April 15th Update - Office of the Senior Pastor



Church family,

I pray everyone is doing well during this time and are finding ways of connecting with others while practicing social distancing.  While we are planning to continue cooperating with the governor’s request that churches not meet during this time, we have seen other areas of ministry grow significantly. 

The church has been in prayer for each other, small groups have been meeting online, our daily devotions are reaching many, people have volunteered to deliver groceries, giving has continued, and our social media ministry has seen more and more people joining.  And none of that even touches on the explosion of personal devotion and discipleship happening in the homes. On Easter, we estimate about 1000 people were reached through our online service!  Praise the Lord!

While we have seen God move in very powerful ways, we are looking forward to returning to service.  And as we do, we want to be intentional about preserving safety and health.  For that reason, we will be taking some precautions to help minimize the potential for spreading infection.  We will need everyone’s help in this so we can look out for each other.

Greeting Time
We will be eliminating the greeting time.  We know it is something we have done for a long time but it does not allow for social distancing and may increase the risk of transmission.

In the past we have passed an offering plate from person to person.  Because this presents a way in which infection can be spread, we will be moving to free-standing offering boxes placed in each aisle in the sanctuary.  These boxes are currently used during our Wednesday night service and work well.  There, we can give our offering without having to come into physical contact with any other person or common surface.

Offering will no longer be collected all at once so as to not cause a large crowd but rather we can now give at any point before or after the service, or during worship.  We would ask that during the prayers and message everyone would remain in their seats.  The good part about this method is no one will have to worry about being rushed or missing the offering plates, which does happen from time to time. 

Communion will be adjusted so there will be no open food which may be contaminated.  We will utilize the portable communion elements we already have, which are factory sealed until use.  There will be baskets placed in each pew with a supply of these communion elements.  The baskets will be passed down each pew but will not leave that pew.

Bulletins and Greeters
We will continue offering printed bulletins and they will be available for pick up in the foyer.  Our greeters will be there to greet us with a warm welcome and “hello,” and will be happy to point us to the bulletins available for pick up. 

Also, don’t forget we have online bulletins available through the mobile App and the website: www.soth.church.  Those are usually available Friday and have all the same information, and even more in many cases. 

We will be keeping our snacks after service but will eliminate common bowls of chips, pretzels, etc.  Instead, we will provide individually portioned servings.  Snacks will also be sealed whenever possible.  We will still welcome your homemade pies, cakes, and anything else anyone would like to bring.  And thank you to all who do! 

Finally, we will be adjusting our service times to include the addition of a third service.  The 8:00 service will not be affected.  However, we will be dividing the 10:30 service between a 9:30 and 11:00 service.  Sunday School will still run from 9:30-10:30, concurrent with the new “second service,” when it is in session.  When Sunday School is not in session, there will be other child-care options during available. 

The idea is that by providing another option for worship, we will have two smaller services with more physical room to spread out and maintain social distancing.  The schedule will be as follows:

1st Service 8:00-9:00

  • Worship Service (traditional)
  • Child care offered (after worship)

2nd Service 9:30-10:30

  • Worship Service (contemporary)
  • Adult Sunday School (entire hour)
  • Children’s Sunday School (entire hour)

3rd Service 11:00-12:00

  • Worship Service (contemporary)
  • Children’s Church (after worship)


While this will represent a change for our church, we feel it is a necessary one to help protect against possible infection.  These are different times and there will no doubt be numerous changes to everyone’s everyday life for much time to come.  As for our part at the church, we are making every effort to provide a safe and healthy worship experience for everyone. 

Please consider which service to attend.  There will be childcare offered at each service without the need to add too many children’s volunteers, if any. Other areas may need more help and there will be more opportunity to get involved.  We should all pray about how we might serve and help; and feel free to contact the church with any questions. 


We are still working out some of the logistics but are confident we will be ready by the time we return.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me directly at: cmonger@soth.church.  I would be happy to answer any questions.  

Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and continued support and encouragement, it really means a lot right now!


Pastor Collin

About Shepherd of the Hills

Shepherd of the Hills is a loving, friendly church located in Bechtelsville, PA (Pennsylvania), serving Berks, Montgomery and surrounding counties.

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527 Hoffmansville Road
Bechtelsville, PA



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