Update June 26, 2020
Update May 28, 2020
As we continue to struggle with this nationwide pandemic, CKPC continues its efforts to meet the needs of our congregation and the community. We are a diverse group with a variety of ideas and opinions but we are together in our love for Jesus Christ our Savior. A thriving community grows and becomes stronger when we listen to all sides of an issue and pray that God guide us as we make decisions.
We have been blessed with technology that has allowed us to worship together via the streaming of our Sunday services. But as Christians we miss that personal interaction with one another and long for the time when we can walk through our church doors, greet one another, hug, shake hands and share our worship time in person. We have been fortunate that Kitsap County has not had the huge impact of the virus that has consumed many other communities. However, we do have to consider the well-being and safety of our congregation, our loved ones, and the community at-large.
The session has been looking at options that will serve our congregation in a way that provides comfort and safety for all of us. We understand under recent changes to state guidelines, worship services with outdoor gatherings are permitted in Phase 1 and worship services with gatherings of up to 50 are permitted in Phase 2. However, we do not believe we are currently equipped to comply with all of the extensive stipulations required at this time. Therefore, at this time we decided that we will begin opening our doors when Kitsap County moves to Phase 3.
Further, some have asked about using the church building for groups or committees. While it is certainly possible for many of our small groups and ministry committees to meet with fewer than five people, until we are equipped to ensure the stringent stipulations mentioned above can be met on church property, the church building will remain closed to all activities except the weekly livestream. Opening the building to groups—even if they are at the church at different times—could end up leading to a lot of people in the building throughout the week, and we do not believe it is possible right now for us to ensure proper sanitizing and disinfecting. Now that we are in Phase 2, we hope those of you who feel comfortable doing so may decide to begin meeting with your small groups in a manner that is safe for everyone by following guidelines of the CDC, but those gatherings will need to be done on individual’s properties at this time, rather than the church property.
The staff has already begun to address some of these requirements and plans are underway to prepare for reopening in an organized fashion. Because of our intergenerational and diverse congregation we will continue to provide the opportunity of participating in our worship service via streaming.
God has blessed us with his generosity, grace and love and we ask that you share His grace and love with one another as we strive to meet this challenge.
Together with you in Christ’s love,
The CKPC Session
Worship Materials for Palm Sunday
April 1, 2020
Four things we’d like to mention and/or make available for worship this Sunday:
1) For Kids- Dani has made available several Palm Sunday crafts for kids to do (or, hey… if you want some palm branches to wave around, you might want to make one of these, kid or not!). You can find those here.
2) Worship Bulletin- This week’s worship handout with scripture and song lyrics (and amazing artwork) is available here.
3) Communion- Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to either get Communion elements yourself, or had them delivered to your doorstep by someone at the church. If not, please send an email to email@example.com
4) A request- So many of you have been involved with acts of kindness and giving during this trying time. We would like to capture this on a video that will be shown during worship when we are all back together again in the sanctuary. Would you please consider sending some pictures of what you have been doing during this time? Some ideas for pictures include parents homeschooling their children, making of face masks, porch deliveries, neighbors helping neighbors, etc. We would also like some pictures of you, worshipping via live-streaming and at Zoom church gatherings, Bible studies and more! Please send your pictures to Linda Wahlquist via her e-mail address, which is located in the church directory, or to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 25, 2020
There are four CKPC-related newsworthy items I’d like to fill you in on:
First, a number of you have asked how you can continue to support CKPC financially during this time. The simplest way may be to give online. You can also mail checks to Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church, PO Box 750 Silverdale, WA 98383. Stewardship has also drafted a letter updating you on CKPC’s financial outlook during this time. You can read that letter here.
Second, as many of you know, one of our elders, Sam McClendon, is an RN at Harrison Hospital. He mentioned that a local church “adopted his floor” and has been sending in treats, encouraging notes, and snacks (individually wrapped and storebought! Nothing homemade!) during this time. As you can imagine, there is a lot stress and exhaustion among medical staff, so Sam has said this is an incredibly welcome support. Our church has decided to also “adopt-a-hospital floor” at Harrison. The McClendons have graciously agreed to deliver to the hospital, so items can be dropped off on their porch. Obviously, we each need to continue to do everything we can to absolutely avoid contact with others during this stay-at-home ordinance, but if you’d like to participate in this way of supporting those on the frontlines, you can email Jillian McClendon at email@example.com
Third, we are going to attempt to take Communion together by livestream on Sunday, April 5th. We hope you might already have the Communion elements present in your home, or you could get them by 4/5. Obviously we’re not going to be monitoring what you use, and we trust Jesus has a lot of grace, but ideally you can have some sort of grape juice/wine and bread/grain. We have purchased individually wrapped and sealed Communion packets from a church distributor which contain both juice and a wafer. If you for some reason cannot get the Communion elements by 4/5, let us know and we will find a way to deliver as many of those packets as you need to your household.
Fourth, we will see you for worship at 10am via livestream again this Sunday! Have your candle at the ready. Here is the worship packet with scripture, song lyrics, and beautiful artwork from Marge Keeton.
And, to reiterate once again, if you need prayer or just someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Pastor Tyler Kirkpatrick
March 17, 2020
Happy St. Patrick’s Day… or, as my Mom loves to say: Happy St. (Kirk)patrick’s Day!
I hope you’re taking every opportunity to be outdoors in a safe way (and close to home), enjoying those long-waited for moments of sunshine. It seems the news surrounding COVID-19 is changing every day and plans made yesterday are obsolete by today. This comes as no surprise to Christians, considering just a few weeks ago we smeared ash on our foreheads and said: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We’re mortal and we’re vulnerable, in less control than we’d like to believe; this is Christian theology. It doesn’t surprise us. But it still unsettles us. These are trying times, whether they surprise us or not.
So this Lenten season—perhaps more than ever before—we yearn for the hope and fulfillment of Easter; of broken chains, of life eternal and life abundant. We yearn for Easter with no idea what Easter will look like this year. But Easter will come. Surely and certainly, Easter comes. Wait for the Lord.
Perhaps not hearing my own words about yesterday’s plans being obsolete today, I want to fill you in on what we’re planning as a church in the coming days:
- Congregational Care. More than anything… we want to do everything we can to stay connected. To that end, we have a wonderful group of elders and deacons who will be calling every single person in the directory, to check in, to chat, to pray, and to offer assistance if possible (such as if you are homebound and need groceries or supplies). Don’t hesitate to ask for anything you need. You can also always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Community Care. Our elders had an emergency meeting Sunday before worship to discuss a lot of these items, including how to be a church serving and loving our community. We’ve reached out to a lot of organizations that are on the ground with vulnerable populations. Many are still figuring out what their needs are, but we’re keeping our ears to the ground. If you hear of ways our church could serve the community, don’t hesitate to send the ideas our way.
- Campus closed. We are suspending all on-campus activities for several weeks to comply with recommendations and regulations from our government and health experts. This does mean the final week of Joe and Becce Bettridge’s Enneagram class will not be meeting. However, they will be recording it in podcast version, so check back on our podcast, and it should be up by Thursday at the latest.
- Worship this Sunday. For obvious reasons, we will not be opening our doors for worship this Sunday. There will be a small group of us leading worship via livestream. Here’s three things to know about it:
- There will be a children’s message. So keep your little ones tuned in at least for the first part of the service.
- If you have a candle in your home, keep it handy for the worship service (more on this on Sunday).
- Follow this link to find a PDF with song lyrics/etc. for this Sunday’s service. Print it out, or just follow along on a different device from what you’re streaming with.
The Russian novelist Fyodor Dovstoevsky famously said, “Beauty will save the world.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot the last few days. Pay attention to the instances of beauty, in the sunlit world outside, and in your relationships. Where is God is showing up? Where is grace breaking through, even unexpectedly? Watch… wait… pay attention. The Lord is near.
In light of St. Patty’s Day, here are two St. Patrick’s Day instances of beauty:
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
See you Sunday at 10am.
Pastor Tyler Kirkpatrick
March 14, 2020
I am writing to let you know that our elders have voted to still open our doors for worship this Sunday, March 15 at 10am. You should know that this was not a decision that was made quickly, but rather with much prayer, research and reflection.
Tyler, you do realize that many of the larger churches in Kitsap County have decided against worshipping in person, and the schools are out for six weeks?
Yes, as did Session at the time of the vote. But our congregation’s size falls below the ban on gatherings of 250 or more, which is not even a stipulation yet in Kitsap County.
Yes, but churches are supposed to seek the welfare of their whole community, and experts say we should take drastic measures to avoid situations like what is currently going on in Italy. It’s possible to transmit the virus without realizing you have it!
I’ll defer here to the remarks of one of our elders.
To those who say, “Look, they don’t care”:
“Sure we do. Neither our County Commissioners, the Health Department, nor the Office of Emergency Management have issued such bans [like those in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties] for Kitsap County despite 3 positive cases out of 44 tested. What they’ve issued are precautions to take to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. We choose the courage to follow the government’s mitigation advice rather than submit to the fear mongers.”
So what measures are you taking?
First and foremost, if you have any symptoms of sickness… STAY HOME. Period. Watch our livestream. If you are worried about catching this or are concerned about it because you are a particularly vulnerable demographic… STAY HOME. If you will be visiting someone soon who is a high risk demographic, STAY HOME. Beyond that:
- Church staff thoroughly disinfected the sanctuary (e.g., wiping down every single armrest, etc.)
- For those who do attend on Sunday, we strongly encourage sitting with a chair in between you and the next person (this excludes, of course, people you came to church with). Doctor Anthony Fauci said to still have meetings, but keep a chair between people to increase body distance. (This might be the first time ever where we’re hoping for lower attendance! Not that we don’t want people to come, but we really want people to feel good about the decision to stay home.)
- There will be no greeting time
- Once again, we will not pass the plate, and bulletins will be available to be picked up but not handed out.
- There will be no food, coffee, or tea served in the Fellowship Hall.
- Worship will be a bit shorter than usual.
- The Baptismal will be filled with Purell. Just kidding, that would be sacrilegious. Hopefully making that joke isn’t sacrilegious … but I had to see if you were still paying attention.
Worship will be shorter?
Yes. For example, there will be no children’s message (but Dani already has some fun things planned for Sunday school for kids who do show up… not to mention many handwashing opportunities). The nursery, by the way, will also be open.
Can worship always be shorter?
Okay, okay. Very funny.
So… why did you guys choose to still hold worship?
Once again, I’ll happily defer to some of the wise words of our elders:
- “I believe our worship service is our opportunity to praise and honor our Lord. We can certainly do that individually at home. However, worshipping together as a part of our Christian family adds so much more to the depth and validity of our faith. We have heard sermons on fear and how we as Christians have the power of the Lord Almighty with us. So, my feeling is that we should not close our doors, but invite those who feel comfortable to come and worship together.”
- “If we cancel services, will we be contributing to the larger community fear? I believe so. During World War 2, Prime Minister Churchill had a poster made that said ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ It was lost for decades and was recently rediscovered. We must do the same. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ We must live our lives, but that does not mean we do so recklessly.”
- “If people have a deep desire to come to the church for worship we should absolutely allow this.”
- “I don’t think that we should close our doors if people want to come in. We need to be a light on a hill as we are called to be. I believe that God wants to use us to give hope to others.”
- “Corporate worship is powerful. ‘Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be also.’ Many need the sense that if God is with us, and for us, then who can be against us? Coming together in worship strengthens this feeling.”
Anything else we should know?
Yes! Sunday worship is only one aspect of congregational life. Please reach out if there is anything you need. Perhaps you are a vulnerable demographic and homebound… do you need something brought to you so you do not need to risk going out in public? Are you feeling isolated and overwhelmed by all the fear in the news? Do you need to chat or pray with someone over the phone? We want to make sure these needs are known. For congregational care, you can email myself at email@example.com, or our wonderful group of deacons, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the church office at (360)692-5000 or find my number in the directory.
In the words of the mystic Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and every manner of thing shall be well.”
This too shall pass. For now, watch for the Holy Spirit. Pay attention to where Jesus is in all of this.
“I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong, let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord.”
Pastor Tyler Kirkpatrick
March 6, 2020
It has come to our attention that our Presbytery has advised the cancellation of all worship services due to COVID-19. As many of you may know, we are a member of the Seattle Presbytery. Most churches in our Presbytery are located within King County, and it is the Presbytery’s suggestion for churches to neighbor well by complying with King County’s requests to reduce the spread of the virus.
Because we are not located in King County, and at the time of this writing there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap County, we will continue to hold our regular worship service and Sunday morning programs. We are committed to ensuring CKPC is a safe place and will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. Our church is cleaned frequently throughout the week, and I would also add that with the COVID-19 developments, our preschool has been regularly disinfecting all the classrooms which are used for Kids Sunday school. We will forego handshakes and hugs this week, and will not pass offering plates. With regard to church involvement, we recommend the following to our congregants:
- If you are worried about the virus–especially if you are a higher risk demographic, you may decide to stay home. We are thankful to Brett Howarth who manages our church livestream, which will be up and running Sunday morning as usual!
- Check the CDC, Washington State Department of Health, and Kitsap Public Health Department for the latest guidance.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently for 10–20 seconds. Encourage others to do the same.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away. Cough into your bent elbow only if you don’t have a tissue.
It seems rather providential that the sermon text for this Sunday–which was selected months ago!–is Isaiah 43:1-7. “You are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you… Don’t fear, I am with you.” Amen. Do not fear my friends, the Lord is with you. See you Sunday.
Pastor Tyler Kirkpatrick