Pastor John Barnette
Greetings Pilgrim Church:
As many of you are aware, Charlotte County is currently experiencing a drastic rise in COVID-19 cases. It has come to my attention that some hospitals in our area are strained by the increase in COVID-19 patients, meaning that access to healthcare is becoming restricted to all persons in need of medical attention (even for non-COVID issues). Therefore, in order to protect and love our community, it is imperative that we all continue to do our part to help mitigate the spread of this virus.
After much thought and prayer, I respectfully ask all those who are able to watch our services from home, on Monday mornings at 11:00 a.m., to please do so for the foreseeable future. By lessening the attendance at our worship services, we can lessen the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19 within our congregation and community. I understand there are those in our congregation who may need or strongly desire to continue attending in-person worship, due to a lack of internet access or other factors. These individuals are reminded that all safety protocols are still in place, including masks worn to cover the nose and mouth as well as physical distancing.
If the upward trend in COVID-19 cases continues, in-person worship services will be suspended to protect the health of our congregation. Patrick, Marilyn, and I will be meeting to create a game plan regarding virtual services, to make sure we provide the best online worship experience possible.
In scripture, we find stories of Jesus tending to the physical health needs of many individuals. As His disciples, we too must do what we can to protect the health of others. Our work starts within our congregation. Unfortunately, we have already lost two beloved members to this horrific virus, causing much grief for their friends and family members. We must all do our part to minimize the chance of us losing other brothers and sisters in Christ to COVID-19, which may mean abstaining from gathering as a congregation for a finite period of time.
Let us continue to pray for our medical professionals as they strive to meet the overwhelming demand this virus is placing on them. Let us continue to pray for those who are suffering from this potentially life-threatening virus. Lastly, let us continue to pray for an end to this pandemic.
May God bless and keep you all safe.
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Ken Ewing
Recently I was reflecting on the tremendous hype of Halloween. The fascination of dressing up as someone you’re not. The fixation on death and being scared out of you wits. The delight in trick-or-treating to get a great amount of candy. In reflecting on the obsession with Halloween, it occurred to me that the celebration is a far cry for the initial intent of the holiday.
Halloween comes from traditional ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bond-fires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. It was held on the eve of All Saints Day and became known as All Hollow’s Eve. It was a preparation for the day of commemorating all the saints of the church both known and unknown who have attained Heaven. Initiated in the Catholic Church, it was latter found favor in other Christian denominations.
The Catholic Church saw All Saints Day in a somewhat narrow focus commemorating those whom the Church elevated to the status of sainthood. In other traditions which did not have elevated saints, say all believers are saints. Which comes from the Apostle Paul who saw everyone in the faith as saints, meaning true believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Both traditions central focus is to remember all the saints who have gone before offering thanksgiving and honor. In the process of remembering, the celebrant is reconnected spiritually and emotionally with the saints who have passed on. All Saints Day then is a sacred day of commemoration which has faded from our days of celebrations.
My hope for those of us in the Christian faith that we regain a focus on All Saints Day as a time to give thanks for the saints in our lives and honor their gifts left with us. HAPPY ALL SAINTS DAY. Amen.
Pilgrim Church is ready to hire two new part time staff members. We are looking for a Music Director for our Traditional Service and we are looking for an Organist/Pianist. Please see these job descriptions and share with those you know who may be the right person for...
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