Hello Church Family,
Grace and Peace to you in Jesus’ Name!
I don’t always use that greeting in my communications with you, but I thought I would use it today, because that is my prayer for each of you in these trying times, that the grace and peace of Christ Jesus would be yours.
We are opening our doors on Sunday, May 24, for worship at 10AM. Pastor Ward and I have missed you and we look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday. That being said, it’s important for you to know that your time here on Sunday will be different than our normal times together. Attached to this note, you will find a list of guidelines from our Church Council to help you prepare for Sunday. It’s very important that you read and understand what we are asking of you if you choose to come.
You may find that the list is simple, or shorter than you thought it might be. One big reason for that is your time in the building will be simple and shorter than you might expect. Our desire is to promote health and safety, and so please avoid gathering in groups inside the building. Most rooms will be closed, and we ask that you and your children, if you have any, walk straight into the sanctuary when you arrive, and walk right back out to the parking lot when the service is done. The pastors will meet you outside, and we welcome gathering out there, as long as social distancing guidelines are practiced.
Many have asked me about singing during our service. The council voted to allow it, and our Music and Worship Committee is working right now to decide our best path forward with that ministry. As with so much of this COVID-19 crisis, there are legitimate arguments on both sides of this debate, and those differences are represented within our congregation. Regardless of what our Music and Worship Committee decides, our music ministry will look different for a while, and I ask for your patience during this time if it’s not quite what you would like it to be. Right now, we do plan to include at least a little bit of singing in our worship on Sunday. If you have questions on this, please reach out to me. And if you’re curious to read more about it, I’d be happy to share some helpful articles on the subject.
One more thing. I want to encourage you to use this time as an opportunity to love your fellow church family members by being respectful to their level of concern. Christian love was most brilliantly demonstrated on the cross, when Jesus proved His love for us, “while we were still sinners.” Christian love means humbly, patiently sacrificing for your neighbor, as Christ did for us. And sacrifice has a cost. The Bible says that sometimes we even have to bear with one another, and so we do that in love, letting “the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Christ will see us through, so rest in Him, and love each other, no matter their opinions on this virus or how they choose to handle it. I pray that this will continue to be a time when our congregation grows in love for God and for our neighbors!
May God richly less each of you this week.
Love in Christ,