Shelter in Place order goes into effect!
B’nai Shalom – Virtual Programs and CBS Updates
We have been closely monitoring events related to Covid-19. We are aware of the recent shelter in place order from Contra Costa County, and we will be pausing our in-building programs for the duration of the order. We know that these are scary and unprecedented times; we also know that our community has the ability to make a positive impact.
At the outset, we want to say that we want to help in the ways that we are able. If you are an older adult or a person with an underlying health condition who needs help shopping, please let us know. We will try to make a match with a member of our congregation who is able to go out and go shopping. Also, a friendly reminder: we know that hand sanitizer is in short supply. The very best thing you can do is to wash your hands!
We’ve created a robust offering of virtual programs for the weeks to come. We are aware, though, that barriers of technology may prevent some people from accessing our content. If you know someone who would benefit from an old fashioned phone call, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in addition to email, now is a good time to make sure you are connected to B’nai Shalom in all the ways we communicate. We post frequent updates to Facebook. You can find us here: https://www.facebook.com/CongregationBnaiShalomPlease “like” and “follow” our page. You can also add me as a friend on Facebook; I will be sharing our synagogues updates there as well.
Again, if there is any way at all we can be helpful to you in this difficult time, please ask. More than anything our values of kindness, generosity, and warmth are needed to get through this difficult time. Please know that we are here for you, even if we can’t offer a handshake or a hug.
Wishing you blessings of health and strength,
Rabbi Daniel Stein
Virtual Programs for the Week of March 16th – 21st
Daily, Except Saturday 12:00 PMCheck In Call, No Agenda. Just say hi!https://zoom.us/j/346557506
Tuesday, March 17th3:00 PM PST/6:00 PM ESTNew Offering: An Overview of the Passover Haggadahhttps://zoom.us/j/330683255
Wednesday, March 18th3:00 PM PSTContinuing Course: Abraham Joshua Heschel in his Historic Contexthttps://zoom.us/j/800545300
Thursday, March 19th7:30 AM PSTVirtual Minyanhttps://zoom.us/j/303040574
Thursday, March 19th12:30-1:30 PM Virtual Lunch and Learn:Communal Responses to our Current Realityhttps://zoom.us/j/807579953
Friday, March 20th10:00 AM Preschool Shabbathttps://zoom.us/j/290572517
Unity of Walnut Creek Temporarily Closed
Here’s our latest notice on the Coronavirus:
UNITY of WALNUT CREEK CLOSED DUE TO COUNTY ORDER TO STAY HOME – 3.16.20
As most of you have heard, due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there is now an order in place through the Health Department of Contra Costa County to stay home.
At this time, all scheduled events are cancelled and the office and bookstore at Unity are closed until further notice. As soon as we have a plan for our Sunday broadcast and other ways of connecting using technology, we will post a new notice. In the meantime, please take this time at home for prayer and rest. Stay well.
Let’s pray: This virus is being eliminated and I am doing my part. I AM always connected to the God of my being. Nothing can disturb the peace of my soul. I breathe in, I breathe out, I wash my hands and give thanks.
And so it is!
Together in Spirit,
Rev. Kristin Powell
Social Distancing works!
I thought you’d be interested in seeing what Temple Isaiah is doing for the next two weeks…including postponing the global refugee shabbat service.
We will be livestreaming Shabbat services for the next two Friday nights from the Sanctuary at https://www.youtube.com/user/TIJewishNeighborhood. Current guidelines explicitly state that those over the age of 50 and/or with underlying health conditions not attend. The clergy will be in the Sanctuary and if you do not fit in these categories and would like to join us, you are welcome. There will be no Oneg or pre-service “Happy Half Hour.” While March 20 was originally scheduled as a HIAS Shabbat with particular attention to the global refugee crisis, that focus and those speakers will be rescheduled for another Shabbat. Instead, March 20 will be a ‘regular’ Shabbat, sans the Mizmor Band who was also originally scheduled to be with us that night.
Christ the King Catholic Parish
World Health Organization has declared Coronavirus as a pandemic today. Contra Costa County has been stepping up their efforts and advisory guidance each day. We want to continue providing services such as Mass and sacraments at CTK, until we are told otherwise by our diocese. Today at the weekday mass we had 60 parishioners and I asked them to spread out in the church, keeping certain distance between folks.
In the context of all of these, I am asking you to reassess or reconsider ministry meetings in our facilities until it is safe to do so. Let us look out for one another and pray for our community. We can accomplish a lot online if that helps. I am not mandating anything at this time, but inviting you to consider our share in containing this virus as most of our folks belong to the vulnerable category. You are in my prayers very much. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns or recommendations.
Unity Walnut Creek
Notice of In-Person Service Cancellation
Dear Unity Family,
We understand there is concern in our local community as news of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop. Our staff and board at Unity of Walnut Creek is continuing to monitor and respond to this evolving situation and is committed to keeping our community prayed up and safe by following the guidance of local health professionals. We are not coming from a place of fear, rather practicing one of core values — wisdom.
Effective Tuesday, March 10, it is the recommendation of Contra Costa County Health Department that gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for at least two weeks. We are following this safety recommendation so we will not hold in-person Sunday services for the next two weeks and instead we will broadcast an online only service at 11:30am.
Instead of coming in person, please join us online for the live broadcast on Sundays, March 15 and 22, at 11:30 am at https://www.unityofwalnutcreek.org/watch-live. Rev. Kristin will guide us in meditation and share a message and we will still have beautiful music and announcements.
Unless public schools close, our youth ministry will meet at 11:30am only. Our youth comprise a smaller group and are not considered a vulnerable population for this particular virus. Thank God!
- The memorial service for Mike Brommeland scheduled for Saturday, March 21, will be rescheduled.
- Two upcoming playdates – the Dance Party scheduled for Saturday, March 14, and Soul Collage scheduled for Saturday, March 21, will be rescheduled.
All other classes and events will still meet and the office and bookstore will remain open Monday-Thursday, 10:00am-3:00pm. You may still buy and write blessings on bricks for the labyrinth fundraiser during these hours through the bookstore. Join us for noon meditation on these weekdays as well.
We plan to gather again on Sundays and all other events after the initial two-week moratorium unless otherwise guided by Contra Costa Health Services and will keep you apprised as plans change.
In the meantime, please don’t forget that our spiritual home still incurs all the regular costs of staff, facilities and so on. Please keep the prosperity flowing by making your contributions in person during the week, by mail, via PayPal at unityofwalnutcreek.org, or through the Gyve app.
While we will miss being in one another’s presence these next two Sundays, we are never without connection. For prayer support, you may submit prayer requests online at https://www.unityofwalnutcreek.org/prayer-request or call the office for prayer. And let’s hold this prayer together:
I am ever so grateful for the technology that allows us to connect and share the ritual of Sunday inspiration. I know the presence of the Divine that connects us heart to heart – always. I hold this temporary situation and all people of the world in prayer remembering health and wholeness is the true nature of all Life. Wherever I am there is the power of God, the vibrancy of health and the essence of wholeness. I breathe in peace, I breathe out peace and know that all is well.
Please continue to follow these basics:
2) Wash your hands frequently with soap for 20 seconds
(sing God is My Source chant 2x https://www.youtube.com/watchv=HlXzSUS9DKo)
3) Stay home if you don’t feel well
4) Minimize touching others and your own face
5) Keep shared items and surfaces clean with anti-bacterial cleansers
In Peace & Wholeness,
Rev. Kristin, UWC Staff & Board of Trustees
Episcopal Diocese of California
March 11, 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
“And who is my neighbor,” the lawyer asked Jesus. Jesus answers by telling one of the most powerful, memorable stories of sacred scripture – The Good Samaritan. After he finishes the story, Jesus looks back at the lawyer and asks him, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”
I call the Parable of the Good Samaritan a story of the Beloved Community. The Beloved Community is as broad and deep as God’s all-encompassing reach, it is God’s love extended to all of life. As people who follow Jesus, whose constant message was that the Beloved Community (the Kingdom of Heaven) is near, and among us, we are called to be active in helping manifest God’s love, God’s Beloved Community. Living as neighbor to all — across lines of, perhaps, striking difference — is the challenge, and the promise, of life in the Beloved Community.
I am asking you now to stretch further, or better, to ask God to help us see and live beyond our normal bounds. Let us actively consider how we would answer Jesus in our own lives, our own congregations; how would we say we are being neighbor, not only to those with whom we share a common faith life, but to those who live in our neighborhoods? The Diocese of California has been asking that question in the Bay Area, and living into the answers, for 171 years. We must ask and answer this question anew, with God’s help.
Holding that question in our hearts as the new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in our region, I prayerfully ask all churches in the Diocese of California to cancel ALL public worship services for the month of March, with the possible exception of weddings and funerals. This decision will be revisited by March 31, at which time I will communicate our next steps.
In the meantime, I ask all congregations to consider how they might livestream worship services with a small gathering of clergy, altar party, and possibly choir members, making sure none in the gathering is among those most vulnerable to coronavirus. We will be sharing resources in the next few days to assist with this.
As we all know, trying times are highly stressful, not only for our congregations but also our neighborhoods. Regardless of their beliefs, people are going to come to us, looking for pastoral and spiritual care. Some additional questions to ponder:
- How might we respond to this opportunity, within the guidelines of our city and diocesan recommendations?
- Perhaps the church doors are open for a blessing or conversation?
- Maybe those of us with labyrinths could be more intentional with invitations to our neighbors? Share your creative ideas with us, so they may be included in our upcoming communications with the diocese (look for the next update email from the diocese, which will contain a number of downloadable worship resources, no later than this Friday).
This decision may be difficult for some. Let us listen and support one another; let us be reassured that, by asking for communion, we can be assured that our loving and gracious God will meet our need, even though we may be prevented from receiving the bread and wine by circumstances.
In practical terms, I will continue to provide advice to our diocesan community, giving updates as needed in a timely manner. As we continue to move forward facing the shifting reality of COVID-19 in the Diocese of California, I commend you for responding with so much love and creativity to what is already quite challenging. We may very well have much more to face with respect to COVID-19, and I do not take this pandemic at all lightly. At the same time, I know that not only will God help us, but we will be transformed by our love and courage in responding.
Delta Community Presbyterian Church
Our Session just voted to cancel services for the next 2 weeks as well as all other church events. We will assess during the 2nd week about what to do next. I will be emailing my sermon to them via pdf and I will attempt a Facebook Live sermon each Sunday on our church Facebook page. I just informed the congregation.
Rev. Douglas R. Schoonover
East County Shared Ministry (Community Presbyterian of Pittsburg & First Congregational of Antioch)
On Tuesday, the Contra Costa County Health Department updated their health policies asking community groups, including churches, to suspend their public meetings of 50 people or more in an effort to limit public exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
ECSM, in solidarity with the County policies and other faith communities, are cancelling our Public Worship Services for the next two Sundays. There will be no Public Worship Services on Sundays, March 15th and 22nd.
However, there will be Online Worship Services provided both Sundays with a link to our new YouTube Channel where you will be able to hear and participate in worship. We will send the bulletin by email through our eBlasts and on our Facebook page before the services so you can follow along.
Monday and Tuesday’s Bible Studies will also take a break this week. We will see when they can resume in the future.
As the Health Department encourages us to use Social Distancing in all parts of our lives, perhaps it can be seen as a blessing to get a week or two off from all of the busyness of our lives – especially during Lent!
Care for each other during these times, and do view your opportunity for solitude and silence as the blessing it is.
ECSM YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy3LDxNLNvIxliU5EZAH2sg/
If you want to see what the county is sharing, visit these sites: