An Abundance of Caution
To the members and friends of Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church:
Over the past few days we have seen an increase in the spread of the COVID-19 virus in this country, along with commensurate proactive responses to protect people from infection and ‘flatten the curve’ of this global pandemic.
Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church is a loving community of faithful believers who care deeply for one another, and to that end, and out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending the worship service we had scheduled for this coming Sunday, March 15, and for at least the next 2 weeks (March 22nd & 29th). As you can imagine, this decision was not made easily. Two primary factors led us to believe that this was the wisest course to follow.
First, on Wednesday evening the governor’s office announced new guidelines: “The state’s public health experts have determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.”
We at PPPC have a significant proportion of members that may be particularly vulnerable to this virus and so, to be safe, should stay home on Sunday mornings for the near future.
Then late yesterday morning Mayor Eric Garcetti, at a press conference alongside county leaders and public health officials, recommended postponing or canceling events that attract more than 50 people. We also spoke directly to the head of the LA Department of Health on a conference call yesterday afternoon who echoed those sentiments.
Seeking to do our part to limit the spread of this illness, the PPPC Coronavirus Response Team believes that it is best for now to follow these recommendations from our public health experts.
We hope in the very near future to have options that will be communicated to you, via e-mail, for online giving and to view our worship services remotely. We also pledge to keep you posted with frequent updates as this situation unfolds. This is new territory for all of us, but we believe that the Lord is with us even in this current trial. We look forward to being together in worship very soon. Until then, the advice given to members of a neighboring Presbyterian church seems apropos:
We urge you to use this time to practice your faith – especially to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
1. Keep yourself safe. If your health is vulnerable, please avoid crowds.
2. Keep others safe. Avoid shaking hands. Wash hands frequently (at least 20 seconds). When possible, cover your hand when opening doors and using keypads.
3. Keep sharing the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 3:22-23). Our anxious world needs the calm of the Spirit of Christ. As Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled – neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
If you are feeling isolated or anxious, please reach out to your deacon and they will help you navigate these stressful times.
Your Pastors and staff are here for you. Please be in touch should you have any pastoral concerns. We will continue to communicate as this situation unfolds.
Your PPPC Coronavirus Response Team
Jim Palladino Margaret Keene Margi St. Clair Maggie Mann Geoffrey Moyer