MIDWEEK MESSAGE 19
Hello my friends! I hope this middle of the week finds you doing well. It sure has been a hot and humid July, but just remember come January we will probably be saying, “I sure miss the July sun and heat.” I’ve always told myself to not complain about the weather because I can’t do anything about it anyway. Well…this edition of The Chronicles of Bill (aka Midweek Message) will be a potpourri of several different thoughts. And I know what you are thinking: “Bill, and that is different how?” So, let’s go with MM #19.
Uppermost in perhaps many of your minds is how we will handle the suggestion which came from Governor Holcomb, which actually was to take place starting yesterday (July 27). I asked the elders to meet with me last night (Monday) to figure out a course of action for OVCF. Among all the “Whereas-es” in his edict, were these words: Exemptions: “any person attending or engaged in a religious service as he or she must already maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.” Included in that was an exemption for homelessness and for a public speaker. 🙂 So what did the elders decide? There are three basic items we want to mention. These will also be mentioned from the pulpit during the live stream so others will know as well.
- We will not require masks be worn. However, if you do come masks will be available for you to have and to wear if you would like. Respect those who do wear one. Respect those who don’t. I used to hear of horror stories of churches that split over the color of the carpet or other such nonsense. There is no need to allow an issue like masks to cause a rift in a church. If you are talking to someone with a mask, consider wearing one while talking to them. They are obviously concerned. Speaking personally: I am having a tough time with this. I have “rebelled” against wearing one the whole time. But if it makes someone feel safer talking to me then I will consider it.
- We have hand sanitizer stations all over the building. Most people carry their own anymore, but if you need some it is here. Use them. Sanitizing the hands is probably more important than the masks.
- We will be rearranging the chairs in some way to make it more conducive to social distancing. Our limited space makes that hard but we will figure out something. We will do our best to make room for families and family grouping. We will have to limit the chairs we have in the main auditorium which will mean some may have to go to the main room in the youth area. I guess that is one way to get people here early! 🙂
What I do ask is that you bear with us as we work to make this a “good thing” for everyone. Be patient with each other. Be understanding on both sides of the fence. No one wants to meet together more than I do, but we want to make it a good experience for all. And remember: if you are not feeling well please don’t come!
I wanted to do something a tad different with this MM. Over the past few weeks I have read some excellent books. I’d like to tell you about them with a brief introduction and then an offer.
- “I’ve Seen the End of You.” This is perhaps one of the best books I have read in a long time. This year for sure. Lee Warren is a brain surgeon, now practicing in North Platte, NE. He tackles questions of faith and doubt by using stories of patients afflicted with his specialty, GBM (Glioblastoma). Its focus is how to find light in the darkest hours of life. Fantastic book!
- “No Place to Hide.” After reading “Seen” I had to read his previous book on his time in Iraq at Balad Air Base as a surgeon. If you don’t respect our military personnel after reading this, you will need a heart check. He also chronicles his struggle with PTSD after Iraq.
- “Out of the Blue.” This is the story of Greg Murtha’s 5 year battle with cancer and 75 chemotherapy sessions before God called him home. It is a wonderful book to read for some great encouragement as Greg leads us to Jesus and being open to the still, small voice of God.
And here is the offer: I have each of these in my office. You are more than welcome to borrow them. Just let me know and make a note that you are borrowing it. Please just one at a time though so others can enjoy them. If you want to peruse them first, you are welcome to do that also. Make good use of your change in schedule to get some good reading in. Turn the TV off. Let your computer go to sleep. Enrich your heart and mind.
Well…it doesn’t look like things are going to move very fast in the direction we would like to see it move. So we will continue to minister as best we know how. No matter how it goes, just know that I love you and love seeing you and miss seeing many of you. All I ask is one thing: please keep praying for me. And please keep praying for Ryan and the elders. It isn’t easy making tough decisions.