Dear St. Mark’s,

COVID-19 is now considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Last Thursday, the San Diego mayor banned all public gatherings over 250 people and all public gatherings in general amongst people who are at risk. The population who is most at risk are people over the age of 65, which is why many churches have recently decided to close down for the month of March until this disease gets somewhat controlled.

In order to protect the safety of St. Mark’s as well as the greater public, St. Mark’s will also not gather for Sunday morning services throughout the month of March. The goal is to slow down the spread so that our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed and consequently, unable to help all patients. City, state, and federal health officials have all stated that social distancing is, by far, the best way to contain this highly contagious disease. Thus, this overly severe measure now protects us in the long run.

However, the good news is that we will still worship together! Beginning Sunday, March 22 at 9 a.m., we will work in conjunction with Pacific Beach United Methodist Church to livestream worship services every Sunday. We will send you the link through the St. Mark’s online newsletter. If you are not subscribed to the St. Mark’s e-newsletter, now is the time to do so as this is the primary way we will be in touch with you. Please go to our website http://www.stmarksumcsd.org/ and sign up at the bottom of the homepage.

Additionally, all church meetings and events will be put on pause. This includes church council, all committee meetings, Bible studies, choir groups, retreats, and classes as well as our offices.

Essential personnel will work from home, as recommended by health officials. We will go into the office on a case-by-case basis.

All staff will continue to check their emails and voicemails. If you have any administrative needs, please email our church administrator at or call (858) 273-1480. If you have any pastoral needs, please email the ministers at or . We will also check our voicemails regularly

The nursery school is closed as well through April 5 as recommended by the San Diego Unified School District.

It is important to us that we remain the holy and comforting body of Christ during this difficult time. Jesus didn’t tell us to go to church. Jesus told us that WE ARE THE CHURCH. Throughout the following weeks we are not gathering, the ministers will make phone calls to each of you as well as send regular email updates and videos. We also invite you to take it upon yourselves to call and connect with one another so nobody feels isolated during this time.

Finally, our finances will no doubt be affected by our lack of in-person services. As such, we encourage you to keep tithing to the church each week by continuing your pledges, giving online here: http://www.stmarksumcsd.org/giving, signing up for automatic deduction through that same link, or mailing in your tithes so that when we finally do gather back together, our ministries will be stronger than ever.

God is so alive and powerful in the midst of all this. Through the ashes of Lent, something new and heretofore unimagined will be born.

Please reach out to us should you have any questions or concerns.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Lydia and Rev. Jeri