Dear Church Family,
As we slowly start to carefully venture out of our homes, know that I am praying for your safety, good health, and peace of mind. I know these last three months have been trying in so many ways, but I hope that they have also been illuminating and perhaps even good for our collective soul as we dream for the future in quiet rest.
I have three updates for you today: 1) Reminder of the date in early July that we will be making the decision regarding reopening; 2) Announcement of a new outreach ministry at FBC; and 3) Announcement regarding proposed amendments to our church bylaws.
On July 7, 2020, our Coordinating Council will meet to discuss our next steps regarding in-person worship in the sanctuary as well as other in-person gatherings. That week, you will receive an email or mailed letter outlining our decisions at that meeting. We are in prayerful discernment, following the best guidance of our health experts for the safety of our congregation. Please know, too, that when we resume in-person gatherings, we will continue to have virtual options for those who aren’t comfortable re-gathering in-person yet.
New Outreach Ministry
Since our staff and council have had some time to think creatively about ministry in these days, Becky and I began to brainstorm ways to engage our community, many of whom have just gotten to know us – through our website/Facebook, through our Feeding First missions, through our partnership with our Black communities of faith, and other ways we’ve been reaching new groups of people in these days with our church’s mission and ministry.
Becky and I presented to the Council the idea for a new church service, geared completely toward non-members in our wider community. This service would gather on the front plaza on Sundays at 9AM, and it will be “relaxed, relevant, and inclusive,” meaning it will be a place to create community outside the church walls, with an openness toward those of all different backgrounds. This “come-as-you-are” service isn’t for those who attend our regular worship in the sanctuary, but for all of those who don’t attend church regularly, or are looking for a different kind of church that’s still a neighborhood/city church.
The Council unanimously approved this new service to begin July 12, 2020 at 9AM (whether or not we re-start our in-person worship in the sanctuary). We are excited about this opportunity to meet new people in our community and to share Christ’s message more broadly. Inspired by our pandemic theme: “The Open Church,” meant to show that despite our doors being closed, our ministries are open, this service will be called “The Open Church” – recognizing that our doors are open, and we’re going outside our walls for ministry. (And yes, it happens rain or shine – we’ll gather with social distancing in the chapel and/or Fellowship Hall, depending on numbers, if we encounter bad weather).
If you’re wondering what you can do for this service – lots! We would love to have your assistance in getting the word out about this new service. Do you have family or friends who used to attend worship here but no longer do? Share this service with them. Do you know of businesses that would let us hang a poster or put out postcards about the service? Pick up a stack of postcards and drop them off (or tell the church office where to take them!). Pick up postcards to hand out yourself to the grocery cashier, the post office clerk, the hair stylist, the mechanic, and so on. Click here to see our public post about the service, which can be shared with family, friends, and others in the community. There will also be a post on our Facebook page, which you should share to your own page if you’re on Facebook. We need all the help sharing this that we can get. Invite any and all to join us! Also, if you’re comfortable getting out, you are welcome to come and help with setup and greeting at our service. Just arrive a little before 9AM on Sunday, July 12th.
Last year, as you know, we did a thorough re-working of our church bylaws to make them more comprehensive and easier to read. It was a monumental undertaking for our small ad hoc committee, but the changes were very helpful to the organization and structure of the church.
Throughout the last year, the church has noticed a few items that needed to be changed or clarified in this document, so our ad hoc committee reconvened to do another full review. We have made the necessary changes, and we have also cleared up some of the language to make it more readable. We have also filled out some of the missing descriptions of certain committees that did not have much listed in their oversight.
The church is making available copies of the new bylaws (and old bylaws if you’d like to compare and contrast) online and on paper. If you would like a paper copy, you may come by the church during office hours to pick up a copy, or if you are unable to pick up a copy, please call the church office to have a copy mailed to you.
On Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 12:30PM, we will gather to review and approve these changes in a called business meeting. This meeting will either be a hybrid in-person / Zoom meeting or just a Zoom meeting. To join the meeting, you’ll receive a a link in your Sunday email from the church.
Thank you for supporting your church’s ministry and mission in these days. I am grateful for you and praying for you.