God Is In Control

Please remember and live in this promise:  In all situations, God is in control!

2 Timothy 1: 7

“God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 

Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High  will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you  from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,  and under his wings you will find refuge;  his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,  nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,  nor the plague that destroys at midday.

General Health Precautions

Please consult local and federal websites for the most current information regarding the COVID-19 virus and appropriate precautions.

These are - and will continue to be - precautions that we will follow at Immanuel Church:

During this winter / flu season, let's all try to:

  • wash hands / Purell often to prevent the spread of disease. 
  • stay home if we don't feel well.  We'll miss you (and appreciate you!)
  • be sensitive to others who do not wish to shake hands or hug.
  • recognize that we have a few people with compromised or weakened immune systems
  • be especially diligent around our community snack table.  Be careful to use a utensil or a napkin when taking a snack and impress these steps on your children as they are learning in this area of responsibility

Returning to Church on July 5

Sign in.  Technically, we have opened the church building as of today, July 1.  Per NY State regulations, we must ask each employee and “volunteer workers” to sign in each time they enter the building to work and complete a self-assessment asserting that they are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms, nor have been in contact with anyone who is.  Those coming to worship on Sunday mornings (and not “work”) do not need to sign in.

Masks and Social Distancing.  We are asking everyone to wear a mask when moving about the building.  You are encouraged to bring your own and we will have some available if your forget.  Once seated in the sanctuary for worship, socially distanced from others, you are welcome to remove your mask.  We have roped off every other pew to ensure a 6 foot space between seated pews.  Use your good judgment to maintain proper social distance from others when seated.  Most tables and chairs have been removed from hallways making them as wide as possible.  Fellowship time after the worship service will be in the large fellowship hall to allow for distancing.

Hygiene.  Good hand hygiene continues to be the most effective way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  A new hot water heater has been installed and hot water is available in the rest rooms.  It is advised that you wash your hands upon entering the building.  There are also many hand sanitizer stations around the church or you may bring your own.  Touchless paper towel dispensers have been installed in the rest rooms and touchless soap dispensers and sanitizer dispensers are on order.

We are asking everyone to refrain from traditional forms of greeting (handshakes, hugs) at this time.

Volunteer teams have made sure that all surfaces have been sanitized and will continue to do so each week.  During the time the church was vacant, carpets in the large fellowship hall, front foyer and sanctuary hallway were professionally cleaned.

Sunday Morning Changes.  Our worship service will remain essentially unchanged. 

Participation-  We will continue to have congregational responsive readings and singing as an integral part of our worship.  There have been some concerns raised about singing and the spread of the virus.  As opinions vary widely, you are encouraged to do your own research.  If you are uncomfortable in the sanctuary, there is also seating in the back hallway.

Communion will be observed, typically on the second Sunday of the month.  Rather than passing the bread and juice through the pews, you will be encouraged to come forward, receive bread (served by an elder using tongs) and take a filled cup of juice.  There will also be prepackaged juice and wafer packages available.  If you are not planning on attending in the sanctuary, we will deliver some prepackages communion cups to your house the week before communion.

Commonly used items such as pew Bibles, hymnals, printed bulletins, and collection plates will not be used.  Instead, you are encouraged to bring your own Bible (a good practice, indeed!).  Pastor Bill will send out the bulletin in .pdf format before Sunday and you can print your own and bring it along.  Hymns lyrics will be projected and a collection box has been mounted near the front door of church where you can place your tithes and offerings.

Worshiping from home.   We will be streaming our worship service this week using Facebook Live instead of Zoom.  If you are an experienced Facebook user and can navigate to the Immanuel Church page, then you will find the live session there each Sunday at 10:30am.  Otherwise, you can use this link: 


This link can be used each week.

Fellowship Time.  While we understand that many may want to leave quickly after the service, we will offer the opportunity for you to fellowship in the large fellowship hall (gym.)  Tables and chairs have been placed there 6 feet apart and coffee and tea will be served by volunteers wearing gloves and masks.  Individually wrapped snack items as well as individual water and juice containers will be available.  Social distancing and mask wearing (where it makes sense) will again be encouraged.  If it’s a nice day you may want to move outside.  Consider packing a lawn chair!

Fellowship from home.  Because the Facebook Live stream does not have any interactivity, we will begin a Zoom session each Sunday after the service ends using the same meeting ID and password.  We will set up a computer and monitor in the large fellowship hall so you can interact as we currently do on Zoom.  We’ll test this for a few weeks and make changes as needed.

Our God-Honoring Response to COVID-19

  1. Let's Pray!  Let's pray for this worldwide event to get the attention of the world for Jesus Christ.  Pray that many experience salvation and renewal through this unusual set of circumstances.  Pray for an end to the spread of the Coronavirus worldwide.  Pray for medical providers to have all they need to do their jobs and for their protection and provision throughout this emergency.  Pray for all those in leadership everywhere.  Finally, pray for all of this to be well behind us by Easter  so that our annual celebration of Christ’s resurrection which acts as an annual reset of the Christian faith worldwide be energized and elevated beyond anything ever seen ever before!

  2. Let's Worship!  Our worship as Immanuel Church is unique to us.  But we can learn by worshipping (albeit remotely) with other churches as well.  Take this opportunity to learn about other worship styles, teaching methods, and prayer methods.  And let's talk about how to make our ongoing worship together better and better!

  3. Let's Minister to one another!  If you need anything, whether food, supplies, or a listening ear ... reach out.  Call a deacon, an elder, or Pastor Bill.  Let's continue to be the church to one another.

  4. Let's Minister to our neighbors!  We are God's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5)  Let's reach out to those in our neighborhoods and provide for their needs as well.  Let's project confidence and peace in our God.  And let's be ready to tell them why we have such peace (1 Peter 3:15)

  5. Other Thoughts:

  6. Lent is time of stopping and reevaluating, a time for reflection, fasting, and prayer. This pause that none of us chose, despite how scary it might seem to some of us, may have secret blessings for many more of us. Pay attention to how God may be trying to get your attention! Let’s all do this as a church.

  7. Let’s remember the following:  This pause is just for a brief time and then, Lord willing, it will be behind us.
    You don’t have to keep listening to news about it. You probably don’t need more toilet paper, most of you. You don’t need to worry about zombies, electrical outages, water shortages, or anything unrelated to our worldwide attempts to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. Let’s help each other keep things in perspective.
    Nothing we are going through is unique. These kinds of things have happened in the Bible and throughout the history of humanity. God is not surprised. God has got this. God has your back. Lean on your faith and your fears will grow lean.