompson Bryant