03 Oct

Sunday Service Plans October/4/2020

Thanks for the feedback some of you have given regarding the proposed changes to our services, schedule of events, and group activities. We appreciate you taking time to contribute. This comes as an update to several of the issues noted earlier. As always, feel free to give suggestions. 


As we mentioned in our recent letter, September 20, 2020, we feel that in respect to the Virginia Governor’s mandate, we should mask when attending indoor services. 


Since that letter, we have learned of a Madison County court order dated September 23, 2020, in which the Governor conceded that religious services of fewer than 250 people are only subject to Executive Order 63. This was the original mandate regarding face coverings and social distancing. While this concession does not annul the face covering and social distancing requirement, it effectively places the burden of the face covering and social distancing order on the individual rather than the organization. This means the church would not be held accountable for not enforcing the mandate. We mention this development to acknowledge that we are aware of the ruling and have discussed its implications. 

You may be wondering why we did not recommend wearing face coverings for indoor services when Executive Order 63 initially came out May 26. That is a good question. At the time, we reviewed the order carefully along with the Forward Virginia Phase III guidelines. We noted that although the executive order mandated face coverings for social gatherings, the requirement was painstakingly missing from the Forward Virginia Phase III guidelines document referred to in the executive order for additional information. By contrast, the order was reiterated in the Forward Virginia Phase III guidelines for every other venue such as businesses, places of entertainment, and brick and mortar establishments. Our conclusion was that an exception was being made for religious services. With the amendment to Executive Order 67, however, we realized that face coverings were clearly in view with the original Executive Order 63 since part of the amendment was directed towards religious services.

We know that many of you are keeping up with these developments, and we want to be clear on our rationale for our past and current recommendations. With the varied opinions among us regarding wearing face coverings for church services, we ask that we all offer respect and consideration to each other. 

Again, we feel that we should observe the mandates of our civil authorities and therefore mask for indoor services. This would apply to those 10 and older with the exception of those who feel they cannot mask because of either health reasons or conscience. Disposable masks will be available at the door. Speakers will not need to mask.

This Sunday

While we will continue to hold services outside as long as weather permits, we are planning our first indoor service this Sunday, October 4, as the weather is predicted to be cool. The service begins at 10:45 a. m.

Sunday Service Format

Sunday School

To give us a little more time to work through the logistics of a socially distanced Sunday school plan, we will wait until after our Communion service October 11 to hold Sunday school. The Sunday school superintendents will be initiating this planning process.

Auditorium Seating

Since we will be wearing face coverings for indoor services, we recommend that we seat every other bench rather than every third bench in the auditorium. 

Counsel Meeting

As announced earlier, we are planning separate evenings for counsel meeting.

  • Tuesday evening, October 6 for the brothers
  • Wednesday, October 7 for the sisters

Details about location and time will be coming later.


We are planning our Communion service October 11. This service would be held indoors and begin at 10:00 a.m.

We plan to use individual servings of the emblems and will omit the feet washing ceremony for this occasion. We see this as a temporary adjustment from our typical practice in order to be sensitive to concerns of COVID spread.


Thank-you again for your support as we work through these sensitive issues. We don’t want these things to compromise the love and care that we show to each other. 

Blessings to all of you, and we look forward to seeing you Sunday!

The Ministry Team

Click here for the current Church/Youth/School calendar.

22 Aug

Kingdom Fellowship Weekend Live


We would like to make you aware of the Kingdom Fellowship Weekend that is being livestreamed this weekend. The first session was streamed last night with Melvin Lehman from Guys Mills, PA, noting what we can learn from history. Additional sessions will be held as described below. We encourage as many as are able to take this in.

The Ministerial Team

See this attachment for additional information. Kingdom-Fellowship-Weekend-2020-3


Kingdom Fellowship Weekend 2020

Kingdom Fellowship Weekend – August 21 -23

See the link or attachment for 2 more topics than previously announced. Bill Shiley will be sharing on “The Problem of Pain”.


Join the conference by phone (audio only). In the United States, call (646) 876-9923, and enter this meeting ID: 942 5766 7072#

Outside the United States?At the following link, you may find an international number so you will not need to pay international long-distance charges: https://zoom.us/u/amjgfnxSN. Use that phone number, and enter this meeting ID:942 5766 7072#

Join the conference online (video)

Using a computer: https://zoom.us/j/94257667072(no account necessary)

Using a smartphone: https://zoom.us/j/94257667072(no account necessary)If using a smartphone, you will need the Zoom app pre-installed.

08 May

Help Needy Families in India

Good-morning everyone,

Jacob called Monday of this last week saying that they are all doing well, but the lockdown continues through May 17 and could be extended as Covid-19 cases are increasing in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, and Marayoor is close to the border.

People still can go out of their homes, and group limits have been increased from 5 to 10. Little children are getting long hair because few people are getting haircuts.

Paulson is one of the pastors at the church in Marayoor, and he has a regular practice of walking to the church to pray each morning. Throughout this lockdown, he has continued to do this. But recently, the government sent a number of new police to the town of Marayoor. Several of them saw Paulson walking, so they stopped to ask him where he was going. He told them that he was walking to the church to pray as he does each morning and that he needs this for his physical health as well. So the police told him to hop in their vehicle and let them take him to the church. But to his dismay, they took him to the police station. They showed him two cells and made it clear that if he continues to go to the church, he will be placed in one of them!

When the chief police saw Paulson, he said, “What are you doing here, Pastor?” The chief police knows Jacob and the church pastors very well. Paulson told him that the police officers brought him in for walking to church. At this the chief police took charge making it clear that he could continue to walk to the church to pray. Paulson was very grateful for this!

The 8 boys from the Tribal area are still living in the church, and Jacob is using this time to teach them so that they can go back to their people and teach them about God. They get up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning for Bible study and several hours of reading each day. They read out loud to help them continue to learn to read more fluently as they have only recently learned to read at the schools that we have been supporting in the Tribal area. They are being taught to pray.

The boys are concerned about how their people are doing in the Tribal area as they have heard nothing since they have come out to Marayoor. They are not allowed to travel back given the lockdown.

Local and Tribal families are needing food. Many families have bought so much food on credit from the local store owners that the stores are not willing to lend to them anymore. Because of this, some families are desperately needing rice.

While Jacob can’t travel to the Tribal area, he could arrange for John and Suresh, who live in Tamil Nadu, to take rice back to the Tribal area and check in on some of the groups. Of course, Jacob and Paulson could distribute food to needy families in the Marayoor area.

To help with this need, we are suggesting that we give money for 1000 pounds of rice with vegetables for needy families that Jacob and the church can reach out to. At $25 per family, $1000 would support 40 families for 2 weeks which is about the duration of the lockdown.

If any of you would like help with this support, please contact one of the India board, Monroe, Kenneth, or Jonathan with your pledged amount so that we can get word to Jacob to begin purchase and distribution of food to families in need. We will need to know as soon as possible so that Jacob can begin to organize relief for these families.

Blessings to all of you!

The India Board

04 Apr

Sunday Morning Livestream 4-5-20


As announced this morning, a livestream is planned for the morning service tomorrow. The link should be live around 10:45 a.m. Sunday, April 5, 2020. Click here for the stream.

Also, the link is posted on the home page of the church website, pilgrimfellowship.org.

And finally, you may also call for audio only to the main call-in number (540) 324-2891 and the back up number (540) 941-8406.

Have a restful night,