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One of the religious leaders, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
Jesus answered, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
This is the greatest and first commandment.
And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Here at the Dayton Church we strive to live out the love of God in heart, soul and mind through worship, which is the core piece of our identity as a church family. All we pour into worship here - the music we make, the songs we sing and the words we share, is meant to glorify and honor God. But our worship life also lives alongside the mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves. In the face of the COVD-19 crisis, our church is called to grapple with the question - Does continued worship in our sanctuary meet Christ's call to love both God, and neighbor?
Our church officers have prayerfully considered all aspects of our ability to worship in the sanctuary amid the ongoing crisis including: governmental recommendations about group gatherings, the limits our ability to sanitize our building and the potential consequences of letting our church members and friends decide for themselves whether or not to come to worship. In the end, there remained these questions of our leadership: Can we be at peace with the possibility that our desire to worship together in person may result in the unintentional COVID-19 infection of someone(s), particularly those who are most at risk? And, does that risk honor God and the call to love our neighbor?
After much deliberation, and a few tears, that answer was no.
The Session has suspended worship in our church sanctuary. We are live-streaming our worship service through Zoom and through YouTube on Sunday mornings. Links to those services will be shared here on the website on Sunday mornings by 9:30am. Taped services will be posted to YouTube for later viewing. Our Session will be meeting virtually on a continual basis to evaluate whether or not it is safe to return to the sanctuary, and we seek to provide communication to all through
e-newsletters, phone calls and this website.
Session has also voted to close our building to all group gatherings,
be they church oriented or outside groups.
During this time, we will strive to be together in other ways. Bible study gathers on Monday nights over Zoom. Our Prayer group gathers on Thursday night over Zoom. Our pastor will meet with anyone who wishes on the back porch of the manse, or will travel to people's homes for an outdoor visit. We will worship together through livestreamed services and published prayers. We'll print out resources and deliver them to those who want them and who are not comfortable with computers. Through it all, there will be technical successes & failures, places we can laugh, times we'll cry - but we will continue to be in it, together.
You are our beloved community. Be patient. Be in touch. Be safe.
And may God's protection and blessing be yours.
The Dayton Church's Food Outreach Program
"The Open Kitchen" will be
Saturday, April 24
The church will be sharing individual dinner portions
of a packaged meal on a first come, first served basis.
Bath kits containing shampoo and other toiletries;
individual bags of food
(each containing full size cereal box, granola bars, holiday cookies, etc.);
handmade shawls & lap robes will also be available as supplies last.
No Pre-Registration Required;
You Don't Need to be a Resident of South Brunswick to Come
Any and all who have need are welcome.
Where the Welcome is Wide
The First Presbyterian Church at Dayton is an open and affirming church,
embracing diversity in our congregation and community,
and affirming the dignity and worth
of every person created in the image of God.
We continue to honor the principle
that discrimination is incompatible with Christ's Gospel
of unconditional love.
We welcome into full membership and participation in the Body of Christ
persons of every race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation,
physical or mental ability, economic or marital status, and faith background.
We affirm and celebrate all loving and committed relationships.
We acknowledge the history of the institutional church in condemning and excluding people based on their identity, and in condoning such discrimination in silence. We commit ourselves to work diligently to end such oppression and discrimination.
Following the example of Jesus Christ, we hereby declare ourselves to be an open and affirming church.
statement approved by Session 2013