Coronavirus (COVID 19) Updates
Our church leadership is closely following the ways that COVID 19 will affect WPC and our community and we are committed to loving both well during this unique time. This page will be updated as any adjustments or changes are made to the established rhythms we have.
MAY 29 update - REGATHERING
Dear Westminster Family,
On June 14, as you heard in my most recent video update, we will be regathering for worship. That’s exciting—we are part of the family of God, we are meant to be together, and we have missed seeing each other.
But, at first, it will not be worship as we were accustomed to. And that’s sad, perhaps even frustrating. As your elders prepared to resume in-person worship, we were sensitive to the fact that there are many different opinions as to the seriousness of the Coronavirus, the ways to protect each other and ourselves, the “when” to regather, and the “how” to regather. Our decision has been informed by a number of different sources, including the CDC, our governor, S.C. DHEC, and the best practices of other large churches in our circles. Our guiding principle has been the second great commandment: to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Now for the specifics:
- We will initially meet for Sunday worship services only (9:00 and 11:00 as has been our practice). No other groups—whether children, youth, or adult—will be held on campus until further notice. No nursery will be provided, and children’s worship will not take place until we believe it will be safe to do so.
- Our worship services will be no more than 50 minutes (1) to allow time to clean the facilities in between worship services, and (2) to make it easier for parents with young children to participate in worship.
- “Live” worship will take place in the sanctuary with overflow in the hall and chapel as needed. (We considered outside services but decided against them because of the difficulty of providing quality streaming of those services to our folks who need to continue to worship at home.)
- There will be no choir or orchestra during this transition period. We will continue with small ensembles until we believe it safe for the choir and orchestra to resume participating.
- Online services will continue each week for the foreseeable future.
Now for the really hard specifics:
- We must practice social distancing—no handshakes, no hugs—that will be incredibly difficult given the fact that we are just seeing each other for the first time in months.
- We will require that everyone wear a mask in spite of the fact that none of us likes to wear a mask. Please bring your own. If you don’t have a mask, don’t let that keep you from joining us for worship. We will provide you with one.
- We will not sing as a congregation—only our worship leaders will sing. From many credible resources, we have come to realize that one of the most dangerous things we can do is sing when it comes to spreading this virus. And masks do not keep the virus from spreading when singing.
Although practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, and not singing will feel strange and will be a loss to the experience of worship, it’s important for now. It’s not forever, and it will help protect those around us—it will help us love our neighbor as ourselves.
Two more things. If you are vulnerable to COVID-19, please continue to worship online. And if you’re not particularly vulnerable but are still uncomfortable gathering for worship right now, please stay home. And don’t feel guilty about continuing to worship online for a season. You must do what you believe is right for you. God gives you freedom to make that choice; we do as well.
Finally, this is a time when we need to extend a lot of grace to each other—the same grace God extends to us. Let’s be patient with each other and patient with the regathering process that will no doubt be a bit clunky.
And more importantly, let’s be glad that we actually get to come back together and worship, even if it’s a bit different from what we’re used to. It’s still the most amazing experience in all of life—to meet with God in the presence of his people, people we love.
See you on June 14,
Mike Honeycutt, Senior Pastor
MAY 27 update
From Rev. Dr. Mike Honeycutt
APRIL 8 update
GOOD FRIDAY PRAYER & FASTING
For all believers in Christ in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help in addition to a Holy Day of worship.PRAYER & FASTING GUIDE 1 SUGGESTED PRAYERS PRAYER & FASTING GUIDE 2
A Special One Hour Online Service of Prayer
More Than Conquerors (Romans 8:37)
Third Millennium Ministries is joining with several protestant denominations in calling for God's people to devote themselves to fasting and prayer on Good Friday, April 10.
Please join us from 1:00 to 2:00 PM EDT for a special time of prayer with the leaders of Thirdmill, and pastors Mike Honeycutt (Westminster Presbyterian Church, SC) and David Sinclair (Clemson Presbyterian Church, SC).
Simply log onto Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/435758746
Together we will glorify Christ, our Savior, by crying out for God's help during these troubled times.
On Good Friday, members of The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will gather online to pray and fast.
The whole world is in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic that is spreading death, illness, economic turmoil, unemployment, isolation, panic, and fear. In such desperate times, the people of God should humble themselves and pray to their almighty God for his grace, mercy, and love to heal us, restore us, and relieve us from this crushing burden of disease.
In response to the ravages of this historic plague, this call for prayer and fasting is an historic, ecumenical event because the PCA, the EPC and the ACNA have united for the first time to pray for God’s mercy and healing.
MARCH 31 updates
In compliance with the South Carolina Governor's Order 2020-16 and in response to the impending COVID-19 health threat, Westminster Park is CLOSED until further notice.
MARCH 27 updates
With a number of our members being shut in, we have decided to continue broadcasting our traditional service on CN2 at 11 AM until we can gather again on Sunday mornings.
Both our 9 AM and 11 AM services will continue to be live streamed on YouTube, Facebook and Boxcast.
Tap/Click to choose your live streaming platform:9AM SERVICE 11AM SERVICE WPC Youtube ChannelWPC Facebook Videos
Our upcoming electives are now available digitally. Tap/Click the button below for details.NEW ELECTIVES
MARCH 23 updates
A new study in the book of Mark starts for WPC Youth. To participate and join the GroupMe chat, text JP or Taylor to be added. Daily devotions are linked HERE.
MARCH 20 updates
WORSHIP SERVICE VIEWING OPTIONS
MARCH 19 helpful resources curated by our Pastors Team
- Anxiety, Waiting, and the Coronavirus : https://www.ccef.org/anxiety-waiting-and-the-coronavirus/?mc_cid=ce309ee12d&mc_eid=507175eeb6
- Love in the Time of the Coronavirus: https://journal.praxislabs.org/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-26aaeb0396e3
- A Christian Response to the Coronavirus: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/opinion/coronavirus-church-close.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR3mV8iY9_H7AQmx1tQmKZVKGmfNR7LL_ViWDHDkJVDJcFt4hUfa3Ae8aNU
- Fear and Faith Conjoined: https://www.ccef.org/fear-and-faith-conjoined/
- It’s Okay To Fear the Coronavirus: https://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/its-okay-to-fear-coronavirus
- Moms Stuck Inside: https://www.ccef.org/moms-stuck-inside/
- Riding Out The Storm Together: https://chalmers.org/riding-out-the-storm-together/?utm_source=The+Chalmers+Center&utm_campaign=21c2220e5b-March+2020+Email+Roundup_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f50be3441f-21c2220e5b-1270801837&mc_cid=21c2220e5b&mc_eid=5402aca34f
- What Courage Might Corona Unleash: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-courage-might-corona-unleash
- Responding to Pandemics: 4 lessons from church history: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/4-lessons-church-history/
- Humbled by the Hand of God: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/humbled-by-the-hand-of-god
MARCH 17 update
WPC staff have been encouraged to work remotely as they are able for the remainder of this work-week.
Our ministry work will not stop.
If you have a need or a question, staff is still available by email. You can find links to our email addresses HERE.
If you call the church offices you can leave a voicemail. Our staff will be checking their voice mailboxes and returning phone calls.
While our offices are closed to the public, our staff continues in ministry work that helps others find hope, freedom and purpose in Jesus. Thank you for your continued grace, support and prayers for our church.
MARCH 15 updates
Dear WPC Family,
Due to the rapidly changing dynamics with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Leadership Team of the Session has elected to make some important changes to the scheduled events at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In the message below we will try to engage most of the questions you might have.
Why are we making some changes? Love not fear.
With the arrival of COVID-19, we need to revise our normal rhythms of ministry almost overnight, in order to minimize the transmission of the virus. As our understanding of the virus changes daily, we are considerably less informed about its behavior than the ordinary flu. However, we do know that friends and family over 70 and those with existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable. Jesus instructs his people to love their neighbor as they would themselves (Mt 22:36). He also reminds us that none of us lives to him or herself (Rom 14:7) and we should make every effort to preserve life (Ex 20:13). To love our neighbors and to steward life well, we want to do what we can to “flatten the curve”, minimize risk to the vulnerable and reduce the possibility of fairly healthy people becoming “asymptomatic” carriers, unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. Love is our motive.
What changes are we making?
All church large group programming will be suspended Sunday, March 15th through Sunday, March 29th. This is what the upcoming weeks will look like:
- High School and Middle School Youth Groups will not meet through the end of March.
- Men’s SALT Dinner and Large Group will not meet on Tuesday, March 17th. Instead, SALT small groups are encouraged to meet together in a home to pray and review the homework questions and lesson.
- Women’s Wednesday Bible Study will not meet on either the 18th or the 25th. Instead, they are also encouraged to meet together in their small groups in a home to pray and review the homework and lesson.
- Wednesday Night Dinners will be cancelled on the 18th and 25th.
- All Is Mission: Courage events are cancelled for Sunday the 22nd and Wednesday the 25th.
- All gathered worship services and the discipleship hour are being cancelled for the next two Sundays (22nd and 29th). Instead, we will provide modified traditional worship services through CN2 broadcast at 11 AM and modified Facebook Live streaming services for both the traditional service at 9 AM and the modern service at 11 AM.
- Small discipleship groups that meet in homes during the week are free to continue meeting, if they desire. We do have guidelines to make home meetings safer. Please email Chris Florence (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of the guidelines.
The LT and the Staff will continue to monitor the Coronavirus situation over the next couple of weeks before making decisions about April’s scheduling.
Why did we make the decisions at this time?
At present there are no known cases of the Coronavirus in York County. We have been staying in contact with York County Emergency Management to get the latest updates. The known cases in our area appear to be contained in their respective counties thus far. Since we realize that is likely to change, we want to make adjustments prior to the first known case in our county. On our best days, we are never without risk. Today we are currently at low risk and believe it is wise to get ahead of things.
Will there be any changes to church office hours?
We will continue to monitor the necessity for changes to the church office schedule, but for now we will maintain normal hours. We do recommend that meetings, appointments and visits be conducted by phone or email as much possible. Our church will continue to pay staff, regular operating expenses and our supported global and local missionaries. Therefore, we encourage you to continue your regular giving to WPC, which can be done online at www.wpcgo.com/give, through the mobile app or by mailing a check.
What do I do if I have a need?
If you have a specific need, please do reach out to a trusted friend, deacon or elder. If you are not sure who our officers are, you can learn more about them on the officers page of our website at www.wpcgo.com/officers.
If you have a physical or mercy need, please reach out to our Deacons at email@example.com.
If you have a spiritual or pastoral need, please reach out to our Elders or Pastors at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 803.366.3107.
Please continue to pray with us that we would grow in our trust and hope in Jesus, while also serving our neighbors as ambassadors of his grace in a world overcome with fear, worry and pain.
The WPC Session Leadership Team Commission,
Mike Honeycutt | Chris Florence | Steve Kane
Richard Heckard | John Gabrenas | Jim Ryerson
Bob Clark | Jim Petty
MARCH 14 updates
This Sunday, March 15, we will operate a normal schedule.
- There are no plans to cancel 9 AM or 11 AM worship services on March 15.
- There is no need to feel ashamed or guilty for not joining worship in person if you are sick or at risk. As matter of fact, we encourage you to join us via CN2 or Facebook.
- There will be no coffee service in the sanctuary lobby/narthex.
- The offering plate will not be passed. Deacons will receive the offering as you leave the service. However, we strongly urge you to give online.
- Our 10 AM Discovery Series and Sunday electives will continue as normal.
- Individual discipleship groups can determine for themselves if they are meeting.
There are specific ways you can remain faithful and build up the body of Christ while being physically absent for a period of time.
- If you are unable to attend our worship services for any reason, you can watch LIVE on Facebook at 9 AM and 11 AM HERE.
- Additionally, the traditional service is being broadcast at 11 AM on Sundays to CN2 through the end of March.
- You can also find sermons on both our website and our mobile app.
- As you know by now, you can give your offering through our website or our mobile app. Many in our church family have set up recurring weekly or monthly gifts so that they can faithfully give to WPC ministries even if they can't attend.
Revisions to midweek events, the upcoming missions conference, and next Sunday's worship services to be announced soon. Check back tomorrow afternoon for the latest update.