Update from Pastor Lara
Dear Friends in Christ,
The apostle Paul reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. As you reflect on that, I invite you to take a deep breath and remember that we are connected to each other through God’s love wherever we happen to be.
Earlier this morning, the Executive Committee and I held a conference call to evaluate the safest next steps for the staff and community of Saint Andrew’s. Based on the closure of the Bellevue School District, we have determined the following actions:
- Sunday morning worship for the remainder of March (March 15, 22, and 29) will only be livestreamed. It will be at 9:30 am and a link to the livestream will be available. On those days there will be no other Saint Andrew’s activities, including Discipleship Hour and Sunday School. The doors to the building will be locked, and the only people allowed in will be myself, Dr. Will, and the people needed to assist with the livestream. In a separate email, we will send out information about how to access the livestream and also some “pre-worship homework” for you, so that you are ready for Sunday morning.
- Lenten Midweek soup suppers and worship services are canceled for the remainder of the season. You are invited to participate in the livestream of Holden Evening Prayer, hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seattle. Information is available on Immanuel’s Facebook page and website (www.immanuelseattle.org).
- All Saint Andrew’s committees and groups are asked to either postpone their meetings, or meet via conference call or Microsoft Teams. The church office will provide instructions and tutorials as needed to help set up those formats.
- We will continue to host Congregations for the Homeless (CfH) for this month. Our coordinators are in contact with CfH staff to ensure that policies are being honored and that CfH has the supplies and resources they need from us.
- Pastor Lara is available 24/7 for emergencies and phone calls (this is unchanged). However, visits will only be made in emergency circumstances. The staff is working to implement a phone tree/buddy system to ensure that everyone is cared for.
- At this time, we are planning to have regular office hours at the church. However, we strongly encourage you to follow the protocols set by the King County Department of Health and stay home if that is the recommendation for your age group. If we do close the office, we will notify you as quickly as possible.
These decisions were made when it was anticipated that the Bellevue School District would possibly reopen on March 30. However, Governor Inslee has since announced that all K-12 schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties are to remain closed until April 24. We will take that into consideration as we evaluate the Saint Andrew’s schedule beyond March 29.
Please know that we did not make any of these decisions lightly or in haste. We recognize the importance of being in community with each other, and that it typically means being together in the same space. As we work on ways to nurture our community when we’re apart from each other, I encourage you to “pray the directory.” As you do so, say each other’s names out loud before God. If you don’t have a directory or have misplaced it, please call the office and let us know so that we can send one to your home.
Please also call us and let us know how you’re doing, especially if you are in need of something such as a meal or even a roll of toilet paper. We will figure out the best way to get it to you.
Know that I am holding each of you in prayer, and I ask that you pray for me, too. This is new and uncharted territory for all of us.
- Please SHARE this information with those who may not read email on a routine basis.
- Please contact the church office, 425-746-2529 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions.