Congregational Care

Town Hall Meeting

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020 in Congregational Care, Mission, Session, Staff | Comments Off on Town Hall Meeting

On September 13, 2020 we held a Town Hall Meeting. You can watch the video below or read the report under the video. For more information please reach out to Pastor Shannon Ashland Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Operations UpdateSeptember 2020 The Session has been working hard these last few months to stay on top of the latest news and conditions related to the COVID pandemic. We all agree that it is critically important to keep the congregation apprised of where we are and where we expect to be in the future. We would like nothing more to be able to offer a definitive timeframe for when the life of the congregation can return to something with more semblance of “normalcy”. While our impatience with the pandemic restrictions grow, the realities of our current situation remain unchanged. COVID-19 remains present in our community and new cases are identified within our community every day. We continue to be the body of Christ, caring for one another and worshiping together, although in different ways. Maintaining physical distance and following public health guidance are actions designed to care for one another and our community. Through this physical distancing we are demonstrating our Christian faith by loving God and our neighbor, and protecting persons who are most vulnerable and susceptible to the virus. Nevertheless, the life of the congregation goes on, although it looks different than it ever has. We wanted to make you aware of the various expectations for the remainder of this calendar year. Worshiping in pandemic timesWhile we do not expect to worship in-person as a congregation in the immediate future, we will continue with our remote worship through video. We feel that because of the restrictions of in-person worship such as no singing or communial speaking, no passing of microphones or offering plates, and no passing of the peace or fellowship we can offer a better worship experience through video. We also have the restriction of our physical space being small, with poor cross ventelation, making safe social distancing difficult for any significant number of people. Our online worship videos are reaching over 100 views a week and we have received acolades from members who have long moved away who feel deeply connected to Ashland through these services. We know not everyone can access them and we continue to work on ways to reach those without computer access, such as publishing a sermon each month in the newsletter. Even when we return to in-person worship some day, we will continue to provide online worship. As we said, we do not know when gathering for worship will be possible and these plans can change in either direction as the situation changes. The Session will begin to consider steps of resuming in person worship after Baltimore County enters Phase 5 of the “Maryland COVID-19 Recovery Plan.” The State of Maryland uses the following benchmarks for entering “Phase 5”: New COVID cases and deaths continue to decrease for an additional period of time.The number of active cases reaches a point where infection from other members of the community is less common.Positivity rates fall much lower than earlier phases with widespread testing.New cases continue to fall with rapid case investigation, contact tracing, and containment strategies . Realistically, we do not expect our region to enter Phase 5 until 2021. As things change and develop, we will continue to monitor the conditions, consult with the presbytery and health experts. We also promise to continute to update the congregation as the situation evolves and changes. Staying apart, but together Care of the Congregation continues to be supported by the work of the deacons and our Pastor. Please let us know, by contacting a Deacon or Pastor Shannon, if you or someone you know is experiencing anger or grief; are in self-quarantine; or feeling isolated, lonely, anxious, or sick, as we want to reach out and care for you in these challenging days. Support and prayer can be offered over the phone, through video-conferencing, or Pastor Shannon can make a socially distant outdoor visit.Ashland will continue to offer...

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Tuesday Evening Prayer and Check-in

Posted by on Mar 16, 2020 in Congregational Care, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tuesday Evening Prayer and Check-in

Tuesdays 7:30 PM Eastern Time Join Zoom Meeting from your computer or smartphone, simply click the link! https://zoom.us/j/8619402634 Join over Phone Call (301) 715 8592 Enter the Meeting ID when prompted: 861 940 2634 Password: 268801 View the video below for information on how to join a meeting by...

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