A Word from the Pastors | 3-17-22

Church Council.

Your elected servant-leaders gathered for a Zoom meeting on Monday, March 14, 2022. We are full of gratitude for the willingness of Church Council members to continue guiding and serving here at St. Peter’s during these different and difficult COVID times! Some notes from that meeting:

  • Minutes from the February 14 Zoom meeting were reviewed and approved.
  • Finances. A report was presented by Ben. After two months (January – February) BUDGET INCOME was $27,907.83 and BUDGET EXPENSES were $30,907.49, a deficit of just under $3,000. The expenses included a first installment in our commercial insurance and some of those higher gas bills for heating. [If you want to compare, in 2021 our deficit after two months was about $1,900.]
  • “RE-OPENING”. There is some hopeful news regarding this two-year COVID-19 struggle that comes by way of medical officials and our Synod:

     In the United States, 78% of the population has received vaccinations or survived infections. Right now there has been a steady and rapid decline in both infections and deaths. Overwhelmingly, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated. The only significant vulnerability group is the “under 5 years” population that has not yet been cleared for vaccination. With no new variant threats and encouraging medical statistics, congregations may consider this a “steady state” relating to COVID (not unlike the flu each year or HIV over the years) where we are aware of some risks but not bound  by regulations, guidelines, and anxiety in order to live our daily lives in a more normal way. Meeting together, being indoors together, not wearing masks, singing, sharing meals, distributing communion, etc. are no longer considered “risky”, except for the unvaccinated. The “risk” has now shifted to individual decision and personal responsibility regarding attendance, masking, social distance, etc. Immunocompromised individuals (cancer; diabetes; HIV; heart conditions; chronic kidney, liver, and lung diseases, etc.) who have concerns or questions should consult with their healthcare providers. Congregations are  encouraged to make judgments about protective measures based on reported transmission rates and the general consensus of that community of faith.

             (Pastor Neil’s notes from a Synod webinar, February 22)

Regarding worship, our Church Council is looking to move forward with faith and courage… and little footsteps. We want to dust off our video equipment (purchased and installed and minimally tested, then untouched for the past two months) and check out how to use it. We had been looking without success to hire a “Video Production Specialist” who might help get us started and also train some volunteers… but now we’ll begin with volunteers and the knowledge that we already have. We are going to clean the sanctuary, hallways, etc. We will plan and prepare for worship that might be meaningful for two different types of worshipers. We are praying that we might be prepared by Easter Sunday morning, April 17, to have “hybrid worship” that would include connection and interaction between our “in-person” worshipers gathered in the sanctuary and our “remote” worshipers in their homes both near and far away. If we are fast learners and encounter no snafus, we really hope to begin earlier, perhaps with Palm Sunday and two Holy Week worship opportunities. But if we have issues, we might not be ready by Easter Sunday. It’s been a long two years. Can you believe that this is a “resurrection” possibility after all the struggle and the losses?

  • Outside Entrance Doors. We have obtained one bid of $19,932.08 to replace two sets of double  doors (the lower Church Office entrance and the Briar Road entrance) and will seek to get one or two other bids.
  • LoftySpot. The creator, Ms. Jean Steinke, offers a software-based platform for assisting community centered organizations (churches, libraries, community centers, etc.) advertise, book, and bill underutilized space, thus providing some income for the organization but also serving the community. Following a visit to our site by Ms. Steinke that included general discussion with three St. Peter’s Council representatives, we are looking for more information from her and also considering the opportunities and challenges before making a formal decision.
  • Synod Assembly. Our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod will again meet online this year. The date is April 30 (most of the day), and St. Peter’s can have 3 delegates plus both Pastors represent us. Interested? Contact Pastor Gwen.
  • Synod “Day of Service”. Our Central Philadelphia Conference will participate in collecting care packages to distribute to the homeless in several communities in our city. The list of items will be published separately from this writing. April 23 will be the date of distribution.
  • Women’s Ministry. Carpet to replace the disintegrated carpet in Knapp Chapel has been selected. This was a selected “Women’s Day” project that may include painting the walls (before the new carpet is laid!).

                                

We are praying that you are each experiencing some

“spring growth” in your faith and in your daily faithfulness during these forty days of Lent! “Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word

 

Pastor Neil & Pastor Gwen   

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.