Coronavirus Outbreak Response 2
Dear Church Family,

March 14, 2020

Dear Church Family,

With all that’s going on it’s hard to know what to do! It seems circumstances are changing moment by moment. I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses in a time like this, “Perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18). And while I would encourage us all to remain faithful to God’s casting out fear in favor of love, I feel we must also in that same Spirit protect the well-being of our congregation and community.

It is with great heartache that Session and I have reached the decision to cancel services starting tomorrow March 15th through Sunday, March 29th.   It is my sincere hope and prayer we can reconvene on Sunday, April 5th for the Choir’s Palm Sunday Cantata! Our church campus, include the Church Office will be closed as of Tuesday, March 17 to all groups.

One thing that seems certain in curtailing the effects of COVID-19 is social distancing. This we must do now in new and creative ways as a church and as citizens of Durango. Also, my attention recently has been drawn to how the spread of this virus impacts our medical care providers, stores, and other businesses in our town. I would hate to think that by gathering, we might jeopardize the well-being of our well-loved community. 

While doing so disrupts the vital pattern in the lives we share in corporate worship, I wonder if this isn’t at least something sprinkled with God’s presence for our season of Lent. We’ve been talking these last weeks about silence and solitude, reflection and prayer, fasting and doing more with less. I would continue to call us all to this season's sacred mandates. It seems more appropriate now than ever!

In the meantime, our staff and I dilligently will be working to bring corporate prayer, praise, and proclamation through digital formats to keep us connected as best as we can in this time. Please stay tuned in the coming week for links to our website, Facebook page, and upcoming YouTube channel. We’ll also do our best to reach out to you through our Deacons, Elder, and pastoral ministries to try and do life together even if we cannot be physically present to each other on Sunday mornings. In addition to a season of prayer, I’d encourage all of you to do the same for each other. Let’s find ways to connect in these next weeks that might not be our traditional connection on Sundays!

On a personal note: you are our beloved church family and it grieves the Smith family not to be with you in person right now. We ourselves will be in this season of prayer with you! We'll join you in asking God to bring us all answers, comfort, courage, and, above all, His perfect love that casts out fear.

With Abundant Love and wishes for Peace and Grace,

Pastor Beau

For the Staff and Session of First Presbyterian Church Durango