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CURRENT STATUS (updated Friday March 20 2:00 PM)

Join us online for Sunday worship:
9:30 AM English language Zoom link
11:00 AM Japanese language Zoom link

No ministry activities in the Presby building. Building access is restricted, so do not come to or enter the church without first checking in with a pastor.

Other important sources of Presby information and support:
—the presby-prayer email list
—Presby Facebook groups (general, parents, and Nihongo Ministries)

MARCH 17 UPDATE

We will no longer have Sunday in-person gatherings for prayer, sharing, and Bible study. Instead, we will shift to the Zoom electronic meeting platform to allow us to experience a virtual worship service together each Sunday at our usual 9:30 AM Sunday morning time in English. Similarly, there will be an 11 AM virtual worship service in Japanese.

All ministry activity in the Presby building is cancelled as long as Seattle Public Schools and area districts are closed, which is currently April 24. That means the Easter Breakfast is now cancelled. The April 12 Easter worship service will take place via Zoom.

Accordingly, access to the Presby building is now restricted.  If it is essential that you enter the building for some reason, please contact Pastor J. P., Pastor Satoru, or Pastor Kerry before you enter the building so we can give you some very important instructions.

Please let us (pastoral & office staff, Session, Deacons, others) know if you have any needs during these weeks of sheltering in place (food, groceries, rides, child care help, etc.). We want to care for each other. Finally, keep an eye open to your neighbors, especially those who may be older and/or more vulnerable.  Look for ways to express God’s love.  Those ways may be from a distance, but that does not diminish their significance.

Pastor Kerry

MARCH 12 UPDATE

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

Dear Presby family near and far,

As disruptions and uncertainty stemming from cancellations and closures mount each day, let us continue to encourage one another by speaking with and praying for one another. Pick up that phone and check in on someone and pray with them!

But what more can we do than pray? This morning, I was reflecting on the lesson before dying that Jesus acted out in John 13:

12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

What would Jesus have us do today, given all the precautions we are observing regarding hygiene and social distancing? I see and hear the call to serve one another, to consider others more important, and in that way to “wash one another’s feet.” If you can help someone who is afraid to or unable to leave their home during the current crisis (e.g., a grocery or pharmacy run), please do, because that is a very concrete and specific way to make God’s love real and visible. And if you are someone who needs help, ask!

In these and other ways, let us keep finding ways to connect with, encourage, and support one another during this global crisis.

This Sunday, March 15, there will be no services or classes at Presby, but the pastors will host an informal gathering for prayer, support, and Bible study at 9:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall, which will be streamed live via Facebook Live and Zoom. This in-person gathering will be limited to 10 persons and you must RSVP to japanesepresby@gmail.com to confirm a spot. We will follow recommended safety protocols. No refreshments will be available, so bring your own beverage. No other rooms will be open except for bathrooms.

Separately, we are anticipating Kristen Mayeno’s reflections on John 21:15–17a and will post details when they are available. In the meantime, you may wish to subscribe to the Presby Sermons YouTube playlist.

If you are not sure why these measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 are critical, I recommend this article#flattenthecurve

If you have any questions or need support, please contact the pastors by email, text, or phone.

Thank you for reading,

Pastor J. P.

p.s. You can tithe and give online to Presby through PayPal to give2presby@gmail.com.

p.p.s. If you get an automated reminder about serving on a team at church on an upcoming Sunday, ignore it.

MARCH 8 UPDATE

The Ministry Roundtable met after the morning gathering to check in and further coordinate our response to the current public health crisis, and made the decisions to cancel the March 29 Spring Potluck and the April 11 Eggstravaganza. We have not made a decision yet about Easter Sunday breakfast and worship, and staff will discern week by week until we can resume Sunday corporate worship gatherings.

Most ministries have already been notified about cancellations that affect their areas, but the Roundtable further recommends that for the entire month of March, most ministry meetings not occur in person and use technology for interaction. Home fellowships should exercise caution and discernment in their gatherings.

If you need help with technology for meetings, please contact Pastor Satoru or Pastor J. P.

MARCH 6 UPDATE

“… perfect love casts out fear …” (1 John 4:18)

Dear Presby family,

We are coming up on the Second Sunday in Lent and the world is full of turmoil and fear. At such times, we need to remind each other again of the good news of God’s love for each of us in Jesus Christ. God’s love alone has the power to overcome our deepest fears—of death, of judgment—so that we can live with trust, peace, and hope (Romans 5:1–5).

As part of our response to the COVID-19 threat, the staff, authorized by the Session, and in consultation with the Children’s Ministry team, has decided to cancel Sunday services and church school classes until further notice, effective immediately.

For those who are feeling healthy and desire to meet in person, the pastors invite you to gather each Sunday at the Presby building in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30 AM for an informal time of prayer, sharing, caring for one another and study of the Bible passage scheduled for the sermon that Sunday (this Sunday, on John 5:1–6). No offering will be collected, but you may give online through PayPal to give2presby@gmail.com. No other rooms will be open except for bathrooms, and no refreshments will be provided. Children who come will need to stay with the group, as no childcare will be provided. If you desire to participate remotely, please let me know and we will provide at least an audio conference call.

Separately, we anticipate that sermons will be recorded and made available at jpresby.org. A separate announcement will be sent when they are available. Audio of previously preached English language sermons and videos of Japanese language sermons are available.

In general, we encourage you to avoid unnecessary contact with others and gatherings, especially if you are sick, over 60 years old, immunocompromised, have an underlying chronic health condition, or are pregnant. (See the full recommendations by King County Public Health)

Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend, so set any clocks that need adjusting forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday.

Decisions about the spring potluck (3/29) and Easter weekend activities are being discerned and will be announced as they are decided. [see March 8 update above]

If you have any questions or need support, please contact the pastors by email, text, or phone.

Pastor J. P.