Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Fall is definitely here. Traveling from seeing my grandson and picking up my wife from the airport, (J) I see a lot of fields that were full of corn and soybeans simply gone. I hate to think that winter is not too far away.
I am sorry for waiting so long to cancel service on Sunday. With the congregational vote after words, and the importance of getting work going if approved, I was hoping that we could get worship and the vote in. Next week we will try again. Worship outside at normal time then congregational vote afterwards.
I am going to try to explain this as best as I can. If you have any question, please free to call the office or myself. It is turning cold. I thought we could wait to move indoors the first full week of November, but it is getting cold. We are going to move indoors November 1st. No more outside service until the spring. Then we will evaluate where we are with COVID-19 and state health regulations.
Saturday at 5:30 p.m. we will be in the church. We also will be recording during this time. On Sunday at 10:15 a.m. we will be worshipping in Fellowship Hall. Pretty much the same guidelines will be in place for both: masks must be worn, social distancing will be maintained, and you must call to reserve your spot for worship. In the Fellowship Hall, we will provide chairs. Tables will be removed. Blue squares will be the area in which you and/or family will sit.
Sunday will be a little different than Saturday. If you have a hymnal with you can you turn to page 92-93. This is the order of liturgy put out by the National Church of the ELCA. What I would like you to notice is some of the items are in bold print, while others are regular print. Everything in bold print is what they call essential for a liturgical service. So, what we are planning is an essential worship service. The question may be why? We are dealing with a much smaller area than the church. Air flow is different. Music and Worship would like to keep the service shorter in the Fellowship Hall to reduce the risk.
We realize that this setup will not make everyone happy. I am not sure with this pandemic that we can. For those who do not feel comfortable coming into our church building, we will still offer the remote service. If you want to be in the sanctuary, then come on Saturday, otherwise, it will be in Fellowship Hall on Sunday. We need to remember that church is not a building. God is not housed in a specific place. God will be found in both. The reason why we do not worship in the same place both times is because we cannot turn it around fast enough for cleaning and it is not safe to come into a previously occupied area for 24-48 hours. Once we use the area, we are planning to close the doors until Melody and Tonya can clean.
There is a suggestion about flip-flopping every week. Since we record on Saturday in the church, it would add more of a burden onto the worship team to pack everything up and move it over to the other area. All worship team members are working extremely hard, some not receiving a weekend off since the beginning of July. I do not want to add more of a burden to this group.
I am just trying to lay the facts out to you and explain the situation. This is all new to us. We do not have a book of instructions to look at. Heck, we are writing the book as we go along. Sure, mistakes are being made and I apologize for them. Please, extend a little mercy and grace to the Church Council, the Music and Worship team and your Pastor. I am not sure what things would look like without them. I am very thankful for their help.
Okay, what is happening at the church this week?
Saturday, October 24th from 1:00 – 3:00 we are hosting a Trick or Treat party for all the young children. All are invited. Thank you to all those who have donated candy but we still need more. We will have approximately 20 tables spread out on the property of the church and the parsonage. Masks must be worn by everyone (age appropriate). We will need people at each table. It’s the perfect opportunity for confirmation students and high school students to pick up service hours. Please call the office if you can volunteer.
Women’s Bible Study will meet at church at 10:00 in the learning center. They will also be on Zoom at this time. Women will have the option of either/or, depending on their comfort level. If you are planning on coming, masks must be worn.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our young family. Your response has been so overwhelming. It is amazing but that is what this church does. Thank you. We will go through all the materials Sunday and pare down the list to see what we still need. Again, thank you so much for your open hand and heart.
It’s never too late to join us in the journey through the New Testament. Call Eloide, if you want to come walk with us.
All Saints Day is coming in less than two weeks. The church wants to honor what the Apostle Paul described as the “cloud of witnesses.” We will recognize those who have gone before us at both services. If you want to add a loved one’s name, please call the church this week.
Church Council is meeting Tuesday, October 20th. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your council members.
As you can see, your church is alive and active. May the peace of the Lord be with you always.
The Women’s Bible study will be in the Fellowship Hall and NOT in the Learning Center since we want ample social distancing space and it is too small for times when we have a bigger turnout.