Message from Pastor Devon – March 16, 2020

Difficult decisions as we discern care for our community as a whole

The leadership of Wintergarden just finished up a meeting with trying to figure out a way forward to honor the concerns and questions many have in regards to worship and meetings taking place at Wintergarden. We believe it is important to “flatten the curve” and would like to encourage everyone to please to mindful of our community. We apologize for waiting so long to make a decision. 

Here are our following updates and cancellations:

  • Sacred Space Service: Our meditation service at 8:30am will continue. We will gather in the memorial garden to worship outside. This 30 minute meditation service is a time of listening, reflection, silence, and the Lord’s Supper. We will prepare the Lord’s Supper ahead of time instead of using our typical method of intinction. We will make our mediation service available on Facebook Live. Please visit Wintergarden Facebook page by clicking HERE.
  • Traditional 9:30 Service: We will cancel our time to worship together at 9:30 on March 15, 22, and 29th. Please know we are doing this to care for our community at large. Here are a few places where folks can “watch” worship services:


First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota: HERE at 11:00am Eastern
Church of the Palms in Sarasota: HERE at 9:00am Eastern
Village Chapel in Kansas City: HERE 9:30 CENTRAL TIME
Woods Memorial Presbyterian in Severna Park: HERE 9:30am Eastern

 

  • The building will be closed for all groups beginning March 15 through March 30th. That really means that events and meetings scheduled for inside the building will NOT happen from March 15-March 30.  If groups would like to meet, groups are welcome to meet outside on the property or in the garden area. We are asking for each group/individual to bring their own chairs and coffee. Groups are welcome to grab their groups coffee pots and those items from inside the church. Please do not use the chairs from inside the building. 
  • The Food Pantry will remain open but with modifications. We will be open from 12-4pm every Thursday. Guests are to come directly to the garage and not gather inside the church. We will be pre-packing boxes and directly placing the boxes in peoples’ vehicles. If you want to help volunteer, please contact Patti directly by clicking HERE.  If you know of anyone who is fearful of leaving their homes, but is in need of food, please let Pastor Devon know and she will help make arrangements for people to get food.  
  • The Community Garden and Food Forest Dedication has been scheduled for March 28. The dedication will be postponed until April. Date to be determined in early April. 
  • The Yard Sale Fundraiser is being postponed until April. 
  • Family Fun Night Cedarkirk Fundraiser is being postponed until April. If you would like to help send the kids to camp, please mail a check to the church. 
  • Third Tuesday at the Homeless Coalition: We will continue to prepare food for the Homeless Coalition on Tuesday, March 17. We will confirm through an all church phone call if we need people to come and help serve the meal.

Please remember to take care of yourselves. Be smart. Be kind. Be the church when you do go out into the community. Spread the love of Jesus without sharing germs. And share the toilet paper if you have an abundance. You can do it!

Also, for those of you who have asked about giving (I know you all were thinking about it!), you are welcome to mail your giving to the church office. I will be there off and on during the week to check the mail and be present in the community. If you feel comfortable doing so, here is the link to give online eletronically. It is really safe. We made it as safe as possible! Click HERE to give to Wintergarden during this time (and moving foward!).

Also addition, our denomination has put together a helpful list of information for moving forward. If you would like to hear what PCUSA is doing, please click HERE.

As the status of COVID-19 changes, it is important to stay up to date on the latest information from the following organizations:

If anyone is sick and you have the symptoms of COVID-19, please goes to the hospital! If you are just worried and concerned, please let Pastor Devon know by phone call, text, or email. 941-525-6671 or revdev08@gmail.com. Devon or a member of our care team will call you back and talk and pray with you. I will be as available as I can possibily be during this time. The care team will be checking in with folks as well. 

And finally, we will continue our journey through Lent in Plain Sight. I will share a daily devotion on our theme with scripture. This will also be through Facebook live and you can join me at 9:30am every morning. We will do our first one on Sunday, March 15 at 9:30 through Facebook Live. This will be a new adventure for us. Pray for the technology to work! I hope you will join me. 

Church, you are loved. You are prayed for. We want you to be well. And you are a gift. Continue to be the people of God wherever you might go and do so in a way that respects the needs of others and their concerns. 

Love in Christ-
Pastor Devon
941-525-6671