. . . from the desk of Pastor Wil

. . .Wil’s Weekly Update


Dear First Murphy,

We’ve have some really wonderful milestone Sundays these last few weeks! Senior Sunday and then Confirmation Sunday…Wow, God is good!

I am amazed at the young people in our congregation—what God is doing in their lives, how they have persevered during this past year, and how they are growing in maturity. I am thankful for a congregation that places such a high priority on children, youth, young adults and families.

In the Growing Young book we’ve been reading, one line that keeps reverberating in my mind is, “When we grow young, we all grow.” We grow in vitality, energy, and passion. Who hasn’t felt energized and encouraged by the last two Sundays?! And when we all “grow young,” we become like children, and it is to children that the kingdom of God belongs (Mk. 10:15).

This coming Sunday, worship is sandwiched between High School graduation on Friday and Memorial Day on Monday. On Sunday, we will hear Psalm 139 read from multiple voices, multiple stages in life. And, I hope, you will hear a word from God in the midst of that.

Beginning this Sunday, we will be updating our Covid-19 protocols to reflect eased restrictions from the CDC, NCDHHS, and our Conference.

–Masks are optional for vaccinated people, and encouraged for those who are not-vaccinated (which could be for any one of a couple of reasons).
–We will not ask for vaccination verification, but will ask for people’s honest cooperation.
–We will remove worship capacity limits and orange tape that creates social distancing.
–Disinfect high-touch areas, but not pews or hymnals.

Those changes—with easing the face masks and distancing restrictions—are positive steps. At the same time we do this, I think it is important to also continue to say:

–Still encourage good hand hygiene (sanitizer available, and masks also)
–Stay home if you are sick, especially if you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 or are unvaccinated and have been around someone with COVID-19…get tested
–Online worship is still an option for if/when you choose to join in worship from home –As we transition back into familiar territory, please remain respectful of other people and their preferences to wear a mask or desire for space. We’re not all in the same place on some of these things, and it is important that we respect one another.
–Still not physically passing the peace, nor passing the offering plate. There is an offering plate in the back of the sanctuary.
–Nursery workers will still wear face masks when indoors with kids, per NCDHHS guidance.
–If you are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have not yet, I encourage you to consult your primary care doctor, pray, and, if possible, take the shot. This is a way for us to join together in stamping out this virus and gather more safely and confidently.

We know that throughout these past 15 months, there’ve been lots of challenges. All of us have not been, and may still not be, on the same page when it comes to masks or vaccines or other measures. I remain grateful for your flexibility and for your selflessness, particularly in instances where you have willingly followed a guideline that you may not agree with but that shows your regard for your brother or sister. Thank you!

See you Sunday.

Abiding in Christ,

Pastor Wil