CHANGES COMING TO UPC COVID PROTOCOL MAY 2ND
On Sunday, April 11th we conducted a survey of congregants regarding our response to the pandemic. Most importantly we learned that by May 1st nearly 100% of our members will have been vaccinated for COVID 19. With this information in hand, the session voted at the April meeting to resume Sunday School classes on May 2nd. Many of the surveys noted that we SHOULD CONTINUE social distancing, so we will continue to only use alternating pews in the sanctuary, encourage hand sanitation and minimal socializing as the vaccines are not considered 100% effective and there may be an occasional visitor who is not protected.
Equally important, the comments section of the survey mentioned the use of masks. Nearly as many people mentioned ending the mask requirements as mentioned that we MUST continue it. Several noted that they have great difficulty breathing and also have skin condition problems with a mask. Several have said they will not come if masks continue. A large number also said they will NOT attend unless masks are required.
In an effort to please as many as possible, yet maintain the safety for others, the session has decided to have a separate section(s) for those that choose NOT to wear masks. This area will be in the front of the church in the left (west) and center sections beyond the area of the missing pews for wheelchairs. These two sections will be so marked. We would still expect people sitting here to wear masks when entering and exiting but may remove them when seated if fully vaccinated.
We ask everyone’s assistance in trying to make it possible for all to have an enjoyable church experience. We apologize to people who may have to sit somewhere that is not their preference but feel all will honor God’s will that we help our fellow man.
As conditions improve, we will gradually make other changes to the procedures we have been following. Your session thanks everyone for their cooperation during this trying time! This is a temporary change and may be modified as COVID conditions warrant.
UNION APPOINTS STATED SUPPLY PASTOR
The session of Union Presbyterian Church is pleased to announce that while the search for a permanent minister is ongoing, they have appointed an interim minister. Rev. Scott Phillips has been a frequent pulpit supply for Union the last couple months. He has agreed to serve on a continuing basis through at least next June offering Union a consistency we have been lacking. While Elaine Swinehart, Mick Chase and Todd Brown have served us extremely well the past year, we lacked the feeling of having a regular minister. Because of other commitments they could not supply the visits, calls and other services a regular minister provides. Scott will fill this void for us. Both Union and Scott still search for full time ministry positions. When Scott cannot be here, we can still count on Elaine and Mick for pulpit supply.
Scott Graduated from Lancaster Bible College with a ministry degree in 2008 and Capital Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2016. A graduate of Solanco, he is the son of Gerald and Judy Phillips. Licensed in the Evangelical Congregational Church, he served as pastor at Ebenezer ECC Church in Brownstown from 2016 to 2020.
Scott and his wife Mary have been married 22 years and have 3 children, 11-19 and live near Witmer east of Lancaster. Mary works for The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR
Hello Union Church!
One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Esther. It’s definitely in my top 66! The book of Esther tells the story of how God used Esther to protect His people as they were living in exile in Persia. Queen Esther is hesitant at first to get involved, but her cousin Mordecai encourages her with a short speech that includes what is probably the most familiar verse in the book: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Back at the beginning of 2020 I could have never foreseen all that has taken place, both in my life and in the world, during this calamitous year. And yet, God is still sovereign and still sits on the throne. He is great, and He is good. And, I believe that he has brought us together for such a time as this.
I am excited to see what He will do over these next few months and am looking forward to getting to know each of you. I am also praying that the day will soon come that I will be able to see the bottom half of your faces! I plan to be in the church office a couple of days each week and will be happy to visit with you either in person (with all appropriate safety measures) or over the phone.
Listen to Scott's Messages:
January 31st (No Message) March 28th - The King's Entrance
February 21st - NOT AVAILABLE April 11th - Departing from the Gospel
We hope you enjoy the music!