Pastoral Letter Regarding COVID State-wide Mitigation Measures Beginning October 22
This afternoon Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that many counties within the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois will be under greater virus mitigation measures starting on Thursday, October 22. News coverage of the new mitigation measures can be found online in The Southern Illinoisan.
These restrictions will limit all indoor gatherings to the lesser of 25 people or 25% room capacity. In the article about the new mitigation measures, Dr. Craig Davis, system director of hospitalist medicine for Southern Illinois Healthcare, said "My appeal to each of you is simple. Wear a mask. Pause large gatherings. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands frequently. Please consider these short-term sacrifices for the greater good. The enemy is the disease, not each other”.
Even though limited gatherings are permitted, it is particularly important to be aware of the higher risk of infection among many of our members and neighbors so that we can adjust plans to help reduce their risk. Among those at a higher risk of infection are:
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People who are pregnant
- People of any age with underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled
While some congregations may be able to gather in person for worship and maintain these limits, Sessions are strongly encouraged to evaluate the risk to your congregation members, staff, and community if you gather in person for worship or other events. Congregations are encouraged to worship remotely, physically distanced outdoors, or in a drive-up format while these new mitigation measures are in place.
Both myself and Cindy Bean (the presbytery’s Stated Clerk) would be glad to meet with your Session via Zoom or conference call to explore how to address the resurgence of the pandemic. If you have questions or would like to talk please contact Cindy or me.
May the peace of Christ be with you during these challenging times and know that you remain in my prayers.
Grace and peace,
Rev. William "Bill" McLean, II
Presbyter for Congregational Care
Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois
Link to Session Records Review: CLICK HERE
1883 Cairo Presbytery History of Ministers and Churches
If you are a student of history and/or involved in congregations in PSEI such as Centralia, Harrisburg, Cobden, Carbondale, Mt. Carmel, Carmi, Rockwood, Nashville and others you will be interested in this!
The Presbytery recently received a letter and a package from Jan Maddux from Greenville, Tennessee. The package contained the following as explained in the handwritten Prefactory:
At the meeting of the Presbytery of Cairo, held at Cobden, April 1883, the Treasurer was instructed to furnish the Historical Committee with a volume suitable for preserving the results of their researches into the past history of the churches and ministers in this field, and the current events of importance.
The Committee considers the work assigned them to be limited by
1st. By the minutes of the General Assembly. This relieves the necessity of recording a Roll of Churches and Ministers or a statical account of the Presbytery.
2nd By the minutes of the Presbytery
3rd By the history of the Presbyterian Church in Illinois by Rev. A.T. Norton D.D. This volume will be a supplement to that history and to the official records.
4. By the "Sketches of the life and times of the Rev. Stephen Bliss. A.M." by Rev. S.C. Baldridge - a monogram of the first settled minister in the state of Illinois in our church.