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August 31

COVID-19 Update August 19, 2020

I am happy to inform you that our church board has unanimously affirmed that we can once again regather for in-person worship! We will meet together for the first time on Sunday morning, August 30th. The times of our services of worship will be 8:30 a.m. (in our sanctuary) and 10:45 a.m. (in our Brethren Life Center). Just as before, for the time being there will be no Sunday School, church nursery, or in-house children and youth classes. This may change later on in the fall. The church library will be closed and there will be no Coffee Corner.
Since we ungathered the church on July 26th we know that many of you have inquired about the date for our regathering again at Fourth Street.  There has been considerable interest in getting back together. That said, we are sensitive to the fact that, for any number to reasons, some of you are not yet comfortable with being in a public setting. We want you to be comfortable with whatever decision you make and we realize for some of you, that decision will be to remain at home awhile longer. For those of you who do  attend services, we want you to be assured we are taking every precaution we can to ensure your safety and well-being as well as the safety and well-being of others. 
Below are some guidelines to help all of us sort things out.
  1.  Face masks will be worn at all times. If you do not have a face mask when you arrive, we will gladly give you one to wear. If you have not been feeling well or have cold/flu symptoms, please remain at home.
  2. When you come in the door, there will be a welcome table with face masks, hand sanitizer, and bottled water for your use.
  3. Families may sit together. As a general rule, however,we will follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing (a minimum of 6-feet apart) in and around the church.
  4. All singing will be done at the close of each service.
  5. When services are over, you are encouraged to exit the building without much interaction with one another. For Brethren who place a high value on fellowship, this will be the most difficult guideline to follow.
  6. You are encouraged to bring a bottle of water. Because our drinking fountains will be closed, a bottle ofwater will also be provided if you need one.
  7. The main door of each restroom will be propped open to keep door handles touch free. Only two people at a time will be our restroom policy for the first weeks/months.
  8. For those of us who rely on handrails, hand sanitizer will be available at the top of the stairs (as well as other places throughout the building).
  9. Instead of passing offering plates, we will receive your tithes and giving in one common area at the close of each service.  For the time being, there will be no bulletins.
  10. Please respectfully refrain from shaking hands, hugging, fist bumps, and the Brethren kiss no matter how well-meant and well-intended.
In addition, all staff and ushers/greeters will have their temperatures checked 20-30 minutes prior to the services.  Our restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and our church will be cleaned and sanitized as much as possible between Sundays and other days of heavy use.
For the most part, our guidelines comply with the CDC regulations to which we’ve all become accustomed during our time of quarantine. Good old fashion courtesy and common sense will go a long way to make our time with the Lord and with one another a meaningful and pleasurable experience.
On the Sunday we regather, we are going to begin live-streaming our 10:45 service. That means for those of us who are at home, we will be able to get online and worship in “real time” with those who are at church.  And, of course, a video of the service will be available throughout the week. DVDs of the 8:30 service will also be available as they have been in the past. We’re happy to mail them to you.
We are really excited about the opportunities God will give us as we venture forth in our regathering. This is a process and we respectfully ask for your patience and your love.   Pastor Joel


COVID-19 Update July 23, 2020

Dear Chambersburg COB Family and Friends,

Our church Regathering Committee met for an hour Tuesday morning. In light of the uptick of COVID cases in Franklin County, in light of our governor’s decision last Thursday to limit indoor in-person gatherings to 25 people or less, in light of wanting our church to be an example of obedience (not submission) to authority, and in light of wanting to do everything possible to keep our church family safe, the Regathering Committee has reached the consensus to “ungather” our flock starting this Sunday, July 26th through the month of August.

This means worship will once again premier on Facebook at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings and will remain online throughout the week for you to view at a time that works best for you. This also means that, for the time being, we will not be meeting for worship in our facility.

In the meantime, we will carefully monitor what local school districts are doing with regard to in-person education. IF most of the school districts are going to open with students in the classroom, we will regather our church family ASAP. If most of the school districts do not open in the fall, we will continually reassess and revisit our decision to determine the safest and most appropriate time to regather.
This was a difficult decision to make. I’m pleased to report that all nine members of the committee weighed in and expressed the pros and cons of “ungathering” the church.  During the hour, most of us changed our minds at least once. But in the final analysis, halting in-person worship seemed to be the best decision. We appreciate your continued flexibility, understanding and support.
While we are meeting for worship online, you may send your tithes and offerings to the church office. Your support for the ongoing ministries and expenses of the church is greatly appreciated. Online stewardship is also now established and available. It is easy to give online. If you want more information on how to do this, please contact Ali Toms and she will help you understand what to do.
I have personally been blessed by our last three weeks of regathering for worship. We averaged about 100 persons between our two services. We feel that every precaution was taken to ensure the comfort and safety of those in attendance. I certainly hope and pray that we can return to a sense of normalcy in God’s house in the very near future.
Praying for you and wishing you peace and wellness!
Pastor Joel


COVID-19 Update June 26, 2020

The 4th Street congregation will regather for worship in the church building starting July 5th. Click here to read a letter from Pastor Joel and what to expect when you attend. Below are the guidelines for attending worship:

(1) If you are feeling ill, have flu-like symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 2 weeks, please refrain from attending in person and continue worshiping online.

(2) Face masks will be worn at all times. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.

(3) Please practice social distancing (a minimum of 6 feet apart). Families are invited to sit together during worship.

(4) Please refrain from close contact. Please respectfully refrain from shaking hands, hugging, fist bumps, and the Brethren kiss no matter how well-meant and well-intended.

(5) All high touch surfaces will be sanitized between services. The church will be thoroughly cleaned throughout the week.

(6) Please refrain from using water fountains. Bottles of water will be provided.

(7) Seating adjustments have been made in each worship space to accommodate social distancing. Please respectfully follow the signage, and please refrain from moving chairs.

(8) Hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks will be provided and located throughout the church for easy access.

(9) Children’s ministries and childcare will not be offered at this time to maintain social distancing.

(10) If you have attended worship and later test positive for COVID-19, please call the church office immediately at (717) 264-6957

(11) If you do not feel comfortable worshiping in person or unable to follow these guidelines, we invite you to continue worshiping online or call the church office for a DVD.


COVID-19 Update June 4, 2020

COVID-19 Update May 24, 2020

“The church leadership will monitor the CDC guidelines with regard to church openings; however, the church will remain closed until procedures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the church family and guests.”

For further explanation on this statement, please see Pastor Joel’s opening reflection in the June Newsletter.

COVID-19 Update April 14, 2020


Dear Members and Friends of Chambersburg COB:


I hope this letter finds you safe and well. Staying indoors and donning a facemask when venturing outside have become the new normal for most of us during this COVID-19 pandemic. For the last four weeks the church building has been essentially closed to the public and all church activities – meetings, Youth Group, Midweek Connection, etc. – have either been cancelled or postponed until further notice. This is being done in cooperation with the CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.


Our services of worship are currently being recorded in advance and made available on our Chambersburg Church of the Brethren Facebook page every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. so that we can still come together as the Body of Christ to worship and interact with one another during this time.


If you aren’t available at 9:00 Sunday morning and you miss it, the service will be pinned to the top of our Facebook page for the remainder of the day. You may also log onto our website (chambcob.org) and click on “The Word” at the top of our home page. Our services for the last month will be available there for your viewing. Click on one and enjoy.


During this pandemic, instead of visiting you in your homes as I ordinarily would, I have been reaching out to a number of you on the telephone. A question I frequently hear is, “How long do you think it will be until we are able to worship at church like we’re used to?”  The honest and most responsible answer is, “We don’t know and it is difficult to assign a time to that.” At the most recent Church Board meeting (April 7th) the board wrestled with the very real possibility of having to extend our church quarantine into May. We are as eager to get back into fellowship as you are. However, for the safety and well-being of all concerned, we feel it is best to exercise “responsible caution,” and we ask your patience and flexibility.


One new Ministry of Mission has come out of this crisis and I am excited to share it with you. For the month of April, our board has established a COVID-19 Relief Fund.  We are accepting your special offerings for Coronavirus relief.  All money you designate will be used to provide critical supplies, food, and aid to local organizations that are providing relief and service to others during this 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.



1. Text 84321 on your phone. Enter the amount you want to give for relief and text COVID after the amount. Example: if you enter 84321 and text 20 COVID you are indicating that your gift to the Relief Fund is $20.


2. Give a gift online at chambcob.org/give Choose COVID-19 Fund and follow the instructions.


3. Mail your offering to the church and designate COVID-19 Relief on your check.  Please make your checks payable to Chambersburg Church of the Brethren.


Speaking of giving, we appreciate receiving your tithes and financial offerings during this time of quarantine.  You may give by going online at www.chambcob.org  Choose “Give” and follow the instructions. You may also send your gifts in the mail to:

Chambersburg COB

260 South Fourth Street

Chambersburg, PA 17202


Watching the worship services online has been an encouragement to me. I hope it has been an encouragement to you as well.  If you don’t have access to a computer, we will gladly mail you a DVD of any of our worship services per your request.  Give us a call!


In His Grasp…

Pastor Joel






Psalm 46:1  God is our protection and source of strength. He is always ready to help us in times of trouble. (ERV)


August 31
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Chambersburg Church of the Brethren
260 South Fourth Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201 United States