CCC has many things to consider before our congregation is ready to resume any type of worship as a group on church property.

Dear Congregation,

In looking back at my calendar, I realize that we’ve not been together in the CCC Sanctuary for worship since March 8th, over two months ago! On that day, when we skipped the physical Passing of the Peace, had Communion using large pieces of bread, and refrained from shaking hands or hugging  in response to recommendations that were just being made concerning Covid-19 fears, I’m sure none of us anticipated the many sweeping changes coming our way.  And now here we are, after one Sunday of cancelled worship, then two Facebook live-streamed services, with a very few of us leading worship from the Sanctuary, and currently six Sunday services having been live-streamed on Facebook from my living room. What a journey!

Even though I say things like “The church has left the building” and “The church is not the building, but the people” which are true statements, the reality is that we miss being together physically. We miss seeing each other at CCC in worship, both in the Garden Chapel and the Sanctuary, in Kelsey Hall for the coffee hour after the 10:30 a.m. service, for Primetime Discussion, Bible Study, the CCC Women’s group, and even board meetings! We miss sharing the details of our lives and hearing about others’ lives, because we truly do care about our church family, and that’s a blessing!

Now we are in a different phase as some “safe at home” restrictions are lifted and certain businesses are given the go-ahead to reopen, along with the opening back up of some recreational spaces. All this while the coronavirus pandemic continues its devastation.

 CCC has many things to consider before our congregation is ready to resume any type of worship as a group on church property. I have been involved in Zoom calls with the Florida Conference UCC and other church and government leaders on the issues involved. I expect that we will be receiving concrete recommendations from The Rev. John Vertigan, our Conference Minister soon. I have also been reading information shared by members of clergy groups I’m part of, and other resources. I know that this will surely be a topic of discussion at our joint Council/Trustees Zoom meeting on May 28th. We are blessed to have health professionals in our leadership who are knowledgeable. Above all, we want CCC to be a safe place. Each person is precious in God’s sight and in our eyes also.

In recognition of our current reality, doing our part to be safe and keep others safe,  there will be “A Blessing for Face Masks” included in Sunday’s service, so please have yours handy!

I look forward to being in Sunday worship remotely with you again this week, grateful that, for now, we have this means of joining our hearts, minds, and spirits together in praise and prayer.

May God bless you and keep you safe.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Candy

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