Midweek Message 6/24/2020

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 14

Seriously? 14 weeks of my rambling? ‘Fraid so. But here I am again. Bothering your inbox with more of my midweek ramblings message.  I hope this finds you and your family doing well.

I’m going to start right out with a matter of great extreme importance. When I strike through great and put extreme then you have to know it is of the utmost importance. I’m not sure how long it will take to express this so please hang in there through it all with me. Here we go:

Our greatest desire has been to make sure you are safe. We have talked about that in our COVID plans from beginning to end. As we began reopening, we emphasized our desire to keep you safe. All the measures we have taken during our in person worship has been for that reason. We leave the doors open. We have you get your own bulletin and communion cup. We have a basket for you to leave your offering. We have asked you to stay away if you don’t feel safe or you are feeling sick. We have tried to put all the right protocols in place. We hope you have seen that.

It is with that safety in mind that we have come to a somewhat tough decision. We have decided to CANCEL the planned one service meeting at Abram Farm for July 19th. There were some people who not only expressed some concern about the one service, they especially were concerned about the pitch-in following. So to alleviate any concerns, we think it is best to cancel the whole day. Well…not the whole day. We will still have Sunday. And we will still have two services at the church building. 🙂 But I would rather err on the side of wisdom and being cautious than have a bunch of people possibly get sick as a result of our good intentions.  There will be another day somewhere down the line when we can meet together. Until then, we will continue doing the two services on Sunday as well as live-streaming on the church’s FB page, group and YouTube.

Speaking of the live-stream: it seems to be working out very well.  At this writing I do not know how many YouTube views there were since Ryan is the one who does that, but Diana said that two Sundays ago we had over 200 views.  Sure, there is a give or take in that since it doesn’t tell us how long they stayed but still! That means we are reaching people outside the church walls. And I am excited about that! If you are one who checks in at one of the live-streams, thanks.  I hope it is helping you stay somewhat connected to the church and also growing your faith.

One of the things I have heard is how some people in other churches have gone weeks, even months, and not heard any word from their church or staff. We have tried to communicate on a fairly regular basis with you by several different means. If there has been any one particular method that was meaningful to you, would you mind hitting Reply or Reply All and let us know? Diana is going to keep a record of your answers so the staff and leadership can evaluate how we are doing, what we may need to do better, and what we can do in the future. I know you are busy and/or may think we don’t really want to know, but we do. So please take a moment now (people tend to forget if they say, “I’ll take care of that later.”) to let us know your thoughts. If we can improve and you feel squeamish about sharing it with the whole group, then feel free to privately email me (pastor@ovcf.org) or Diana at (secretary@ovcf.org).  We value your opinion and appreciate any of your feedback.

I wrote in my Living in the Shadow blog that the big C church (the church as a whole) was under attack. I included a quote by G.K Chesterton: “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.” The attacks on the big C church are hot and heavy right now. Speak up and we are accused of being homophobic, bigoted, opinionated, etc.  Stay silent are we are accused of prejudice, pride and lack of compassion. The small c (local church) is also under siege. The enemy would like nothing better than for us to implode. Jesus said Satan can’t destroy the church, but I’m convinced if he can get God’s people to focus on problems and minutia and gossip then he can win. Do your best to focus on the good and what God is doing. We are not perfect but we are trying to be like Jesus. It takes each one of us enduring and focusing on Jesus to further the cause of Christ. As has been said by many others: “You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.”

Have a great rest of the week. I love you and look forward to connecting with you again in a more personal way. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you Sunday.

 

Pastor Bill

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