COVID-19 Update

Online Prayer Meetings and Grocery Assistance for Those At Risk
Updated 3.16.20 at 5:45 PM

As we move into a period of sheltering in place, we desire to remain socially integrated while keeping physically distant. I talk about two ways we’re planning to do that in the video below.

In summary:

  • If you or someone in our congregation you know are part of a high risk demographic and need assistance with groceries, email groceries@wcpres.org. If you would like to be a part of this ministry you can let us know by also emailing groceries@wcpres.org.

Praying that the God of all hope would fill us with joy and peace.

Prayerfully,

Bart Garrett
Senior Pastor


Update on COVID-19 and Shifting Our Services to Online Only
Updated 3.13.20 at 4:00 PM

To our members, friends, and visitors,

How quickly things change. Since my video on Wednesday, the state has issued further recommendations regarding public gatherings. With these new guidelines and with the input of medical professionals, we have come to the decision that our community will be best served by suspending our in person services at this time. I explain more in my video below.

In summary:

  • In person worship services are suspended for March 15, 22 and 29.
  • Services will still be taking place online.
  • The front page of our website will serve as a hub for all up-to-date information regarding our responses to COVID-19 and our plans going forward.
  • As well, we will provide many online resources to stay connected as a church in prayer, giving, and scriptural reflection.
  • 10% of all giving collected at this time will be set aside to support those most affected by COVID-19 in our community. We will be announcing the total and direction of those gifts at a later date once we better discern how best to help our community and those most greatly affected.
  • All on campus events have been suspended at this time.

As I mentioned in this video, church is not canceled because we are the church! Our love and good deeds will demonstrate to our friends, neighbors, and coworkers that we have a hope that runs deeper than the uncertainty of this moment. We believe in a resurrected God and will serve him to the very end.

Prayerfully,

Bart Garrett
Senior Pastor


Update on COVID-19 and our plans for this Sunday and Next
Updated 3.13.20 at 6:00 PM

To our members, friends, and visitors,

As I'm sure many of you know, since my letter this past Friday, County Health Services have advised against groups of 50 or more people gathering. In light of this, I recorded the video below telling you more about what we are doing, why we are doing it (particularly as followers of Jesus), and how you can help. A summary is also included beneath the video.

In summary:

  • Our normal large worship gatherings for Sunday, March 15 and March 22 have been suspended.
  • In their place we will be holding several smaller gatherings of 40 people or less in rooms large enough to observe recommended social distancing.
  • These gatherings will take place in the Sanctuary, Multipurpose Room, and Parlor at both 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM, and will each last 45 minutes.
  • Children's programming will continue as normal at the 9:30 AM services only.
  • We encourage the at-risk population to remain home and to participate with us online.
  • A recording of the sermon will be available Sunday morning on our website.
  • 10% of all in-person and online giving collected these next two weeks will be set aside to support those most affected by COVID-19 in our community. We will be announcing the total and direction of those gifts at a later date once we better discern how best to help our community and those most greatly affected.

The video calls us to exercise the Faith, Hope, and Love of God in Christ at this moment. May we lean upon God in faith, place our hope in the Resurrection, and extend our love to those who need it most.

Prayerfully,

Bart Garrett
Senior Pastor


A message from Pastor Bart on preparing for the Coronavirus
Updated 3.6.20 at 7:00 AM

To our members, friends, and visitors,

I want to update you on what’s happening at Walnut Creek Pres in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area. Like you, I’ve been following this evolving story. I’ve also reached out to local health professionals and spoken with a number of other pastors in the area to determine how to best move forward. Please read through this entire message as it contains detailed plans for keeping our campus safe, and how you can help.

At this time, local officials are not recommending the cancellation of public events or Sunday church gatherings. Walnut Creek Pres will remain open and we will continue to have services on Sundays and midweek programming. In the event that local and state health officials do recommend closure or we determine it is in the best interest of our community to temporarily close, we will inform everyone to the best of our abilities through our website, emails and other means.

We are committed to keeping our campus clean:

  1. We will sanitize highly touched surfaces before the Sunday service such as doors, handles, tables, and water fountains. Children’s toys and rooms are sanitized before and after every service and program.
  2. Our staff and volunteer teams will wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.
  3. Our hospitality team wears gloves when preparing coffee and pastries. Hand sanitizer will be available on the tables which we encourage you to use prior to selecting a pastry or dispensing coffee. In addition, please use the provided napkins as you select a pastry from the tray. Any touched pastries should either be consumed or discarded.
  4. Hand sanitizer is available as you enter the sanctuary and in every children’s ministry classroom.
  5. Offering boxes will be located in the back of the sanctuary in lieu of passing the plates down each row. Remember, you can also give online at wcpres.org/give.
  6. During communion, servers will place bread into the hands of those receiving communion and juice will be served in small individual cups.

We are asking you to help stop the spread of the virus in the following ways:

  1. Stay at home when you or a family member are sick.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  3. Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your arm.
  4. Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.
  5. Forgo shaking hands at church for a wave or a friendly smile.
  6. If you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know so we can find a way to help, pray for everyone involved and take any necessary precautions here.
  7. Pray for those impacted by the virus, as well as their families and loved ones.

If you or a family member are sick or need to stay home during this time, audio recordings of the Sunday sermon are made available every Monday at wcpres.org/messages.

Questions or concerns?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, concerns, questions, and ideas with us as we navigate our response to this situation, and look for ways to serve you and our surrounding community, we’d love to hear from you. Your input and feedback are truly important to us. Please email info@wcpres.org with any questions or comments.

While we cannot control the virus, the spread, or the impact it has in our church, we’re doing everything we can to make this campus as safe and clean as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to help us do just that. We must also remember that God has not called us to live in fear but in faith. As the apostle, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and resolve.” My prayer is that God will fill all of us with these three gifts, no matter what comes our way.

Bart Garrett
Senior Pastor