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Grace Lutheran Church, Hatfield, Pa.

Grace Council Plan to Help Stop Spread of Virus, Suspends Worship for 2 weeks

Dear Friends at Grace,

The Lord be with you!

The Lord is with us!

We have decided to close all public gatherings at Grace for two weeks, starting today, Friday, March 13th.  This includes worship on Sundays, March 15th and 22nd and the mid-week community Lenten service on Wednesday, March 18th  and our participation in the community Lenten service on March 25th.  (We will provide a means to forward our offerings to the Hatfield Pastors’ Fund when we get back together.)  Stepping Stones is required to close during this time by the order of Governor Wolf.

Governor Wolf’s order yesterday that all gatherings of more than 250 people and all non-essential businesses close for 2 weeks, effective today, March 13th, was given in an effort to flatten the curve of the spread of the number of cases of infection of Covid-19.

We have decided it is the wisest course of action, for the sake of all who might be at risk both within Grace and all of our contacts within our wider community to take this more proactive course of action. Because the virus spreads exponentially, overwhelming health care facilities when it is not checked, we would like to contribute to the slowing of the virus as much as possible.  How horrible to think of doctors and nurses at Grand View having to decide which people in our community would be worthy of receiving ventilator care, or not!

Individual staff members may be at work in the building, if they have no signs of illness.  Stepping Stones staff will be given the option (it is voluntary) to come in to do a deep cleaning of all of their spaces, including Fellowship Hall.  We’ll address cleaning in other areas of the building, as well.

As we discussed these actions with each other before Peggy and I made the decision to suspend worship, a Council member remarked that we need church now more than ever!

Yes!  It will be awkward not being able to gather together for worship in these weeks.  But we will not stop being the church, just because we cannot see each other face-to-face for worship.  We are planning several outreach efforts to stay connected to each other, and to do what Grace does so well – to care for each other in times of need.

Watch for our Facebook posts, if you are on Facebook, and let us know if you need any kind of assistance or are able to provide any assistance to someone who needs it.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

     whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

     of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1-2

May God bless our efforts to contribute toward the health and strength of our community.  God bless your health and strength!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Janet S. Peterman                                             Peggy Schmidt

Interim Pastor                                                                 Council President

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