UPDATED APRIL 6, 2020
This page will be updated as the board and administration make further decisions. Keep this page bookmarked for news.
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18: WE WILL NOT BE HOLDING SERVICE IN PERSON UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. We will stream online ONLY. Our choir, refreshments, and Children’s Church have also been suspended until further notice.
We will make use of 21st century technology to keep our services and classes going! Maddie will make step-by-step tutorials available with instructions on how to make use of these technologies. In this way, we continue the loving connection, education & outreach at COL uninterrupted!
- 10:30 Sunday morning services will be broadcast on Facebook Live (and archived for later watching as well). The best part is that you don’t have to have a Facebook account to see it! If you do have an account, you have the opportunity to share comments and feelings with other watchers. Tutorials for viewing a Facebook Live video are embedded below.
- Classes will be taught on the ZOOM video/audio platform. Maddie will send tutorials on how to join a class on ZOOM in the coming week. There may be a 1-2 week suspension of classes while the facilitators get set up. Contact your class facilitator or visit our ongoing class pages for more information.
- We will institute some NEW features to help us maintain our feeling of connection:
- A daily prayer and guided meditation on Facebook. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, and thereafter at noon every Monday – Friday, Rev. Melinda will lead you in prayer and meditation.
- A new feature on our website and FB page: “From the Rev’s Library,” where I will share inspirational quotes, poems, prayers, and book suggestions from my daily readings.
The church will still rely on your generous giving in order to keep us running, so we are making it as convenient as possible by providing several ways to give:
- Zelle is partnered with many banks (including but not limited to Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo!) and is also available as a standalone app. Just login to your bank account and look for the QuickPay/Zelle buttons, search for our church by the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and send us a tithe by INSTANT TRANSFER and NO FEES involved for either of us!
- Facebook (coming soon!)
- And, of course, mailed checks will still be picked up if that is how you’re most comfortable tithing at this time!
Beloveds: The board of trustees and I have met repeatedly to educate ourselves on current expert recommendations, and after prayerful discussion, we have determined (for now) how to proceed as a community through the current world health crisis.
This decision is not made in fear but in Love:
As beings of love and co-creators with God, we affirm the perfection of our own divinity, our oneness with others in a shared divinity, and our responsibility to ourselves and others.
We honor the professionals experienced in epidemiology and infectious disease, who say the most important action we can take right now – both individually and collectively – is to do whatever we can to slow the rate of transmission of the coronavirus. One thing that is within our power to do is to forgo any non-emergency in-person group gatherings for now.
As we slow the spread of the virus, our healthcare system will be far more able to provide care and treatment to those facing serious life-threatening conditions (not only COVID-19 but ALL critical illnesses or injuries that require emergency and in-patient care). Also, slowing the spread of infection will allow more time and opportunity to fortify our healthcare system in terms of testing and treatment.
Here is our vision:
- NONE from the COL community will become ill; ALL will maintain robust health.
- NONE from COL will inadvertently carry disease-causing agents to others.
We know this vision is achievable as…
- we affirm constantly that we ARE LOVE, and
- we consciously LIVE that love into the world using ALL tools available to us—Spiritual practice, prayer, intelligence, common sense, education, necessary medical intervention, adherence to prudent hygiene/safety guidelines, and steadfast focus on the good of all.
For those in the following risk groups, we encourage you to stay physically isolated as much as possible:
- Those with ANY symptoms of a respiratory illness, fever, cough, sneezing, etc.
- Older adults (65+)
- History of smoking
- People on immune-suppressing drugs such as chemotherapy, Humira, long-term steroid or antibiotic therapy
- People who are in recovery from recent illness
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, etc.
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
We know some of you don’t have a choice but to venture out! In your day to day lives, here are the hygiene practices that your church family encourages you to honor to stay safe:
- Wear a mask! We know there are shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare providers, but a homemade cotton mask is better than no protection at all! Click here for a CDC tutorial on how to make your own.
- Don’t touch your face and wash your hands often. Hand sanitizer is not nearly as effective as 20-30 seconds of soapy lather followed by rinsing.
- Respecting CDC proximity suggestions: please stay spread out and keep 6 feet of space between you and others.
- Please resist the urge to handshake/touch/hug. Instead, greet with a ‘Namaste’ bow, an elbow or foot bump, “air hug,” or etc. Be creative—have fun with it!
My loves, this is hard. I know it’s not what we want, or how we’ve come to know and love COL. You know me – I can hardly stand not to hug you, but my love for you and responsibility toward you is greater than my “druthers.” We are people of love, wisdom, and vision; determined to fulfill our mission of unconditional love, and willing to use all means possible to continue to do so.
I am counting on us to weather this temporary storm together, as One. Please feel free to call me for counsel, prayer, or just to talk. I love you ALL.