Dear Emmanuel Church Family,
Here's some updated information to share regarding our beloved church:
1.) Worship will be Virtual Worship until further notice
The Council and our Church Staff will be looking at guidelines from the CDC, the State of California, the Bakersfield Public Schools, and information from the ELCA Churchwide and SoCal Synod offices to determine when it is safe for us to gather in person. Right now,(March 20) the CDC recommends that groups of 50 or more should not gather for the next 8 weeks which would mean we could be back to worship in person in May, but that is not guaranteed. Please go on our website to view Virtual Worship. Any Prayer Requests for our worship service may be sent into Pastor Dawn (Pastor@emmanuelbakersfield.org) by Thursday, though remember that anyone can view Virtual Worship on our website and your Prayer Request would therefore be public information.
2.) The Emmanuel Church Property is now closed to the public until further notice
This was not an easy decision to make as we take seriously our commitment to provide a welcoming place where people can come for community. However, we made this choice knowing that at the moment we cannot guarantee your safety in our space knowing that some groups are larger than 10 people, COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for up to 2-3 days, and some people may come to our church in good faith while not yet showing symptoms of the virus and inadvertently expose their entire group. We are doing our part to 'flatten the curve' and not overwhelm our hospitals with very sick people in need of help all at once."
3.) Emmanuel Ministry meetings will be virtual meetings
Ministry teams will continue to meet, though it will be virtually. Bible Study will resume when our church re-opens to the public. Pastor Dawn is looking into means to offer educational opportunities on-line.
4.) Tracey will be managing the Church Office from Home
Tracey will maintain our regular Office Hours of Monday- Thursday, 9-1 working from home. If you call Emmanuel (661) 323-3355 during our normal hours of operation, Tracey will answer as she's figured out call forwarding! Our preferred forms of communication with one another is calling on the phone, sending an e-mail, text, etc. Remember that we are being encouraged to "Stay Safe, Stay Home" by Governor Newsom as of 3/20/20.
5.) Pastor Dawn will be working from her home
Pastor Dawn will monitor the phone when Tracey is not monitoring it from her home. Pastor Dawn will continue to write weekly sermons, pray for all of you, and coordinate worship. The safest way to be in touch is virtually, so feel free to call, text, or e-mail should you wish to connect: Pastor@emmanuelbakersfield.org.
6.) The Council is working on a Congregational Phone Tree
Our Council Members will be calling our church members and friends during this time when we are physically apart to check in and stay connected. If there are needs you have with groceries, Tracey will help coordinate folks to shop for you. If you would like to be added to the list of people who could shop for others, please let Tracey know. If there are spiritual needs (or any other needs you may rather share privately with Pastor Dawn), the Council Member who calls will relay that message. And of course, you can always call her directly.
7.) Giving to our church
You can mail your pledges to the Office and we have electronic giving on our church website: We are also aware of the economic uncertainty facing many and understand that we will give as we are able.
As plans evolve and change, as we continue to monitor what's happening in response to COVID-19 both nationally and locally, our church will respond and communicate our plans with our church family. We are all doing our best in uncertain times and extending grace to one another as we figure out paths forward will help us all get through. Remember that God is with us, and though we are apart physically right now, we are not alone.
In Christ our healing and hope,