Dear Ones:

I want to bring you up to date on the status of our church during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

When we got the word late Monday afternoon of the Order by the Santa Cruz County Health Department to close, we took immediate action.  

  • We have closed our building and cancelled worship until April 6, or until the ban is lifted.  
  • We have cancelled all in-person meetings, and others using the church including AA/NA groups, Girl Scouts, etc.  Our church office, Clean Team and NETworX staff, are now sheltering at home.  
  • I am working from home and available via my cell (831) 320-0276, or my email Call me anytime.  
  • A member of our Trustees (Carrye Cheaney) who lives near the church is in charge of keeping the facility safe.  
  • Our Office Manager Erika Bernabe is handling any inquiries or questions you have about procedures via email from our church email address:
  • We are only opening the building for our continued feeding of the homeless at the Salvation Army, and other necessities.  

But that’s not all.  Although our building remains closed, you can rest assured that our church community is still here!

Our Tech Team and I are exploring our digital options for gathering together online.  There are a lot of legal guidelines which must be complied with, so we are getting up to speed on how best to proceed.  Plus, our leaders are beginning to meet together via Zoom online, which provides a safe way to communicate as a group, either by simple audio (telephone,) or with video capabilities using the Zoom app.  We are communicating with others and making plans on how we can best remain connected.  

Or to put it another way, we are trying to love one another and do Christ’s work in this scary world in new, creative and meaningful ways.  

Your part in this?  Your prayers and support are definitely needed.  Also know we are thinking of you and love you and are praying for you.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are coping, if you or your family need help, and if you know anyone else in our church community who needs our help.

And finally I leave you these reassuring words of Scripture:

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Stay tuned.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson

Watsonville First United Methodist Church

229 Stanford Street Watsonville, CA 95076

Phone: (831) 724-4434   Fax: (831) 724-8602