UPDATE: March 24, 2020
One of the needs during this time are for medical workers to have face masks. If you would like to help, click here for a guide for making a face mask. If you can create some, email Lisa Tyger and she will arrange for them to get to area hospitals for medical professionals to be able to have the protection they need to give the care that so many are in dire need of.
UPDATE: March 18, 2020
All services and events canceled through March 31, 2020.
Services on Sunday, March 22, and Sunday, March 29 will be live streamed at 10:00 AM.
Dear Friends in Christ,
I wanted to reach out and share with you some developments at Beverly Heights Church in light of recent recommendations from the White House and Governor Wolf’s office.
Both the state and federal government recommend that religious institutions use discretion and that Americans avoid gathering in numbers larger that 10. Under those guidelines, our staff of eight met yesterday in the social room, so that we could spread out the requisite six feet apart, in order to discuss our options moving forward. Our conversation yielded some specific updates that I want to share with you.
1. Out of love for our neighbors and community, and in accord with the White House guidelines for the next 15 days, we have decided to cancel all programming and events at the church through March 31, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and, if things change, we will be sure to inform you.
2. We will offer a modified worship service through our live stream at 10:00 AM on Sunday, March 22, and Sunday, March 29. This will be a little different for us all, but we trust it will be a helpful way for us to stay connected. Simply go to our live stream link here to watch.
3. Because we were unable to meet last week, several of you mailed your offering to the church office this week. We are grateful for your stewardship in worship and your continued faithfulness in supporting the ministry. Our plan is to remain active during this time by seeking ways to serve you, the Kingdom and the gospel, and your financial support helps. You can continue to mail your offerings, but in addition we have decided to enable a provisional online giving option during this time. Offerings are an essential part of worship in gathered worship, but since we cannot currently gather, we hope this outlet will enable you to exercise your stewardship of God’s resources within the life of the church. To give online, simply click here - there is no need to sign in. If you have more questions, please contact Katie Parrish.
4. If you have a need, the staff is available by phone or email to assist to the greatest extent that we can. Please feel free to contact the staff person you feel is best suited to address your need. Our contact information can be found on the website. Additionally, Jen Tan has remained busy acquiring essential goods and products that are in high demand during this crisis. If you are in need of food or toiletries, including toilet paper, we have some in reserve and would be happy to share; just inquire of me or Jen.
5. Finally, in an effort to keep us connected during this season of social distancing, I am hoping to provide a better social media presence through a video blog I’ve entitled “The Pastor’s Study.” We are a smaller organization with fewer resources than others who are using social media during this time, but our hope is to increase that presence nonetheless. I recorded my first video yesterday and hope to have it posted to our Facebook and YouTube pages by the end of the day. This is a bit of a stretch for me, both personally and technologically, so please be patient and gentle.
Some of you know that I’ve had some gastrointestinal troubles for the last several weeks. Last Thursday I had an ultrasound that was negative, revealing no problems, and yesterday I took a cardio stress test to rule out any heart problems. The stress test was also negative. Today I am having an endoscopy to check in on my hiatal hernia and to see if there might be any ulcers. I’d appreciate your prayers, and once the sedative wears off, I hope to edit and post the video. We will continue to remain in touch with you all, we pray for you and we are all looking forward to seeing each other at Beverly Heights soon.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
We will be live streaming a service for March 22 and 29 at 10:00 AM.
Live Stream Options
UPDATE: March 14, 2020
All Services and Events Canceled. Please click here for the Family Worship Packet for March 15.
Dear Friends in Christ,
I have been in my study here at the church all day monitoring the developments with the COVID-19 epidemic. I have been in conversation with our Session, with our staff and with other key advisors from the medical community.
As of today, KDKA News has reported and Allegheny County has confirmed that COVID-19 is now in our county. This new information significantly alters our calculation as to the propriety of our meeting for worship tomorrow.
Reports on COVID-19 state that the virus is transmitted before a carrier becomes symptomatic. It may even be transmitted by people that never show symptoms as well, which makes backtracking of exposure based on symptoms to determine spread difficult.
There are two important factors to consider: 1) what is the risk of infecting members of our congregation and 2) what is the risk to our community at large. We at Beverly Heights believe that we are gathered and scattered, but we want to do that out of love. We don’t want to unknowingly scatter and infect with COVID-19. Since we now know that the virus is in Allegheny County, our concern is for the common good and the calculation is one of how best to love our neighbor.
I love the Lord, I love our church and all of you, and though my strong desire is to gather for worship, I believe it is in the best interest of our congregation and a witness to our community if we cancel all services and activities tomorrow.
In addition, there will not be a live stream tomorrow. Instead I am asking heads of households to practice spiritual leadership in their homes to provide family worship. Singles and those unmarried might consider gathering in small groups as well.
Ours is a tradition that includes a rich history of family worship. The Westminster Confession of Faith 21.5 states:
Under the gospel neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is tied to or made more acceptable by being performed in any particular place. God is to be worshiped everywhere in spirit and in truth; in private families daily; privately by individuals daily; and regularly in solemn public gatherings, which are not to be carelessly or willfully neglected or forsaken, since God calls us to join other believers in public worship.
To better aid you in worship at home tomorrow I am including a link to our website that will have music, an abbreviated order of worship and a Lenten devotional for your family to read.
We have not yet made any determinations about Sunday, March 22, but will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with you any developments here at Beverly Heights Church.
The Lord’s blessing be on you all tomorrow. Be of good courage, and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide with each one of you, today, tomorrow, until Jesus comes again, and then indeed it will be forevermore. Amen.