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A Letter from the Session Regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 16, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our elders and I held an unprecedented session meeting on Sunday afternoon, March 15 to discuss our church’s plan in response to the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. I also invited the following people to share their ideas with the session: Curt Simpson (Corporation President); Karla Casteen and Vera Simpson (Music Program); Bill Butler (Audio/Video Technology); Art and Cheryl Raymond (Helping Hands Food Pantry); and Dr. Nancy Gladden (Mission Coordinator, East Community of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina).

We began our meeting by hearing from God’s Word in Romans 8:22-39, in which Paul reminds us that nothing in all of creation will able to separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ our Lord. We also took to heart Paul’s encouragement in 1 Timothy 1:7: “for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Before we began our discussion, we offered prayers for God’s wisdom and guidance and joined in the Lord’s Prayer.

The following decisions are effective immediately through April 1 (unless circumstances necessitate changes). The session will re-evaluate condition and plans before April 1.

WORSHIP
We will not have live, in-person worship services at the Wallace Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, March 29. Plans are underway to provide a live streamed worship experience through our website (www.wallacepresbyterian.com) on Sunday, March 29. You will receive more information about how to participate. If you would like to watch a live streamed worship service on Sunday, March 22, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington will be live streaming a modified service at 11:00 a.m. from the sanctuary. The link for the service is easily found at https://www.firstonthird.org/ . St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, Wilmington will also be live streaming throughout the closure at 10:030 a.m. Use this link https://www.sacpc.org/ministry/worship
PROGRAMS, MINISTRIES, AND USE OF BUILDING
All programs and group meetings have been canceled through April 1. This includes Sunday morning Opening Assembly and Sunday School classes, Presbyterian Women meetings, meetings of outside groups, and the March session meeting. The Presbyterian Women Mission Dinner and Program scheduled for Sunday, March 29 has been canceled. The session asks that you not enter the church building without first contacting our church secretary, Cheryl Brinkley, at 910-285-2808. Our Helping Hands Food Pantry will continue to operate in conjunction with Duplin Christian Outreach Ministries, as we anticipate a great need in our community. A new procedure for distributing food bags has been implemented in an effort to protect the health of recipients and our volunteers.
CHURCH OFFICE
The church office will remain open Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Our church secretary, Cheryl Brinkley, will be available to take your calls at 910-285-2808 and emails (cheryl@wallacepresbyterian.com). If you require Cheryl’s assistance, please call or email her before going to the church office.
In an emergency, please contact Cheryl, Clerk of Session Hope Turnbull (910-284-2813, hturnbull@murfam.com), or me (910-284-6563, drphil@wallacepresbyterian.com).
CHURCH FINANCES
Despite the necessary changes in our church’s routine, the session reminds you that the ministry and mission of our congregation continue, as do our financial obligations. The session encourages you to maintain your generous and regular giving in the coming weeks. You may mail your contributions to P.O. Box 717, Wallace, NC 28466. You may also make use of our online giving platform at www.wallacepresbyterian.com. Locate “Click Here to Give” in the upper right-hand corner of the website. Thank you for your generous and faithful support!
Friends, we are living in challenging and frightening times. Fortunately, we serve a God who is great and who loves us unconditionally in Jesus Christ. While this Covid-19 threat is upending our church’s schedule, we can continue to support one another through prayers, emails, and phone calls. The elders and I encourage you to reach out and check on one another, especially the most vulnerable among us. Feel free to share pastoral care concerns with me and the elders.
As I recover from my recent shoulder replacement surgery, I find myself somewhat “double quarantined.” I will be working from home but am always available by phone or email. I miss being with you as the people of God and look forward to our fellowship and worship in the future.
Be safe, and may God bless you and your families,
Phil

Wallace Presbyterian Church
205 West Main Street
Wallace, NC 28466-2903
910.285.2808
Fax: 910.285.3607

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 717
Wallace, NC 28466

Emails:

Pastor:
Dr. Phil Gladden

Church Secretary:
Cheryl Brinkley

Youth Ministry Leader :
Zachary Casteen



Presbytery of
Coastal Carolina

Presbyterian
Church USA