March 18, 2020

 Hello Church of the Hills Family,

 I pray all are well and taking the steps needed to thrive.  If you learn that there is anyone in our congregation that is in duress, may need assistance, or a pastoral phone call then please email me at susan@churchofthehills.com.

 

There is quite a bit of information in this letter so please read until the end.  I will try to keep it simple.

 

The Session met on Monday March 16, 2020.  Three elders were happy to meet at the church and practiced social distancing.  The rest of us used Zoom.  This is a program that allows up to 100 people to “meet” using their computers or phones.  I am honored to be serving Jesus’ church with these servant-leaders.  They are thinking outside of the box and making wise and swift decisions.  Here is the summary.

 

Congregational Care

 

Elders and Deacons will be calling members of the congregation on a weekly and/or bi-weekly basis so that we can stay connected.  They will let me know if people need a pastor’s phone call.  If there are immediate prayer needs, then I will send out those prayer requests.  If you do not receive a phone call from either an elder or a deacon by the end of this week then please let me know.

 

 

Worship Services

 

Sunday morning, Holy Week, and the Easter service have been suspended until further notice.   The Good Friday service was cancelled by the Cross-Cultural Covenant Community leadership.  We will not gather in person to worship until the Center for Disease Control and our civic leaders give us the “all clear.”   

 

We are working to develop an online worship service that will be available to everyone that has internet access.   Details on this will follow soon.  Please look for another Constant Contact email or the Church of the Hills website for updates. 

 

 

Church Building Use

 

The church building is closed except for essential personnel and appropriate maintenance.  Last Friday, March 13, all outside groups were informed that the church is not available for their meetings until further notice.  Mountain Community Pathways (MCP) is a tenant and the Administration Committee is in contact with them regarding parameters of use.  MCP is not meeting this week and their programming is subject to Federal, State, and other licensing guidelines.

 

In order to lower the level of necessary cleaning, the Session decided to close off the lower level of the south side of the building. This includes the Parlor, Session meeting, Craft, old Youth, and the video room.  This is to ease the custodial burdens.  The church offices, sanctuary, narthex, old nurseries, library, and choir room will continue to be cleaned as needed.  We are living in hope that there will be a time that small group church meetings will resume.

 

 

Church Staff

 

Cathy, Office Administrator, is working from home.  She has all that she needs to keep us updated and countless other “to do’s” that she can complete from her home.  Tom, Finance Administrator, will be going into the office; his role is essential to the function of the church.  Brian, Custodian, has been given the option to decide if he’d like to continue to work or not.  To date, he continued to feel comfortable in his responsibilities as custodian.   Hanna, Director of Music, is essential to the planning of the virtual worship services.  I will be working from home and plan to deliver the worship service from the Sanctuary with the help of Neil and Colter Snyder, and a very few others.

 

 

Your Pledges

 

 Currently the church budget looks good.  However, in the elevated anxiety of these days, it may be easy to forget that our pledges matter to the support of the church.  If you are able to maintain your pledge and usually place your pledge in the offering plate during worship then we ask that you please feel free to mail a check to Church of the Hills, P.O. Box 1210, Evergreen, CO 80437.   We recognize that many of you have automatic withdrawals from you bank accounts that cover your pledge; thank you for your continued support. 

 

PLEASE BE CLEAR THAT I WILL NEVER SEND AN EMAIL ASKING YOU TO TRANSFER FUNDS – EVER!!!  The scam artists are in full swing.  If any correspondence looks suspicious then it probably is a scam.  I, Elders and Tom will not contact you and ask you to transfer funds to some random account.  At some point in the future, a Constant Contact email from either the Session, Stewardship, or the Finance committee may be necessary, but we will make it clear that it is from a church committee.  We will never ask for funds to be transferred into an individual account – ever.   If in doubt then please email me (susan@churchofthehills.com), Jerry Bucholz (bucholzjl@msn.com), or Tom Maxey (tom@churchofthehills.com).  It takes only a few minutes of our time to stop a scam artist.

 

 

Covid19 Scams

 

Please be aware that COVID19 scams are under way.  Evidently malware is hitting computers when people click on the maps that indicated who is getting the virus in what areas of the state, nation, or world.  Scammers are also sending false COVID19 emails.  Do not open these emails if you do not know the sender; evidently, they download a virus to your computer. 

 

 

Local Support

 

I was in a Zoom meeting with the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce on Monday.  The chamber is trying to be the central hub to connect people with agencies that can offer support during this time.  As of this morning, those links were not clearly posted.  Once they are posted then I will place a link to the chamber on the Church of the Hills website.  ECHO food bank and the Senior Resource Center continue to support our community and are making adjustments so they can both support those in need and meet protective guidelines.

 

 

Be well my dear Christian sisters and brothers.  I look forward to the celebrating when we worship in person again, that day will come.  Until that time, I continue to live into Paul’s words to Timothy, “for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7).

 

Remembering that Jesus is always with us,

 

Pastor Susan