Dear Starmount Presbyterian Friends,
In this ever changing environment, I wanted to provide you with the latest updates here at Starmount. Your Session continues to meet frequently in order to seek God’s guidance so that we might make decisions that are both civically responsible and faithful to our calling as Christ’s church. You can read below the steps we are taking to address the growing health concern posed by COVID-19.
Worship, Office, & Facility
In-person worship gatherings and on-site activities are suspended until further notice. The building will effectively be closed. Church staff will begin to work from home, and connect through digital platforms so that the work of the church may continue. Staff can be reached through email and personal cell phones. The main church number will continue to be in service, and will be set up to forward to staff members. We anticipate to operate in this way at least through the end of April, at which time we will reassess.
Virtual Worship & Faith Formation
Starmount Presbyterian Church will continue to produce weekly offerings of worship led by our pastors and musicians. These services will be recorded and posted to our YouTube page. Links to these video services will be sent out in our weekly emails. Christian Education resources will also be provided for all ages. We are also planning a mid-week devotional that will be posted to our Facebook page. Since not all of our members can access these on-line resources, we will be producing a special edition of our monthly newsletter that will go out next week and include printed articles and suggestions on how to nurture one’s faith during this time.
It has become clear over the last week that the effects of this health crisis will not be short-lived. During this time, one of our highest priorities will be staying connected and caring for each other. Church leaders are organizing a call list, or “phone tree” so that we may have a way for our entire church body to stay in touch. This will be an important way for us to ensure that the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the members of our church family are being met. If you do know or learn of individuals in our community who are in need, please contact the church office to let us know.
Serving our Community
We will be directing the mission efforts of the church to address those experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. Two of our mission partners who are doing good work in these areas are the Emergency Family Shelter at the YWCA and Out of the Garden Project. Both of these agencies are accepting non-perishable food donations. We will have collection bins at the church positioned outside our front door if you would like to donate. If you would like someone to pick-up your donation from your home, or if you are willing to serve as a pick-up driver, please contact Laura Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to provide a meal for 30 at the YWCA shelter, contact Cilie Sutton (email@example.com). Starmount is also continuing to serve those students and families involved in our weekly tutoring program. They are supporting these families both academically and with food assistance. You may also make financial gifts to all three of these causes either through the church or directly to the organizations themselves.
We will continue to share information and updates as further developments occur. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Facebook. Ask your friends and neighbors in the church if they are receiving our weekly emails. If not, forward them along, and have them contact the church office to update their contact information. Also, when you receive these announcements, please help us by sharing them with others, especially those who you suspect do not have access to email or the internet.
Finally, let us not forget the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples as they were at the last supper. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Friends, during this time of social upheaval and uncertainty, let us lean upon the everlasting arms of our Savior Jesus Christ.