Week of January 24th
We have a lot coming up this week- and these issues point out the value of community. My wife Diane is passing through real challenges physically right now. This church community has gone way beyond even its normal grace and goodness to minister to both of us. Can I tell you something, though? That is not something that happens just because I am a pastor, or because I have been around a long time.
It happens because this church, as real as it is, knows how to love. We are not perfect. I am not perfect. We know Who is perfect- God alone. But as imperfect as we may be, we know how to love. This support goes out over and over again to people who attend services AND to people who come in for all sorts of other assistance. That is just the way this church IS. Try it and see- don't take my word for it!
We see it even when it comes to medical issues and Covid concerns. Some people wear masks. We give them plenty of space and grace and try to help them protect themselves and their families from harm. Some do not, and we honor that as well. We know the recommendation of the CDC and doctors. We will make masks and distanced seating available, NOT because some official said we must, but to help those who need that protection. I know that everyone CANNOT wear a mask due to medical reasons having nothing to do with COVID-19, but for those who can, we certainly recommend it. We show grace whether you wear or do not wear a mask, but we do ask for continued courtesy to respect personal space either way.
Kids ministry continues to ask parents to not bring children who are sick. Of course, if you have children and are worried about potential COVID infections, we encourage you to keep them with you for service- kids are always welcome! Just as we have been doing for a while, we will not pass an offering plate, but instead encourage you to use the box, the safe drop or online giving.
For the long term, we understand that we cannot satisfy everyone on the issue of virus safety. We want to be careful. As far as we know, few in our church family have contracted COVID-19, and those who have done so have contracted it outside the church and have caught it before coming in and exposing others. Communication with our church family has worked well, and we appreciate those who have avoided coming in if they have any suspicion of sickness. That does not mean that we cannot, or that anyone including myself and our staff are specially immune or invincible. We do not want to have anyone feel forced to attend live services at any time if you feel it is unsafe. If government Health Department statements makes you feel it is unsafe...stay home. If you arrive and too few people are wearing masks...head home. If there is not enough socially-distanced seating to help you, we apologize, but wish you all safety as you head out. If you are unsure about children or youth meeting at this time, please keep them with you or out of the meeting spaces they meet in. Let us know the problems you are concerned about. We may not be able to correct them all, but we will do what we can! No one will judge you or pressure you in any fashion. We have not done so and will not begin to do so in the future.
If you feel it is unsafe, please take advantage of the resources on this website and on our two Facebook groups. We have been posting Sunday and Wednesday services in video. We post audio-only messages as well. Calendar information exists on this site. You can communicate to us through text, email or phone. if you wish to give, and we are so thankful that you have done so in the past, this page makes that possible, or offerings can be mailed or delivered to the church.
One last note, please be aware that we have our Annual Business Meeting taking place after service on January 31st. We will give reports on our building changes, and will go over all the rest of the issues we handle at that meeting. All are welcome, and we will take and answer questions from the floor, but only members can vote on issues. Thank you for understanding, and we hope to see our church family there!
I will keep you up to speed as the days and situations develop.