First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Important Covid-19 Message From Toby

A Message From Toby…

             Life sure has a way of throwing us curveballs, and I just got beaned by one of them this morning. Eloise hasn’t been feeling well for the last few days, so we went to our local Urgent Care to get her tested. Because she was anxious about the test, I told her I’d get tested too and even go first. We waited on-site for the results – we took the rapid test – and the results came back…Hers was negative but mine was positive. I have Covid-19.

            We are still processing this together and in a mild state of shock. I feel pretty well and am largely asymptomatic. What this means in practical terms is that I will need to quarantine here at home for the next 10 days or so. Eloise will need to do so as well since she has lived in direct contact with me. It may turn out that she is positive as well. They retested her immediately and sent that one away to a lab. We’ll get those update results in 4-5 days and go from there. I will be hearing from the county health department soon for contact tracing purposes, but I really don’t think I have had any close or risky contact with anyone in the congregation since my minimal symptoms emerged. I will be guided by them and we’ll contact all the necessary people.

            Bill – our Moderator – and I are figuring out Sunday worship plans. We’ll come up with something creative, I’m sure. We’re hoping I can video record sermons from home and then somehow either patch those into the stream you’ve grown accustomed to watching or provide a separate link to click for the sermon portion of the service. Stay tuned.

            As fate, luck, or God’s plan would have it, my sermon this week in the Gospel According to the Beatles series, which is already written, is on “Let It Be.” I’ll be looking at that amazing song in conversation with the Serenity Prayer. If I’ve ever been in a situation to say, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” this is the time. “Whisper words of wisdom…Let it be.”

            I feel strong, hopeful, and unafraid. God is good and will use this time positively in my life and in the larger life of our amazing family of faith. Eloise and I covet and appreciate your prayers. Grace and peace to all of you!     Toby

A Message From The Office…

             Please be advised that the church office will be closed to visitors for at least the next 10 days while I monitor for symptoms of Covid-19. I have received approval from the Health Department to continue being present in the church office during regular office hours but we ask that if you must visit the church office while it is occupied that you do not enter the office and instead use the sliding window to the right of the office door, if possible. Although it is extremely unlikely I would have contracted the virus from Toby, we feel it is wise in this situation to err on the side of caution. If you have any questions, please email me at Thank you, Leah