Dear Bay Shore Community,
A lot has changed in our community and world these past 3 days. Its unbelievable to me, really, how much. It is overwhelming, stressful, and frankly exhausting. With the season of Lent wrapped around us, I feel we have entered into an unknown wilderness. Just as the Israelites had to preserve and trust in God, I feel that the church is tasked with the same—we need to persevere and trust.
But oh, how strange this situation is. Let’s just be honest now. These are strange days.
My office has been moved to my home. My temporary office is in a spare room with a lackluster view but a happy orange cat on my lap. I seldom sit this still at home, and Wallace likes it. At least our pets are enjoying our new routines.
Kate and I had our usual Monday morning meeting, just over the phone. We sketched out our week. We want to share that the “office” will be open our normal, working times. If you have any needs at all, please feel free to email me and Kate as usual. If you call the Church Office, you can leave a message. Kate will be checking our main voice mail box 1-2 a day. We ask that you use our cell phone numbers for more urgent issues. This helps us triage and track email conversations better. Thank you for your help!
I have been emailing many groups today and also setting up a Zoom Pro account for Bay Shore. I am hopeful that many of our teams and committees will continue to meet and plan for Bay Shore’s future in the weeks ahead so that when we reopen, we are ready.
Some things to share today:
Continue to visit our Facebook page and website Stories page daily. We will keep our community as up to date as possible about our news and offerings. The links are here: www.facebook.com/bayshorelutheran https://bayshorelutheran.org/stories/
We will offer virtual gatherings for what we can, and this will evolve over the next few days. For example, staff will meet next week using Zoom. We will also offer our Knit One, Pray One as a Zoom gathering at the next meeting on April 1. ABC students will receive some fun virtual homework to complete instead of classes this month. The High School youth were invited today to a Zoom meeting this Wednesday evening at 7. Life continues, just differently. We will persevere!
Pastor’s Bible Study will meet this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. At the end of this letter, you will see instructions on how to participate via Zoom. Again, we will adapt and still gather!
How can you continue to support Bay Shore and its community? In the days ahead, we will offer many ideas. But please do remember to continue your generous offerings to the church. Many of you use automated online giving, and we thank you for that. But if you don’t, please mail your offerings to the church. You can also do one-time donations through our website. The link is here
Please continue to be patient. No one plans on shutting down a church for weeks and has a plan ready to do so. But, we are trying. Many of you have asked about streaming worship services. First, the building is closed. Second, Bay Shore did not have the tech available prior to the closure to stream services or even record them using a professional grade camera—but, we will adapt and find ways to bring prayer, worship and offerings to you. Danny and Dulcie will do music offerings as much as they can on Sunday mornings through Facebook. Each Sunday afternoon, I will post the gospel for the day and a short reflection on our stories page on the website. I am also looking at how we can have times of prayer and times of conversation. I hope to have more offerings to you by Friday morning when Kate emails out the Beacon Newsletter.
The most important challenge I have for you today is to find ways to stay connected to Bay Shore and our community members. Please do reach out to your neighbors and fellow members—just ask them how they are doing. Want to help families in need? Buy extra groceries and drop off your donations to a local food bank (Hephatha is closed, too, so please—take your donations to an open food bank). If you have no risks for the virus, and can do so, volunteer at the food bank. Our local businesses are especially hurting—one way to help is to buy gift certificates and use them when things are calmer. I am sure that there are many more ways to assist. Thank you for doing what you can.
My prayers are with you all as we walk together through these times.
May God bless you and your loved ones.
(Notice how I didn’t say, May God be with you. God already is.)
Pastor Sarah Stobie is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting!
Topic: Pastor’s Bible Study
Time: Mar 18, 2020 09:30 AM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 804 793 827
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+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 804 793 827
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acitnbCK6u