By my calculation it has been sixteen weeks since we gathered to worship as a church on Sunday morning. Though we have tried to maintain our worship, it is difficult to do so even with excellent technology. I am proud that you have adjusted so well to this necessary interruption in our routine. It is good we are coming back next week, July 5, to in-person worship. It will be different but at least we are coming back!
Our responsible return to worship requires we wear masks and practice social distancing to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus. (We have a mask for you if you need one) Our deacons will serve as ushers to seat you as you arrive and to guide you on the way out. To make it easier for the ushers to seat you, please enter through the back sanctuary vestibule entrance. We ask that you limit your activity to the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and main level bathrooms. These areas are being cleaned before and after each service to make it safer for everyone. There will be plenty of hand-cleaning stations available.
We will not take an offering during the service but you can drop a contribution off as you enter, leave it in offering plates at the door, use our outside dropbox, mail it, or electronically donate.
We ask that folks not congregate after the service and maintain social distancing, along with no handshaking or hugs. Our worship service will be as normal as possible if you consider wearing masks and social distancing as normal.
The sanctuary platform is a little different as we make room for proper distancing to lead music and preach, as well as make cleaning easier and more efficient.
For now we will continue our online worship service, online Bible study, online daily devotions and Zoom Sunday School class. Though we are returning to worship we recognize that some are not yet ready and we fully understand that. For those that desire the Fellowship Hall will be available for use in the worship service with newly installed and upgraded audio and video capability. Our Zoom Sunday School will continue to meet on Sundays at 6:00 PM until further notice. Contact the church office if you would like to be added to the electronic invite.
For those of you who want to attend in-person worship but are not ready for the crowds, beginning Friday July 10 at 3:00 pm, we are inviting up to twenty persons to attend in the sanctuary for the recording of online service. Masks, social distancing, usher seating will still be used. The fellowship hall will not be used on Friday.
We will watch the status of this virus in our community as we assess the best time to resume other church activities. We are as eager to return as you but want to do it safely and responsibly.
As we return we will be preaching a series of messages on “When Jesus Sought Just One.” This is part of our July emphasis on personal engagement of the Gospel, one person at a time. It is perhaps more difficult this season to identify and contact “your one.” However, you still have personal, phone, or social media contact with someone with whom you can share your faith.
Pray about the “one” you can share your faith and look for opportunites to present the Gospel to this person. I encourage you to look to your family, close circle of friends, or co-workers, for the one person in your life that needs the Gospel. As always if you need help in any way please contact us.
I am sure you are concerned about the headlines of violence and unrest in our country. These events highlight the thorough brokenness of our world by sin and underscores our nation’s desperate need for the Gospel. I urge our church to pray how we can be “salt and light” in our community as we work to further the Gospel. Of all the needs in our nation, the Gospel is our greatest need. I further urge you to commit to showing the love of Christ to everyone you encounter, and look for opportunities to bring the light of Christ to a broken world.
As always, AJ, Luke and I remain available to assist you in any way possible. Please contact us at anytime as you need or have a question. God bless you as we labor together for the Kingdom.
Rev. James A. Cohn