OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE


Church Family Updates


UPDATE:  May 23, 2020 - Church Activities Remain Suspended through June 10


In light of the President’s announcement this week that Churches are “essential”, many have asked when Greenwich is re-opening for worship and other activities.  The short answer is ‘not yet.’  The Session has begun discussing the many logistics involved with re-opening safely and anticipates offering further guidance at its June 2 meeting.  We invite your patience and prayers as we continue to work through these challenges.



Church Activities: The church office will be closed and all church activities and worship services suspended through June 10. The elders are meeting regularly for prayer and discernment and will keep the church family up to date on future plans. While groups cannot meet in person, many of our Bible studies and fellowship groups are staying connected online through email & virtual meetings. Get in touch with your group leader to learn more or contact the church office if you want to learn how to gather online. 


REALM: This is a great opportunity to get up to date in our online church directory and communication tool called REALM. If you do not have an account or haven’t logged in recently, go to our Get Connected page to learn more.


Giving: Some have expressed concern about the church budget when worship services are canceled. Feel free to make donations by mail or here on our website. When making online donations, keep in mind that administrative fees are significantly lower for donations made using a checking account rather than a credit card.


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What If I Need Help?

 

As we follow the government and healthcare provider recommendations in the coming days, some in the church family may find themselves in need of necessities such as food, supplies, and medication. Or you may just find that you feel isolated and need someone to talk to! We have a number of volunteers from our church community who are available to run errands and assist those in need in the community. If you need anything in the coming weeks, please contact us.

 

Church Office: office@greenwichpres.org or 703.754.7933
 

In case of pastoral emergency contact:   

Pastor Don Meeks, dmeeks@greenwichpres.org or 703.402.7724

Associate Pastor Eric Beckman, ebeckman@greenwichpres.org or 703.209-7125

Lucille Marciano, Director of Congregational Care, lmarciano@greenwichpres.org or 704.453.9221

 

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How Can I Grow?

 

One of the unexpected blessings of the coming weeks may be time. The unsettling of our daily lives and routines can be an opportunity to create new habits and make some investments in our spiritual growth. We want to begin by challenging you to read your Bible every day.  If you do not already have a Bible reading routine, we want to encourage you to start in one of two places:

The Gospel of John in the New Testament: John is organized around a series of encounters that Jesus has with people. He instructs. He heals. He encourages. He challenges. And He forgives.

The Psalms in the Old Testament: This book of prayers is both encouraging, honest, and teaches us how to pray with wisdom, integrity, and faithfulness. Don Meeks has also recorded a helpful Bible study on Praying the Psalms.

 

RightNow Media: If you would like to begin a Bible study for yourself or your family, a great resource is RightNow Media, a library of video-based Bible courses at no cost to you. Visit our Online Resource Page to create an account or login to RightNow.

 

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Where Can I Learn More About COVID-19 & What Should I Do?

 

A good starting point for information & what to do is the National Centers for Disease Control

 

Follow Government Mandates: As Christians, we are called to “submit ourselves to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1). Therefore, the leadership of Greenwich encourages you to follow the recommendations of local, state, and national authorities for how to stay healthy and keep others healthy during this crisis.

 

Prince William County

 

Fauquier County

 

Commonwealth of Virginia

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How Can I Stay Emotionally Healthy?


Adapted from a blogpost in Psychology Today by Margot Starbuck (former Greenwich Women’s Retreat Speaker circa 2009!)


Pay Attention to Your Body and Your Emotions: It’s natural to experience stress and anxiety in the face of a threat we cannot control. Because every person reacts differently, notice what your body and emotions are telling you:

• Listen to your emotions, noticing any anxiety, sadness, anger, or detachment;

• Listen to your body, noticing any change in appetite, new aches and pains, or feeling particularly hot or cool; and,

• When you notice troubling symptoms, pause to care for your body and mind. If you become unable to manage or function well, seek the assistance of a professional.

Access Reliable Resources: You can choose how you will receive and consume information about the outbreak. If you rely on panicked phone calls from your anxious loved ones, you’re likely to suffer more than if you choose to rely on credible sources. Two reliable sources for health news include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. Also, if you become consumed by breaking news about the spread of COVID-19, you can also choose to step away from media reports for a time.

Share Reliable Information: Another way to care for yourself is to care for others by sharing the best information you’ve discovered. When you find a reputable resource that’s particularly helpful, share it with a loved one. When you learn about practices that keep people safe, let a relative who is vulnerable to illness know. In a culture where people are feeling anxious, you can be a gift to others.

Practice Self-Care: In the midst of a stressful season or situation, many self-care practices are the same ones that prove helpful in everyday living:

• Maintain your normal routines.

• Connect with family and friends.

• Eat well.

• Stay active.

• Get adequate rest.

• Do enjoyable activities.

• Employ coping skills that nurture your spirit, like mindfulness exercises or prayer.

Support Each Other: We aren’t created to go through extreme stress alone, so this is also a time as part of God’s family to care for each other. Here are two questions to keep asking yourself:

• What opportunities do I have to help others?

• What is overwhelming right now that I should ask someone for help with?

While it feels like there is a lot we can’t control amidst concerns over COVID-19, every one of us can make choices to stay emotionally healthy.


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