817 SW Harrison, Topeka, KS 66612  785-233-9601

COVID-19 Response & Resources

June 18, 2020

The question getting asked a lot lately is “When will the church begin gathering for worship in the sanctuary?” While it’s a fair and reasonable question, it is one with no simple answer and one that the Session has carefully assessed and will continue to assess going forward. As of now, Session has decided to continue with worship online and on television, and there is no date set for when we will resume worship in the sanctuary. There are still many questions around the COVID-19 virus and great uncertainty as to what the weeks ahead hold for this pandemic. Your Session is very focused on the precautions necessary for the health and safety of this congregation, especially those who may be most vulnerable to the COVID-19 illness.

If we were to gather for worship in the sanctuary today, things would be very different. Social distancing and wearing a mask create a very different environment and worship experience from our usual practice—different even from sitting in our homes watching worship, without a mask. Corporate singing creates concerns as well. While we call on everyone to sing out when we gather, there is much research to suggest that there is greater potential for the COVID-19 to spread while singing. With the complexity of these and many other factors, Session has decided to wait to select a date for re-gathering until the picture becomes clearer. The church has formed a Re-gathering Task Force to work with Session in determining the timing for re-gathering and the environment in which it will be safe to do so.

To summarize what this all means, no date has been established for when we will resume worship in the sanctuary. Session and staff continue to carefully monitor and assess this situation and will be communicating quickly with you when a date for re-gathering is known.  Until then, please remember that the church is not closed. Continue to worship with us online and on television, and continue to reach out and support one another as we all get through this together.

Thank you. God bless and please be safe.

Sandra Brown, Pastor

Patrick Yancey, Associate Pastor

Follow us on social media to stay connected and up-to-date! In addition to posting the worship services on Sundays, we are also posting video messages regularly during the week.

Helping the Community

We know that during this time of suffering and uncertainty, it is natural to want to help others. Below are a few resources to stay connected and love your neighbor. Remember, one way to love your neighbor right now is to stay inside, practice social distancing, and do your part to keep others safe and healthy! 
 
  • Continue to donate items to Doorstep – Doorstep is continuing to serve those in need. They are currently in need of the following items: jelly (any flavor), canned fruit (any kind), spaghetti sauce, Hamburger Helper, pinto beans, egg noodles, pork & beans. 
     
  • Donate to local food banks, such as Harvesters – The food bank based in Topeka and Kansas City serves 26 counties in Kansas and Missouri. Communications Manager Gene Hallinan said Harvesters needs donations, “Because of the pandemic, Harvesters is not receiving as much donated food and we’re seeing a shortage of volunteers who sort and pack the donated food,” he said. Go to www.harvesters.org to learn about donating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
  • Donate blood – The nation’s blood supply is at a critical level, and the American Red Cross is calling for people who can donate blood to do so. The Red Cross is working to quickly identify and replace blood drives canceled due to workplace and school closures. To see if there is a blood drive near you, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
     
  • Call or write to those who are unable to leave their homes – There are many vulnerable individuals who are unable to leave their homes during this time. To keep people from feeling socially isolated, call or write to keep connected. If you have children at home, have them make cards or color pages to mail to a local nursing home. Get creative and spread messages of cheer.