Last Updated on March 17, 2020, at 12:00 am

Prudence, Not Panic: CWW’s Compassionate Measures to Mitigate COVID-19

Like we announced in worship yesterday, our Admin Team met to review information and recommendations to churches on how to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are not living in the End Times, and COVID-19 is not the “Zombie Apocalypse.” However, as followers of Jesus we are called to be compassionate and strive to serve the needs of “the least of these.” This illness offers us a unique opportunity to “walk our talk” in faith for a higher good. Church in the Wildwood is in a community with a high population of older adults and other at-risk neighbors. We have prayerfully discerned that we should collaborate with town, county, state officials, and regional and national UCC entities. Through this collaboration, we can take precautions for the sake of our most vulnerable neighbors, as well as God’s world as a whole. Our prayer is that, if we sacrifice our personal desires and some convenience, then not much will happen and we will enjoy telling stories someday about “the epidemic that never was.”

Worship and Church Studies
We Are Still Open by Phone and Online! At this time, in accordance with other faith and public entities, Church in the Wildwood will not hold physical gatherings for the next month. Our hope is that our next physical gathering will be Easter Sunday Services and festivities, Sunday April 12 — and what poignant celebrations those will be! Praise God (and thank you generous benefactors) that our little church has the technological capacity and experience to be on the UCC forefront of live-streaming worship and holding online Bible Study and other “virtual” gatherings. Beginning today, the following activities will now be conducted online, either through live-streaming, watching YouTube recordings at your convenience, or via interactive Zoom (see instructions below):
  • Sunday Worship Services, 10:30 (live-streaming) or at your convenience afterward.
  • Community Book Club:
    • 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesdays, 6:00pm;
    • 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays, 12:00 noon (Zoom)
  • Wednesday Bible Study: Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (Zoom)
At this time, our intention is for those of us who provide worship to live-stream from our sanctuary, including Pastor Darlene, our small choir and other celebrants who are part of a particular service. However, people should not come to church to sit in the pews. At this time, the choir and bell choir members who assess that it is safe for them to participate will continue rehearsals at the church, as usual, using social distancing to minimize risk. Just join Zoom Bible and Book groups from your location as well. All of these plans are subject to revision as circumstances evolve.
  • Our Website = http://church-in-the-wildwood.org
  • Our YouTube Channel = http://church-in-the-wildwood.org/youtube
  • Facebook Page = https://www.facebook.com/cwwgmf
If you need help mastering technology to participate from your home computer or smartphone, please call the church (719-684-9427) or email Vaughn@church-in-the-wildwood.org or Revdar@church-in-the-wildwood.org. We’ll do all we can to help.

Church Office Hours
Our regular church office hours, Tues-Friday 09:00 a.m.-2:00 pm will continue by phone (719-684-9427) or appointment. However, we will not be unlocking the building for free access. While limited church staff and volunteers may be present in the building at times, we are asking people without specific duties to make appointments in advance. Please call the church or email Vaughn@church-in-the-wildwood.org or Revdar@church-in-the-wildwood.org about accessing the building. Please leave a voicemail message if no one answers the phone when you call.

Food Pantry
Our Tuesday Community Meal (2nd, 4th, and 5th Tuesday of the month) will be suspended until April 14, but our Food Pantry will be adapting to continue to provide food to our neighbors. Our 10th Anniversary celebration for the Food Pantry has been postponed but rest assured we will reschedule it as soon as circumstances permit. On our regularly scheduled Food Pantry nights (2nd, 4th and 5th Tuesdays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm), we will be fulfilling food box orders using a “drive-up” system. Currently, food and supplies will only be available during Tuesday Pantry times. 

Visitation/Community Assistance
Pastor Darlene intends to continue and, as time permits, increase individual/family visitation to help maintain human connection for members who should practice social distancing. There may also be church and community members who are healthy but need to practice social distancing. The church and town anticipate people may need check-in phone calls, help with grocery or medication delivery, pet walking, or other assistance. If you consider yourself healthy and low risk and you are willing to help with community support, please be in touch with Pastor Darlene. Please, if you feel the least bit ill, forego a physical visit, but know that we can stay connected by video or phone.

Non-Church Activities

Unfortunately, Yoga, Tae-Kwon-Do, and T.O.P.S. will not be held at the church until after Easter. We ask you to contact the coordinators of these programs for information about alternate plans.

Donations
While the church building is not open for public use, church activities are very much continuing, and renovation crews are stepping up their work, now that they don’t have to accommodate our usage. In fact, adapting is requiring more from our staff, at least upfront. If you are used to putting checks or cash in the plate, please continue to write checks each Sunday, but put them in an envelope! Please mail checks to us at PO Box 26, Green Mountain Falls, CO 80819 (Check must be made out to “Church in the Wildwood”). You can always donate online at http://www.church-in-the-wildwood.org/donatecww.

In a mysterious way, this difficult time is an invitation to elevated Lenten practices like self-examination, compassion, and service. If we accept the invitation offered, I am confident we will receive Holy Gifts as individuals, a church and a community, to the glory of God.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich.