A letter to the body
Dear Port Gardner Family,
I want to communicate to you the changes we are making in response to the new COVID-19 guidelines given by our state Governor last Sunday.
The Elders of Port Gardner Church desire to give the proper honor — 1 Peter 2:17; Romans 13:7 — and submission — 1 Peter 2:13, Titus 3:1, Romans 13:1-2, 5 — to the governing authorities that God has established over us — Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:14. As such, we have largely complied with these guidelines so far being motivated by a desire to honor the Lord through our submission to our governing authorities and out of love of neighbor.
So, in response to the new guidelines taking effect this week, we will be limiting our congregational singing to the Doxology at the close of each service for the next four weeks.
We are clearly instructed to sing when we gather and this is for our good! Colossians 3:15-16 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
We are instructed to express part of our worship through song and music when we gather. When we worship through song we are also ministering to one another, rehearsing truth and strengthening our faith and hearts in the Lord. Singing is not optional. Just as reading and teaching from God’s Word and prayer along with the sacraments of communion and baptism are indispensable to the Lord’s Day gathering, so too is congregational singing.
Therefore, what can you expect for our Sunday service? You can expect us to continue to follow all the protocols we have been following: encouraging and reminding each participant to pre-screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have any symptoms. Limiting attendance to 25% of room capacity, requiring masks for all participants, seating by household 6 feet apart from other households, an abundance of sanitizer available and continued attention to a Covid Mitigation Plan and the singing of the Doxology. Our order of service will take on some minor changes and we will continue to livestream services.
Please know that these decisions do not come easily to us as elders. But with God’s help we will continue to do our best to be good neighbors, earthly citizens and above all citizens of Heaven.
God bless you,
Pastor Chuck Hickman