Dear Family and Friends of First Pres,
This afternoon I had the privilege of delivering 500 HEPA-quality masks to Broward General Hospital made by the members of this wonderful church. The Rogers and Jacaty families and I were met with a Baker’s Dozen of Nurses who were thrilled to receive your gifts of love and grace.
There’s an old saying that you can discover the true character of a person when the times are hard. A person of good character is consistent and steady with their virtues when circumstances are positive as well as when the world feels swirly. I am humbled to see that our Church has proven to be a church of great character during these trying times.
- You are tuning in for worship on Sundays and throughout the week.
- You are interacting with the online Bible Studies and groups.
- You are being faithful in your giving to the ministries of the church.
- You are showing a faith whose DNA is threaded with tested belief in Jesus.
- You are being the literal hands and feet of Christ to our community in times of hardship.
To view this week’s Sermon Sneak Peek, click on the video below:
Oh, how I long to see and hug each of you again! You make me so proud to be your pastor and I along with all the staff and leaders look forward to the time we can physically reconnect in worship and fellowship! Many of you have asked Pam, Nic and me, “When are we going to start worshipping in person again?” It’s a question we struggle on how to best answer daily as news from local, state and national leaders fluctuates hourly. Although parts of Broward County will begin opening up the fourth week in May, not everything will be.
Let me share with you what we know at this point:
- We are meeting weekly with Presbytery officials and pastors seeking the safest approach to regathering our community again. The Presbytery of Tropical Florida is asking all our churches to open up around the same time together and that time is not here yet.
- We are working with Mayor Trantalis’ Clergy Working Group with faith leaders from all faith traditions and denominations on a timeline for opening worship for the entire area. All these religious leaders from priests, pastors to Rabbis agree that safety is paramount.
- We are looking to develop a set of core Best Practices for what it will look like for us to start worshipping together again. It’s more than just opening the sanctuary doors and letting people in; we are having to address logistical issues of how many people can safely worship in the sanctuary at one time. What are the requirements for attendees with regards to facial coverings? Do we have sanitizing teams that come in behind folks in the pews or the bathrooms after their use (do we even open the bathrooms)? The questions are many for us to think about and their answers will require time to implement.
- The decision to reopen will be made by the Session under the guidance of local and national ecclesiastical, political and scientific-based input and discussion. We will re-open when it is safe for us to do so.
Our part of South Florida has not yet moved to Phase One reopening which will hopefully be soon. It is helpful to remember Churches will not open until late Phase Two or Three. Friends, we have a while to go yet. In the meantime,
- Our Livestreaming services and daily devotionals will continue.
- We are still actively engaged with our commitments to our ministry partners both here and abroad.
- Pastoral care is being done and facilitating spiritual formation through education for all ages continues.
- We have developed a new App for your devices that have a treasure-trove of helpful resources for you to use. You can find instructions on how to download the app and a basic tutorial by clicking here.
Recently I preached a message regarding the church’s need to be God’s peculiar people in the world. We are living into that need while living in a peculiar time. Our character has been shaped from adversity with the redemptive loving hands of God’s grace. We got this, Church! More importantly, God’s got this!
Love from your pastoral team,
Patrick, Nic and Pam