Letter from The Rev. Gary Beson regarding suspending meetings and worship services.
Dear Friends and Family of Prince George Winyah
The Wardens and I after the consultation from informed, trusted medical personnel and the advice of government officials have decided to suspend gathering at the church property for the next two weeks. This suspension of meetings will be for all worship on Sundays, Wednesday night Lenten suppers, WASH, youth group and our preschool and after school programs.
Additionally, any ministry groups who use this space will be notified that gatherings on the property need to be delayed until further notice.
This two-week period of suspension will begin tomorrow, March 16th and remain in effect until Sunday, April 5th. On Sunday, April 5th we will communicate the plans to move forward based on the most recent data and advice about the spread of the virus.
We realize this is an inconvenience for many and that it will be disruptive on many levels. Let us all remember as Mike prayed today, that many will be without options for their children, for their employment and for places to go. This virus is a serious medical threat, we need to love our neighbors now more than ever by trying to do our part to reduce the number of interactions we have indoors and in groups of greater than eight people. The staff will be creating “home worship kits” for use on the next two Sundays in your homes. Members may stop by the office and pick them up this Friday, March 20th. These kits will contain everything we need to celebrate Sunday worship in our homes and remain one Body. Items such as consecrated wafers, activities for children, a 2019 BCP and many suggestions for how to hold worship services in your homes. My hope is that during this difficult time we strengthen the ties that bind us; reading God’s word together during the at home service, listening and singing worship music as a family, serving holy communion, and many other ways of nurturing a deeper connection to God. Please contact me at the church office or by email, should you have any comments or questions.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this uniquely stressful time.
Finally, a word from a trusted member, friend and physician in our PGW family. “Gary, Perry and I met today to discuss the pandemic, here are my thoughts about this disease. This is a very serious disease and should not be taken lightly. Today I didn’t shake hands or give hugs to many people that I care about. Not so much because I am afraid of this disease, but I don’t want to pass it on to others.
Here’s a personal example from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. It is estimated that 1/3 of the world’s population contracted this flu and 50-100 million people died from it. My grandfather was a student at the Citadel at that time and was sent home to Walterboro with the flu in 1918. His mother later died from the flu and according to my father, my grandfather lived the rest of his life with the guilt and remorse associated with this. We know that Christ can help us with this type of guilt.
Our medical system is prepared to handle this virus, so there is no need to panic and we have faith in our Lord to provide and protect, but we need to do our best not to contract this disease so that we don’t spread it. Jesus commands us to '…love one another as I have loved you'. We love and protect each other by keeping ourselves healthy. If there is a chance that we are not healthy, we need to avoid close contact with others. God bless you all, Dr. Lee Jones"
God’s peace be upon us all,
The Rev. Gary Beson II, Rector
Prince George Winyah Church