Posted by Paul Ellis Jackson

Changes around UCC during COVID 19:
   Worship –  We are continuing to Live Stream our worship service at 10:30 on Sunday mornings on our website at ucchurch.org and on FaceBook.  If you miss the Live Stream, you can always watch the video anytime during the week at the same places.  Last Sunday, the website only allowed the first 80 people to watch live streaming.  Both our web host and our streaming service have acknowledged more participants than expected and have upgraded their service so that this will not happen again (we hope)!  
   Offerings –  Your offerings are more important than ever.  Since we are unable to pass the offering plate on Sunday mornings, we are missing the opportunity to receive cash collections, checks and even pledged amounts.  Thank you to those who are mailing offerings to help us through this time!  Although we are keeping our expenses as low as possible, the leadership of UCC wanted to continue to pay staff, including our student musicians, during this time.  Your support is so helpful to keep the programs and building going during this in-between time!
   Office Hours –  Although churches/ clergy are considered exempt from the Sedgwick County “stay-at-home”, we are trying to practice social distancing at UCC and working from home as often as possible.  Therefore, it is best to call before you come by the office to make certain someone will be here.  Robin and Paul are available for you at anytime on our mobile phones (641-5919 Robin and 304-6058 Paul).  
    ZOOM Coffee/ Sunday School/ Wednesday evenings –  We have set up a ZOOM (live on your computer) coffee with Robin and Paul on Thursday mornings at 10:00 am.  This has proven to be a great discussion with congregation members and we have had many participants for the 2 weeks we have done it.  Join in for congregational updates, conversation, discussion about how everyone is doing during “social isolation” and general catching up!   Sunday School for children is at 10:00 am on Wednesday mornings with Anna, Megan and Paul by ZOOM.  And Wednesday Night Alive Bible Study is also meeting by ZOOM each Wednesday at 6:00 pm.  The codes and information for these sessions will be sent out by email each week.  Call the church office for more information.
  Opportunity to enrich our community –  We are asking that everyone send a picture or video of yourself to Valerie at valerie@ucchurch.org with a greeting to your UCC church family.  We will send these out as a way to stay connected during “social isolation” to get to know one another better.  The more who participate the more fun it will be!  Take time to tell who you are, what you are doing during this time, your hobbies, something you are reading, a favorite scripture, poem, or project.  Give us an idea what you’re cooking, a picture of your garden… the sky is the limit.  
    A personal note –  In the last 3 weeks, your church staff has been very busy recreating our jobs.  Everything single thing we know and do is changing.  I am so grateful for them, their creativity and positive attitudes!  We have been reaching out to some of our older members to let them know that volunteers in the church are available to run errands, grocery shop, or help as needed during this time.  
     My sabbatical is now on hold and will not happen as planned for May – July, 2020.  Eric is on furlough with Textron and is at home.   
    I remain hopeful and grateful for each of you and look forward to Easter morning (not April 12th necessarily), but that day when we are all together and can celebrate new life among us!  Stay healthy and safe until then!