For the next three Sundays of March, rather than congregate in our Meetinghouse, we plan to livestream our service of worship at 10:00 a.m. as a substitute for our usual manner of assembly. You may watch the livestream on our Facebook page or attend via Zoom Meetings.
We will also make available a recorded version of that worship on our church’s web page (uccdarien.org).
Expect an abridged service of worship with instrumental and vocal music, prayers, reading, and homily. Our hope is that by Palm Sunday on April 5th we will be able to resume our usual manner of worship. And that we will then eagerly celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday with renewed vigor. We will reevaluate where we stand three weeks from now and inform you what might be possible then.
Also, we suspend all of our meetings within the church through March 29–both church groups and outside gatherings—as we encourage our lay leaders to continue transacting the church’s business electronically.
We adopt the path of preemptive caution because of the power of COVID-19 to increase exponentially at this stage in the spread of the virus. We are mindful of church members, especially elder members who might attend worship or meetings and be exposed out of their loyalty to First Congregational. But we also consider our wider Darien community and beyond, and our obligation to be good neighbors. Not far down the road in Westchester County one man in a house of worship created a significant pocket of exposure.
We recognize this is significant upheaval for our congregation. But we believe that the power of our Christian community can withstand this test, just as we have for over two centuries. We ask for your patience and support as we try to get ahead of this pandemic, as we try to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. We apologize for this disruption in our spiritual life and hope you understand.
We realize the looming threat of this pandemic has caused anxiety and even trauma to some. Benjamin and I make ourselves available to be present unto you, to walk alongside you, to pray with you, even to bring you communion. Only say the word and we will appear at your doorstep, as best as we can. Our mutual care also extends beyond that—especially now. If you or someone you know is ill and needs help, if you are quarantined and need things brought in: (203) 655-0491 x. 101.
Even though we are now prevented from physically assembling, this is a time for our membership to pull together. Please pray for First Congregational Church, for each other, and for the wisdom of your leaders. It is not a time for stoking panic, but for intelligent urgency about this moment in history and our charge.
Please be leaders in your neighborhoods as social distancing has become the watchword of the moment. Your friends or neighbors may become filled with fear and require another to walk alongside and reassure.
The Rev. Dale Rosenberger,