Dear Church Family,
Much has been happening in the last couple of weeks! I have three updates/reminders for you today: 1) Coordinating Council has chosen an in-person reopening date; 2) Reminder about a new outreach ministry at FBC; and 3) Reminder about the upcoming called business meeting proposed amendments to our church bylaws.
Update: In-Person Gatherings & Reopening the Church
On July 7, 2020, our Coordinating Council met to go over proposals concerning re-gathering in person for worship and study. The Council decided to set a future date of planned reopening, while spending the time until then preparing for that reopening. We will begin to offer in-person worship and Sunday School in the church building on August 2, 2020. Though we will offer this option (with appropriate precautions such as mandatory mask wearing for all who can, hand sanitizing stations, and physically distant seating), in-person gatherings are not mandatory and we will continue to offer virtual options even as we gather in person.
Sunday School will be held in the Fellowship Hall so participants can physically distance themselves, and we will offer a Zoom option on the computer or by phone for that hour. Sunday worship in the Sanctuary will be at 11:00 a.m. and will have a live stream offered for call-in or online virtual worship at that same time. Any church business meetings or committee meetings will also be offered both in-person and with a virtual option (or completely virtual). No one will be left out!
We will send a detailed letter closer to August 2nd to let you know what in-person worship will look like, what steps we are taking, and how you can participate, either in person or online, as we move forward together.
Reminder: New Outreach Ministry – “The Open Church”
On Sunday, July 12, 2020, a new church service, geared completely toward non-members in our wider community called “The Open Church” will be held on our Front Plaza at 9:00 a.m. Our Church Staff and Missions Committee have been working hard to plan this casual worship and community-building experience on our Front Plaza. On our website, we have outlined for the community what this service will be like (click here to read the whole post):
- This gathering will be relaxed– come as you are; wear what you want; don’t stress. No one’s here to judge.
- This gathering will be relevant– bring your questions about faith and life and living in this world, and we’ll deal with them open and honestly together.
- This gathering will be inclusive– this gathering isn’t just for “church people,” but for all people. Did you grow up in church? Great, come. This might be a little different, might not. Have you never been to church but are curious about this God stuff? Great, come. We won’t be too “churchy”; we just want to create authentic Christian community. Are you disillusioned with church-as-it-always-has-been? Great, come. Let’s be the church together in new ways.
- This gathering will be outside (weather permitting) on the plaza, next to and under the trees. Wear what’s comfortable, grab a lawn chair or blanket, and we will seek God together. Children of all ages are welcome (children under 12 should be in the care of a parent or guardian).
- This gathering will be as safe as we can make it – we encourage you to sit only with your immediate family and put a little distance between your family and others. Masks are also encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, the plaza has lots of space to spread out – so come and worship and build community!
Note: This gathering will be rain or shine, and we will adapt our chapel or Fellowship Hall as needed for indoor worship. In case of bad weather, our set up will happen that morning indoors and we will place signage outside to direct guests to the appropriate location inside.
How can you be involved in this new ministry?
- Pray for us! This is a ministry and a mission of outreach, and all of us serving these guests on our lawn need your petitions to God on our behalf.
- Support Missions Financially. Have you given to our Missions Opportunities fund? This fund helps us make these kinds of missions endeavors possible. When you send in your tithes and offerings, just add a portion designated to the Missions Opportunities fund to help us continue to serve our wider community in new and creative ways. You can even Give Online.
- Come Help! If you feel safe getting out (masked & distanced!), come at 8:30 a.m. Sundays and help us. We need to set up blankets & chairs, set up our welcome table/tent, set up sound equipment, put out signage, and welcome guests. We may also have little ones joining their families, so if you love to work with kids, you can help us offer crayons and coloring sheets, bubbles, and fun to children who come. Please contact the church office if you are able to help!
- Invite Everyone You Know. Share the link to our web post about this service via email, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Grab a stack of postcards at the church office and take them to distribute in various locations throughout town. Make a special effort to reach out to those you know may have fallen away from a typical church experience but still want to find their way to God. This is a new kind of space for a different kind of worshiper. Did your son or daughter stop coming to church? Invite them. Are your grandchildren looking for relevance in their spiritual lives? Invite them. Know someone who is disillusioned with “church culture”? Invite them. This is a space of comfort and openness – a place where ALL are welcome.
Reminder: By-laws Amendments Business Meeting
On Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 12:30PM, we will gather to review and approve the by-laws amendments in a called business meeting. This meeting will be held via Zoom. We must have 25 participants for a quorum. To join the meeting by computer, watch your email on Sunday for a link. To join by phone, you can call our TOLL-FREE number: 1-833-548-0276, and enter meeting ID 276-632-6336#, # to listen in and participate.
We also are opening our church office for regular office hours beginning Monday, July 13, 2020. The office will be open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thank you for supporting your church’s ministry and mission in these days. I am grateful for you and praying for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of service to you!