CFC Going Online After This Sunday's Meeting for Worship
It is a strange, somewhat surreal time in our world, isn't it? It takes a certain on-your-toes quality to navigate it all, not to mention a good deal of compassion and courage. People are struggling in a lot of different ways right now, which is likely to be even more the case in the coming days and weeks. I also recognize an opportunity—and I say this in the least opportunistic way possible—for followers of Jesus in the Quaker way to simply be who we believe we are: people compelled to care for one another, both in our meeting and beyond it.
In the spirit of such care, and with a complicated mix of feelings, I want to announce some temporary changes to the way we share life together.
Firstly, we will meet, as planned, for worship this Sunday (the 15th). Jade will share about her time in Cuba, as planned. I do encourage you to opt-out of worship this Sunday, if that is something that would be more comfortable for you. I will post the audio of Jade's talk on our website (and Facebook) later that day. I anticipate a smaller gathering, but I do want to give us some space to be together. If there's a sweet spot between being solemn and playful, let's aim for that when we gather this Sunday. The world would benefit both from our lament and joy right now! I would benefit from expressions of both, too. So if you come, we'll practice cleanliness, space ourselves out around the room, and greet each other with a holy wink (while promising not to misinterpret each other's winks as any more than a F/friendly hello). We'll also discuss some of the following changes, which include:
1) We will not meet for worship at the meetinghouse on March 22nd or March 29th. Instead, I (Matt) will facilitate some kind of online experience for these Sundays, most likely asynchronous in nature (i.e., not requiring us all to gather at precisely the same time, or requiring us to brush our hair). I will communicate instructions to you all about how to participate in this format, while making an effort to include those who do not tend to spend much time online. The two dates mentioned above are a starting point; there is a good chance our hiatus from face-to-face meetings will extend beyond March.
2) Many of our March group experiences are also canceled:
3) The following March happenings are still "on" at the moment:
- The Celtic Christian Celebration scheduled for March 18th has been postponed to Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day!). This new date is subject to change.
- The Book Discussion Group, originally scheduled to meet March 25th to begin discussing Jemar Tisby's The Color of Compromise, will not meet as planned. We will either postpone the start of this "round" of discussion to a later date or meet online. Details forthcoming.
4) It is up to the discretion of the various CFC committees as to whether and how/where to meet.
- The CFC Work Day scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. We'll practice social distancing and hopefully enjoy a little sunshine in the process. This event is subject to change.
- Our Pantry hours remain the same: Sunday 12:30pm-3pm and Thursday 10am-1pm.
- Laundry Love is still on for Thursday, March 19th. Volunteers will be in contact with Matt and Kendra as to how to continue to provide this service in as safe a manner as possible.
5) Those of you participating in clearness meetings later this month should be in touch with me (Matt) as to how best to move forward.
6) The Right Sharing of World Resources fundraiser continues to be on! You can drop checks by the meetinghouse or donate online.
7) The April launch of "Friends & Food" is up in the air. Stay tuned.
Feel free to check in with me in the days ahead. And please check in with each other. Stay connected. If you wonder "how is so-and-so doing?" give them a call or send them a text. Also, if you feel led to facilitate some tangible act of care for people at CFC or in the wider communities of which we are a part, from Portland to Kalama and from Hillsboro to Washougal (and beyond!), please do so, and let me know how I and we can best support you in this. I will be around (at home or at the office or in the woods) and will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
I am glad that I can face the uncertainty of the days ahead with you. Though we might not be able to shake hands and give hugs and look each other in the eye, let's nonetheless commit to drawing near to one another (and to those around us who are vulnerable and in need) in the days ahead.
Love you all and peace be with you.