The session met on Sunday, 17 May and I hope you will join me in thanking them for their constant wisdom, compassionate leadership, and diligent discernment. It’s not an easy time to be charged with such responsibility among a church. Decisions are difficult, complex, and sometimes unpopular. For as many people as their are in this world, there are as many thoughts about what CoVid 19 is all about and how we should proceed. Because we are a congregation that deeply values one another, recognizes many of us are at extra risk due to health conditions and age, and because we are called by the Way of Christ — the way of love for all; we are being cautious and diligent for the sake of all. According to what we have been learning from the medical leaders of Metro, while younger people are testing positive more in Metro, those over 65 have had a much higher death rate (e.g. 85% of those over 65 who have gotten CoVid have died). Discerning through such realities for the spiritual life of a body of people is not at all easy or being taken lightly. Each member of the session has stayed with it as we have discerned and has given the process their all! I am grateful! Know that on Sunday the session discussed at length, talked about needs in the weeks ahead, and came up with a plan for what we need in place before we can consider reopening any of our in person ministries. I am proud of them — their patience to learn and listen, their willingness to give the best of their hearts and minds, their faithfulness in supporting what God is up to among us even amid CoVid 19. If you find yourself bored or blue any moment this week, consider reaching out to one of your session members to thank them for their leadership — especially in these very challenging days! Special thanks too to our church Treasurer Kathy who has gone above and beyond diligently, tirelessly, faithfully in giving her time and talents to ensure the financial offerings and expenditures of the church are being fully and properly taken care of these weeks! THANK YOU KATHY!!! I also appreciate her years of nursing experience and willingness to keep us briefed on the latest science regarding this disease among us. Along with her knowledge and the information we are learning from the CDC, Metro Nashville Health Department and government office, the PCUSA, other official sources, and those of you who have been out working in essential services all through CoVid 19; the session set forth reopening metrics that are to be followed and must be reached as we work towards the day we all will be able to gather in person again.
HPC’s Metrics for reopen in person ministries:
1. We will follow the Phases established by Metro Nashville (found at https://www.asafenashville.org/).
2. We will have and follow an approved Protocol Plan including required cleaning procedures prepared by the session’s Reopening Team that will work with Pastor Jule to ensure we are ready to safely reopen when the session deems the Metro Phase that applies to the congregation has been reached.
3. We will ensure our continuing Supply Capacity of needed items (hand sanitizer, hand soap, masks, required sanitizing products for high touched surfaces, etc.).
4. We will have a process in place for responding when someone in the facility tests positive for CoVid 19.
We are just beginning work on these metrics and we assure you we will do all we must for the health and safety of Hillwood PC members, friends, and staff so that when the day comes that we can reopen in person ministries; you can be assured we are doing all we can to reduce your risk. Plans will include protocol to be followed for all our community partner building users and session will approve CoVid-related protocol policies Playcare will be required to follow when the Playcare Board approves and submits those to session.
Just as our city is not yet at the point of full reopening, we are not. We understand how tiring it can be to stay at home, social distance, not be able to just come together if even outside. Perhaps you are missing each other. Perhaps you are feeling spiritually parched. Perhaps you are scared or bored or doubtful or sad or confused or angry or any one of these emotions and more depending on the moment of the day. Almost everyone I talk to about my experience during these weeks reminds me it’s like that for them too and for others from whom they have heard. These days are difficult and dragging on and are even more difficult for some because of the demands on us or the make up of our household or level of isolation we are experiencing. Please be gracious with yourself. Please be patient. Please do not suffer alone in silence — reach out to me, another church member, a friend, a family member, a professional therapist, or doctor, and even to God!!!
Know that for now, all in person ministries on HPC’s property remain closed for the health and benefit of us all. Weekly worship will continue through our YouTube channel (always available Sunday morning through our Mail Chimp email, or directly from the link on our website). Session has requested we modify our Mid-Week Connection meetings for June in a effort to better meet needs; thus, beginning in June we will have two 30 minute Mid-Week Connection options (one noon-12:30 and one 6:00-6:30 p.m.) Stay tuned for further details on June dates. While we will NOT be including the Lord’s Supper every first Sunday of the month in our virtual worship experiences, we WILL have virtual Lord’s Supper according to the liturgical calendar on Pentecost (31 May) and other liturgical feast days. We have begun a new Lectionary Bible Study the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. via Zoom and all are welcome. With participant permission, we will make those meetings available as recordings within 24 hours of the live meeting. We encourage Women of the Church and Men of the Church to consider Zoom or Conference Call virtual meetings over the summer to stay well connected for fellowship, service, and study.
I am praying for you as is the session member assigned as your care elder right now. Thank you for being safer at home and when you must go out for essential needs according to Metro’s Reopening Phases; please be sure you are respecting the health of others by wearing your face mask, staying at least 6 feet from others, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, washing/sanitizing your hands frequently and always after touching high touch surfaces, and following all precautions outlined for us by Metro Nashville.
Hope to see you soon through virtual means!
Click here to connect to the CDC.
- TODAY’s Mid-Week Connection meeting, will be TONIGHT 20 May from 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. (NOTE TIME CHANGE). Contact Pastor Jule to be sent the link to Zoom on next week.
- MONDAY = MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY OBSERVED
- TUESDAY 26 May — Book Club 6:30-7:30 p.m. Contact Pastor Jule for the Zoom link. Beth C. leading (Book Woman of Troublesome Creek)
We STILL need your help in creating our worship experiences for the weeks ahead — especially for the celebration of these last weeks of the season of Easter!
- Pics or videos for Easter Season. Any photos reminding you of the Signs of New Life also are welcome and can be submitted here.
- Pics or videos for PENTECOST SUNDAY — that which depicts the fire of the Spirit for you; the winds of God’s Spirit moving among us all.
Please remember our community partners and all now out working as essential workers and those of Phase 1. Note cards to them all would be GREATLY appreciated! (Addresses of community partners included below.)
ENCOURAGE HILLWOOD PC’s COMMUNITY PARTNERS TODAY!!!
- Write a card to our community partners working hard to provide for the needs of others: Drew & the Crew of Trader Joe’s Belle Meade. Mail notes of encouragement and thanks to Trader Joe’s Belle Meade 90 White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37205 Attn: Drew Harris. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- Send a note of thanks to the staff of H.G. Hill Middle School. Mail to: H.G. Hill Middle School 150 Davidson Rd. Nashville, TN 37205 Attn: Maggie Dicks. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- Send a note of thanks to the staff of Brookdale Belle Meade (esp. for good care of all residents, like Harold H!). Mail to: Brookdale Belle Meade 6767 Brookmont Terrace, Nashville, TN 37205 c/o Sheila Uselton. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- Send a note of thanks to the staff of West Meade Place. Mail to: West Meade Place 1000 St. Luke Dr., Nashville, TN 37205. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- Send a note of thanks to the staff of Mary Queen of Angels. Mail to: 34 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37205. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- Send a note of thanks to the staff of Hillwood High School. Mail to: Hillwood High School 400 Davidson Rd. Nashville, TN 37205 Attn: Clif Mitchell. Be sure to sign your first name and Hillwood Presbyterian Church Community Partner.
- If you get really bored or just want to check in on another HPC member or friend, call or send a note!
- Got other ideas for how to support HPC Community Partners through this time of social distancing – especially our building users like Playcare, ACA, BNI, NonViolent Communication Classes, Small World Yoga, and even those of our Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group? CONTACT ME with ideas of what can be done and how YOU are ready and willing to help!
Blessings Hillwood PC! Stay safe — and find ways to spread the love of God right from your very own home!