Forge Ahead Together
"Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:12
At the risk of burying the lead, let me tell you how grateful I am to the 18 elders who are currently leading and serving Christ as the Session of Canonsburg UP Church right now!
This past Monday night, we met together, creatively, for a regularly scheduled but not at all regular meeting. We reviewed some routine issues, prayed and listened to each other and for God.
They shared their hearts - feelings of frustration, anxiety, isolation and pressure… but also the feelings of blessing, gratefulness, optimism, and hope. What was abundantly clear was that they desperately cared for you, the "members" of Canonsburg UP Church and the members of our local community! They were steadfast in their desire to protect and keep safe our community, but also to meet the real physical, emotional and spiritual needs we have that have been exacerbated during this pandemic.
With the goal of meeting the needs of our community, they felt God was calling us to step forward in a few things.
1) To increase the capacity of our Sanctuary to 50 people on Sundays for worship (keeping space for 25 people in Fellowship Hall) at each of our 8:30am and 11:00am worship services.
elements available Sunday morning.
3) To further enhance our in-person and live-streamed worship services with technical upgrades to our sound and video system.
4) To seek additional "out of the box" opportunities to foster community and welcome people to Grow in Jesus, like outdoor worship services and more Small Group studies.
While it was a lengthy and weighty meeting Monday night, I'm so grateful to affirm the hearts of our leaders - they are working hard with their minds and their hands - because their hearts are committed to Jesus Christ and to you!
The biggest change is the expanded capacity in our Sanctuary for worship. We hope this will enable some people who were concerned about "taking someone else's spot" or that hadn't signed up in time, to be present, in-person. For those that are comfortable, in-person worship is available to you with the same procedures (masks, physical distancing, requesting reservations here) - but know we've never turned anyone away! For those that remain or are newly concerned, we will continue to provide and expect an ever-better worship experience online.
I would also be remiss if I didn't take a moment to thank Elder-Trustee Mike Blair, Chair of Personnel, who stepped in to take on many of Stephanie Woodin's duties while she was on maternity leave. He has been a tremendous help! Director of Pastoral Care, Pam Walker and Elder Josh Snyder have also picked up some things over that time, and their service and sacrifice for you, has been invaluable! If and when you see them, please offer your thanks for their love and service - I cannot say it enough.
And I'm delighted to have Stephanie back with us, as we forge ahead into this new life we're living… together.
Your elders and your staff work hard for Christ and for you, and I'm so grateful to acknowledge and commend them to you, especially during this time.
Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,