Health and Safety Plan

COVID-19 Update

Our Dear Friends in Christ:

Grace to you and peace from the Lord Jesus Christ, and bittersweet greetings from the pastors and elders of First Presbyterian Church. We have thought of you often and prayed for you more, in these days of communal isolation. The first words that God said about us, as recorded in Genesis, were, “It is not good to be alone.” From the creation, our Maker has willed for us life in community. In the incarnation, God spoke most clearly that He made us for Himself, and that we are not ourselves outside fellowship with God and each other. But now, out of concern for others and heeding the wisdom of public health professionals, we must keep our distance for a little longer.

Heeding our Governor’s directive, we will not gather for worship or any activities until at least April 24. We will continue to listen for additional guidance and pray for the day when the dangers of COVID-19 pass and we can greet one another again in joy, as if returning from exile.

We write to you as Palm Sunday approaches, and with it Holy Week and Easter. We suppose that, if it is necessary for us to be physically apart, there is no more illuminating season in which to be so. Our Lord Jesus took on flesh and lived among us, so that in His final week, He would experience separation from His people and forsakenness by the Father, in order to overcome our race’s own alienation.

Holy Week

Daily Meditations from the Pastors

Living this week in the light of the cross, then, our pastors will offer daily meditations on the Seven Last Words from the cross, beginning on the Sunday evening of Holy Week. You will receive those links in emails from the church.

Reading the Scriptures and Prayer

Also, we urge you to plan into these days of isolation additional time for reading of scripture and prayer. You may find it edifying to read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s passion (Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19). The best way to hear the Spirit of God speaking in scripture is to read it, over and over; even to read it out loud. We firmly believe that God still speaks His Word to those with ears to hear. Call one another. Take turns reading these accounts to each other.

Gathering Online for Services

Since we will not be able to gather on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter, we will provide shortened but meaningful worship services online, so that we can, in scripture, word, prayer, and song, remember all that our Lord accomplished for the world He so loves. You will receive email links for those, as well.

Fleming Rutledge, an Episcopal priest and author, wrote that the death of Jesus in and of itself would not be anything remarkable. What is remarkable is that the Creator of the universe is shown forth in this gruesome death. The cross of Christ shows us the very face of God, the God who willingly endures isolation and estrangement for the sake of our redemption. May the Holy Spirit of God work powerfully in his church during this season, that we may be drawn into his work and equipped to bear witness to Christ, when this season of isolation ends, and we are drawn back into the world.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ryan V. Moore
Stuart Gordon
Andrew Byrd, on behalf of the pastors and Session

Andrew Byrd signature

Q&A

A few items to note:

  • Sunday mornings you will find a video/virtual version of the week’s pastoral message. You may join us by clicking on ‘SERMONS’ below.
  • The church will continue to conduct business while our facility is being cleaned and sanitized. The staff will continue to meet, and the pastoral staff will be working on ways to meet the needs of our community. Please feel free to contact us by phone (615) 383-1815 or by email communications@fpcnashville.org.
  • If you participate in our church’s ministry through the giving of tithes and offerings, you may continue to do so electronically by clicking the ‘GIVE’ button below.
  • Given that the situation is fluid, we will monitor events and recommendations of public health officials daily. We will communicate any changes promptly, through email or the Parish News.
  • We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the information provided by the Center for Disease Control by clicking on ‘CDC’ below.

SERMONSGIVECDC

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