April 23, 2020
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
Sometimes we feel like we have been in captivity, just as the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon. The Israelites had been taken into captivity because they had not obeyed the Lord.
These words are not spoken directly to us but they can give us hope. God didn't create Messiah without a purpose, the challenge is, with all the changes that have taken place over the last few months, we find ourselves facing new challenges. How do we survive and even more so how do we thrive? These are questions the transition team is seeking answers for.
I will continue to call and check on you during our being “absent together” and look forward to saying “hello.” God bless you till we meet again.
For now, we have the near future to look at. I am going to try to explain what it will look like at first.
The Council has decided to reopen the church for worship on July 12th. Worship will be at 10am, but will be a shortened service with several restrictions. Worship on the 19th will be followed by the Ice Cream Social using assorted ice cream novelties, at a distance of course! Hopefully the weather will allow us to be outside. July 26th will be a special service with a video concert by The Legacy Group. You will be able to watch and hear this marvelous group that we were unable to host on April 26th. There will be no communion that day and will be my last day to worship with you. It has been a pleasure.
Please read the following carefully to understand how worship will be held as we open again on July 12th. There will be hand sanitizing units at each door. You will have your temperature taken when you arrive. There will be only one thermometer, so please keep your distance until you can take your turn. If you have a temperature, you will be asked to return home. Please wear your mask the entire time. If you forget your mask, one will be provided. (This is an expense for the church, so please remember to bring your own.) You will enter through the door on the north side, next to the fireside room. Please use the sanitizer before entering the sanctuary. Following worship leave by the south door. Feel free to use the sanitizer as you leave. Unfortunately, we will not be able to stay and socialize in the entry, and there will be no social hour. When you enter the sanctuary, please sit ONLY where the blue X's are on the pews. They have been placed to keep everyone at a safe distance. Families can sit together. During communion, pastor will have the cup and wafer ready for each person. On the way to communion, you are invited to place your offering in the offering plate. When you pick up your communion, please touch only the one you are picking up. Place the used cup in the basket as you return to your pew. Please remember to keep social distance at all times. It is your choice if you want to sing during the hymns, but please keep your mask on as the virus is known to spread during speaking. Pastor will not use a mask during the service, but will wear a mask during communion.
Service will consist of a gathering hymn, confession of sins, a short message, communion and a sending hymn. If you have any questions, please let me know.
We look forward to being together again and worshiping God together. God bless you as you look to the future, and pray for God's blessings.