Weekly pastoral letter, June 11, 2020

Dear Church Family and Friends,

     My recovery from hand surgery is going quite well.  I’m still learning to use the dictation function on my computer, but I’m managing. It’s taking me a little bit longer to get things done then it normally does, but I’m surprised at how few limitations  I’m experiencing are right now. Thank you for all of your prayers!

     Amy and I experienced a pleasant surprise last night when we found out that all of our children and their spouses will be with us next week. So I will be out of the office next week but I will preach as scheduled the evening of the third Sunday of this month.

WORSHIP UPDATE

     It’s really encouraging to see more and more of you in person at church!  For those of you who aren’t able to come yet because of caution, please know that we think of you often, miss you, and pray for you. We are all looking forward to the day when we can all come together for worship without undue risk.

     Continuing to move forward toward normalcy, we will resume the collection of tithes and offerings during the worship services this Sunday.  The plate will not be passed down the pew, so there will be no hand to hand contact.

     All of the current giving options will continue to be available: placing your offering in the plates at the back of the narthex as you enter the sanctuary, online giving, or giving by mail.

     We thank you for honoring the Lord and supporting the ministry of this church through your giving.

     The next item on the agenda for worship is resuming the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. I’ll keep you posted as plans develop. The session will be discussing this matter and we will have a plan to implement this soon.  Thank you for being patient with us as we seek to move forward while doing all that we can to maintain a safe environment for our most vulnerable members.

ZOOM SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES RECORDED

     We have started recording the Adult Sunday School class that is offered on Zoom. Those recordings will be made available on the church Facebook page. You can access these at any time.  Both audio and video will be available, either to watch or listen on the Facebook page, or download to your device.

     They are copies of the book that is recommended reading for the Sunday School class available in the narthex of the church. The title of the book is Jesus: Power Without Measure by Douglas MacMillan

CHURCH BUILDING USE

     The church building continues to remain closed for all non-worship usage.  At this point we are targeting the month of September for resuming in-person activities at the church building such as Nursery, Sunday School classes and in person Bible studies.  In the meantime, we encourage you to meet through Zoom or another online platform.  There’s also the option of getting together in each other’s homes.

CHURCH SERVICES

     Once again, as long as social distancing is recommended, if you decide to stay home for reasons of conscience or from an abundance of caution, we honor, respect, and support your decision. We continue to offer livestream service at 11 AM and 5 PM here.  If you find that there are still starts and stops and gaps in the livestream service, you may access the recorded service, which is available shortly after the conclusion of the livestream.  This should eliminate those difficulties.  If neither of these works well, our audio sermons are available at Sermon Audio.  We are continuously working to improve the quality of our livestream, so hopefully, it will improve week by week.

ZOOM SUNDAY SCHOOL

    Pastor Julian Zugg will continue to teach the adult Sunday School class on the Holy Spirit on Zoom.  Watch your email for the Zoom links to Adult Sunday School, which runs from 9:40-10:30 and the Zoom chat after Evening Worship, which begins around 6:15.

     During this time, I am very grateful for the leadership, care and the hard work of our officers.  It’s such a blessing to see each man put his gifts into action, and for us to all work together to care for our congregation.  If you need anything, please contact one of the pastors, your shepherding elder, or deacon.  We want to pray with and for you, and help you with any spiritual or material needs that you have.  Especially, please let us know if you are sick, have a specific need, are out of work, or have a reduced income from COVID-19 circumstances.  This is the time for the Body of Christ to all work together and in dependence on him, to pull through this situation, and come out of it with greater unity and maturity in Christ.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Clay

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