March 12, 2020 | News by Rev. Matthew Ruffner
Preston Hollow Family,
The Apostle Paul reminds us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
The Apostle Paul’s words have brought me great comfort this week, as we all have read and watched the spread of the Coronavirus. Undoubtedly, this week we all have felt anxious, fearful, vulnerable and a bit bewildered. This is natural, especially given the week we have had as a people. I want to remind you, that in the very first line of scripture, that God hovers over the chaos — over the darkness—and God hovers there to call forth order out of chaos, to call forth light out of darkness.
The world feels certainly feels chaotic right now, though the good news of the gospel is that even the chaos is not distant from God! No, the good news is God gets to the chaos of our lives and our world before we do, so that we might never be alone.
I pray that the families who are walking this journey with coronavirus can feel the presence of God with them. I pray that the light of God will shine through the many healthcare workers who are on the front lines seeking to care for and help heal those entrusted to their care.
In moments like this we can do two things, we can turn inward and bitter. We can point fingers and let anxiety override all other emotions. Or, we can choose openness and generosity. We can choose to care for one another, rather than merely protect ourselves from them. We can choose to make the generous assumptions about those seeking to help provide our care.
To that end, as a community I pray we will choose to continue to care for one another and choose the path of generosity during this time.
We will gather for two worship services this Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary and 5 p.m. in Founders Hall.
Out of an abundance of caution, all other church programs and classes will not meet this Sunday.
In addition, the church building will be closed to all non-church staff until Monday March 30, 2020. All campus activities and classes will be cancelled. We will worship online as a community at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, March 29.
If you have a group that meets off campus or has plans for an off-campus activity, we are leaving those plans up to the leadership of the group.
You can participate in worship via live stream at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on www.phpc.org/streaming, or listen to service at 11 a.m. on 101.1 WRR. For those who have not watched or listened to our live stream, you can follow along with a worship bulletin here.
- If you have traveled outside of the country in the last 14 days, we would ask you help care for the community by worshipping online or via WRR.
- If you feel sick, we would ask you help care for the community by worshipping with us online or via WRR.
- If you are in a vulnerable age demographic we ask that you exercise your best judgment, knowing that you can worship with us online or via WRR.
- If you plan on joining us in person this Sunday we ask that you please wash your hands and utilize the numerous sanitizing stations around the church.
- We will forgo passing of the peace at the beginning and the end of services by shaking hands and instead offer a smile or friendly wave.
- We will place offering plates at the doors in lieu of passing them around.
In addition to washing your hands, be generous with yourself, and offer your soul a prescription for deep breathing, prayer, and resting in God’s love. Click here for a short meditative breathing podcast by PHPC’s Coordinator for Congregational Care, Mahlon Hight.
As we care for one another in this community of faith, and for others around the globe, we will continue to monitor the situation and will act following local health authorities' recommendations. If you have questions or care needs, please contact Rev. Mark Brainerd ( ) or Rev. Dr. Sarah Johnson ( ).
With great hope,
Rev. Matthew Ruffner