Noteworthy Moments, 2019 - 2020
For many of us, Easter Week 2020 was the COVID wake-up call. Forgoing traditional worship during this most holy time was unprecedented. Over the spring and summer, we continued to improve our online services and were thrilled with the number of viewers we were reaching and where our message was being heard. Just before the Covid spike in the fall of 2020, we did reopen for limited worship in September, only to shut down a few weeks later. Yet despite the COVID shutdowns, we held strong in our beliefs that we were continuing to share the word of God and to do his work. Caring Friends started Caring Circles to keep in touch with a wider group of congregants. We still donated over a hundred short sets to the Punta Gorda Women's Club Clothing Drive in April 2020. Our Social Justice Ministries Team met regularly throughout the pandemic, and contributed to the Alliance for Fair Food. Our Endowment Fund provided grants to several local entities, including Crossroads Hope Academy, Edgewater Bicycle Ministry, the Military Heritage Museum and the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens. The second of the major projects of our 2019/2020 Capital Campaign (the first being a new roof which was completed pre-COVID), was a handicap accessible entrance. What better time to do reconstruction of our entrance? Inspired by the urging of two young ladies who have grown up in our church and have come to love our holiday tradition, we decorated our sanctuary for the holidays. Members generously donated to the Giving Tree. We had our traditional Christmas Eve service, but we limited the number of participants, and stringent COVID precautions were in place. More people watched that service than any time in the history of this church. It’s just that they weren't sitting in the pews. And as 2020 came to an end and the COVID vaccines started to come available, we prayed that it would only be a matter of time before we could meet again.