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Our building remains closed, our ministry continues

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

“The church is the body of Christ. Our purpose is to be agents of God’s Kingdom (God’s shalom, God’s healing, wholeness, and new life) in the world. The Church is NEVER closed – that which, in this season, is unable to take place is “in-person” worship.

This makes sense because as people called and committed to being agents of healing we actually have a covenant duty to do no harm and to model Christian charity – love to one another and to and towards the world.” -Juan Carlos Huertas

May 31st will mark the eleventh week that our church building has been closed due to COVID-19.

Though we closed our building, and have chosen not to have “in-person” worship for the safety of our congregation and community, the ministry of the church has never stopped. The Leadership Team has continued to meet, holding many special Zoom meetings, to assure that the ministry of the church continues.

  • We continued to provide a worship experience.

  • We started by providing recorded sermons and now have moved to the “At-Home Worship Experience.”

  • We also started, and have continued to offer, a Wednesday night online Zoom Bible study along with Zoom social gatherings twice a week.

We understand these online ministry options are not perfect and that there are many in our congregation who do not have the means to be a part of these ministries. Therefore, we created a daily prayer call group for anyone who wanted to receive a daily prayer. In an effort to keep everyone up to date, we have been emailing a weekly update along with passing that information along through our One Call phone system.

Once again, we know these all fall short of what we have been used to doing. However, we have worked hard and have given our best effort to try to keep everyone somewhat connected given the physical distancing limitations this virus has caused.

Along with these ministries, I know each of you have been doing your own ministries of loving your neighbor.

Some of you have been making extra phone calls, delivering food, sending cards, and praying for each other. The outreach ministry of our church has also been active, as I know some members of our church have passed their stimulus checks on to people in need as an act of grace.

Yes, COVID-19 caused us to close our building, but the ministry of our church continues and has taken on many new forms.

The Leadership Team and I want to thank all of you for your faithfulness and support during these last two months.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Leadership Team met in the building for the first time since closing the building (using social distancing guidelines and wearing masks) to start the discussion of when to open the building and resume in-person worship. We also discussed when and how to restart our Laundry Ministry.

Looking at guidelines from many sources, we realized that we need to develop a very detailed plan of how to reopen the building. This plan will need to include a whole new set of best practices and cleaning procedures to ensure a safe meeting place for all who use our building.

Everyone on the Leadership Team agreed that we should move slower, rather than faster, when it comes to starting in-person worship and opening our building to outside groups.

The Leadership Team plans to meet again on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, to develop this plan.

In the meantime, here are a few ways we are moving forward:

  • I have resumed my normal office hours of Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 am –Noon.

  • I am willing to meet people at the church, by appointment, using all social distancing guidelines including wearing a mask.

  • I am also willing to do outside home visits. Please call me if you desire a visit.

  • We will continue to provide the Zoom Bible Study, Zoom social hours and the “At-Home Worship Experience.”

I would encourage those of you who have family and friends who are already in your safe social circle, to invite them to worship with you using the “At-Home Worship Experience.”

No, the ministry of our church has never stopped.

If anything, we have increased the ministry we are doing. I want to thank all of you for your patience and help over the last two months. I want to give a special thank you to Lucas Keller for recording and editing the weekly sermon and Melonie Mottice for keeping us connected through the email updates, phone calls, and social media. Once again, if you would like a visit, please call me.

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