No church services on March 22 and March 29.

If you are a high risk population, please do not come to church tomorrow. Please call and share this information with others who attend New Bridges, especially if they don't have email.
 
“Christians act out of love and that’s all there is to it!”
Aiden Gwanfogbe 4th Grade Confirmand
January 26, 2020@Initiative Gathering
 
When asked the questions about Christians and their relevance, Aiden asserted, “Christians act out of love and that’s all there is to it!” And he is correct in understanding the role of faith in our world today.
 
This Sunday, March 15, the New Bridges faith community will “act out of love” in witnessing the baptism of Senze, Jonas and Harriet’s daughter. In our witness, we will promise to help her parents raise her in a faith that acts out of love. We will commit to be her grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, and siblings in the family of God. We will promise to nurture her and support her as she grows in her faith and life. 
 
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we are on high alert about our health and hygiene practices. And for many of us, the fears and the “take care of me” attitude makes it difficult to be Christians that “act out of love.” Acting out of love is part of our efforts in protecting others from illness by washing our hands, keeping a safe distance from others and staying out of crowds. In addition, we are called to eat better and exercise and sleep more. (All necessary all the time). And most importantly if you are ill, stay home. I know that there are many folks that seemed burden by all the cancellations and requirements to keep people safe but as Christians we look upon it as an opportunity to “act out of love.”
 
Currently, during worship we will stop passing the offering and communion plates from one to the other and instead, come to the front to give our offering and to take communion. We have also placed hand sanitizer and plastic gloves in the kitchen and children’s rooms. However, as the COVID-19 situation has become intense more actions must be taken.
 
In acting out of love, our leadership has made a difficult decision to cancel worship services for March 22 and March 29 to keep others and ourselves safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition the March 21 Initiative Gathering will be combined with the meeting on May 16. You will be updated on future cancellations as the COVID-19 situation is updated. 
 
The leadership based this decision from facts and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations including the policy of social distancing that is seen to be the most effective way to combat COVID-19. Social distancing recommends that people should keep a distance of six feet or more from each other. Because social distancing is difficult to do in most gathering places, schools and universities have cancelled classes and other largely attended gatherings have been cancelled.  Here's more about social distancing:
 
From CDC re: closing schools
In regards to closing schools, children in particular seem to not develop many or any symptoms. They can then pass it on to other children and teachers, who will then take it home to their families, and potentially give it to grandparents. Older people and people with other medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and high blood pressure are particularly at risk of dying from COVID-19. People over the age of 80, may have a mortality rate of up to 14%. You don't want your grandma to get it, if we can avoid it. You don't want to accidentally infect your child's best friend's mum, who is battling breast cancer, if we can avoid it. Your friend from book club or the men's shed takes medication to suppress their immune system to treat an autoimmune disease, so you don't want to them to get it, if we can avoid it!
 
I am available by text, email, or phone. I have been advised by my children to stay home. I am not even allowed to see my grandchildren for at least 14 days and that's only if they don't go out I the public before that!! I will be practicing social distancing for awhile. If you want to meet at the church, one on one, please call otherwise I, too will be limiting my exposure to people because my kids told me too!!
 
IHow can you “act out of love” during these trying times and perhaps all the time?
  • Check in with people you know who are alone and offer help, food, a listening
ear--especially those who are at high risk.
  • Support local food banks or agencies who are helping families cope during this crisis.
  • Let the deacons and pastor know of people who may need assistance or a visit.
  • Provide a space in your day to be intentionally with God.
  • Call another member of New Bridges just to say hello! 
  • Volunteer! Social media sites have shared where help is most needed.
  • Inform yourself on how to protect others by reading the CDC website for up-to-date information
PRAY! PRAY! PRAY
For those affected by COVID-29 pandemic including medical staff, first responders, the quarantined, unemployed, parents with no back-up for childcare, college students unexpected transitions to on-line learning, researchers and scientists, the at-risk population susceptible to COVID-19 and more...
 
And Wash your hands!
 
Love and Joy,
Pastor Sarah