OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE

On this page, we will keep you informed of the church’s ongoing response to this crisis. You can check here for updates on our activities, ideas for ways to practice faith at home, and opportunities to be a great neighbor.

 

Church Family Updates

 

What if I need help?

 

How can I help?

 

How can I pray?

 

How can I grow?

 

RightNow Media

 

Where Can I Learn More About COVID-19?

 

How Can I Stay Emotionally Healthy?

 

Not Getting Updates? Contact Us!

 

Updated: March 25, 2020

 

 

Church Family Updates

 

Church Activities: The church office will be closed and all church activities and worship services suspended until at least Tuesday, March 24. The elders will be meeting that evening for prayer and discernment and keep the church family apprised of our plans for the weeks ahead.

 

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.

 

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 Online Resource Page to learn more.

 

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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! If you need anything in the coming weeks, we encourage you to contact friends from church, our elders & deacons, or a member of the church staff. 

 

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 703.402.7724

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

 

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How Can I Help?


As our church and the surrounding local communities take steps to reduce the risk in our region, there is also an opportunity for us to be active in mission and service to others. Here are some ways you can help!


Be a Good Neighbor: In your local community (in walking distance of your home), get in touch with your neighbors. This may be a great opportunity to make new friends and also be a resource to your community. Even in the midst of “social distancing,” let’s consider how we can demonstrate the love of Christ to our actual neighbors. Who knows what kind of opportunities to share the gospel this could lead to!


Hunger Resource Center Volunteers: SERVE is one of our local mission partners, operating a Homeless Shelter and Hunger Resource Center (HRC) in Manassas. They have a very small staff and several of their normal volunteers are out sick so they are actively looking for additional help. The work requires that you be healthy and not in a vulnerable population; periods of standing and moderate-to-heavy lifting. 


Family Shelter Wishlist:  Fauquier Family Shelter has an Amazon Wishlist of basic food and paper supplies that are running short. Consider ordering a delivery as a gift and have it shipped directly to the shelter: FFS, 95 Keith St, Warrenton, VA 20186


Prepare a Meal!  SERVE is looking for help with providing meals at their homeless shelter on a regular basis; a great project for your household or a  group of friends. Prepare and deliver a meal for approximately 50 residents to the shelter which will be served by their staff. This requires a financial investment by you to purchase food. Groups from Greenwich have done this before and we can help with ideas for what to serve and how much food is needed. 


Refugee Family Needs: A new family (young couple with a 1 year old child) has recently arrived from Afghanistan and is in need of queen bedding for their apartment and a donated vehicle. Please contact Jeanne Edwards: majiedw1@comcast.net.


If you would like to volunteer or have questions about any of the above opportunities, please contact Eric to coordinate: ebeckman@greenwichpres.org.


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How Can I Pray?

 

As we walk through this time, our most faithful step is to pray. Specific things to be praying for:

• For members of our congregation who may be sick or caring for someone who is sick, especially those who are in a hospital or rehabilitation center at this time.

• For nurses, doctors, aides, and others in the medical community who are working hard to help those who are in need.

• For our missionaries and their families, especially those in foreign countries who will likely be impacted significantly by this pandemic and its effects on their community: Austin & Sinte House in Myanmar, Juan & Veronica Linero and Victor & Beira Fernandez in Mexico.

• For God to use us for his purposes and help us to walk faithfully into opportunities He gives us to grow and serve in the midst of this crisis.

 

 

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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 Psalms in the Old Testament: This book of prayers is both encouraging, honest, and teaches us how to pray with wisdom, integrity, and faithfulness.

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.

 

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 Centers for Disease Control’s Resources for Home


Follow the Leaders: 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. These recommendations include:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Stay home from school work if you are ill, especially if you have a fever or cough.
• Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself. 



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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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Previous Church Updates

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

 

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

 

Dear Greenwich Family –

 

The Session met last night for prayer and discussion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We heard from two trusted members of the Greenwich family who offered their perspective on the situation as health professionals.  After a time of questions and conversation, the Session approved the following recommendations:

 

1.  Suspend all church-related activities at Greenwich through Tuesday, March 24.

-  This includes Sunday worship services on the 15th and 22nd. 

-  The church staff will coordinate communication with the many groups that meet at Greenwich during the week.

-  The church office will be closed for business during this period.

 

2.  Provide a livestream video on Sunday mornings March 15 and 22 conducted by the pastoral staff

      (with no congregation present). 

-  Each livestream video will be scheduled for 10:00am on the 15th and 22nd

-  Content for these two ‘services’ will be determined by the pastors and will consist of scripture, prayers and a short                  message.

-  Videos will be accessed through the church website and can be linked here.

 

3.  Church staff and office schedule

            -  The church office will be closed Saturday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 24.

            -  Church staff will work remotely through March 24 but will monitor church phone messages and mail.

            -  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

 

Finally, remember to ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself.’  The Session takes these actions as an expression of love.  We strongly encourage everyone to practice healthy self-care as recommended by the CDC and other trusted organizations.  And we ask everyone to honor the efforts of others who are seeking to care for themselves – especially those who are vulnerable to significant harm through infection by this virus.

 

Please check the church website for updated information on a regular basis.

 


Thursday, March 12, 2020


“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you…”  Jeremiah 29:7


Dear Greenwich family –


We are writing to you in light of rapidly unfolding events in our region and nation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.  We want you to know that the Elders and Pastors will be meeting tonight to prayerfully determine prudent and appropriate measures to protect both the church family and larger community. 


The following items will be considered:

1.  Suspension of all church related (and outside groups) at Greenwich for the next two weeks.

2.  The feasibility of recorded or livestream prayer/study services conducted by our pastoral staff (without physical congregation present).

3.  Ways to serve Greenwich family members who find themselves in need of physical support (food / transportation / other).

4.  Staff expectations, responsibilities and schedules.

5.  Means of securing spiritual care and pastoral support in a times when physical presence may not be possible.


Be assured that the leadership of Greenwich is seeking to act in a spirit of prudence not panic.  We believe we have a civic responsibility to ‘seek the peace of the city’ where God has placed us.  Any measures we adopt will done so in an effort to love one another and our neighbors as ourselves.


Please pray for the Session as they gather tonight at 7:00pm, and stay tuned for another all-church communication tomorrow with outcomes from tonight’s meeting.


Bless you.


Don