MIDWEEK MESSAGE #35
These are crazy times aren’t they? There is one thing we can say for sure. Life sure isn’t boring, is it? Take this past Sunday, for example. After about 6 weeks of all virtual we finally got back to in person worship. That first Sunday saw 88 people make their way here. It slowly and steadily grew into the 90s but then we were able to open the children’s wing for classes and we found ourselves hitting the 120s. Still below pre-COVID by a lot but at least we were making our way back. Then this past Sunday all virtual again. Thanks for adjusting for that.
If you tuned in Sunday you heard why. Thursday, the 5th, Diana and I met with some ladies outside at the MyPath pavilion. Tuesday we learned that one of them tested positive for COVID, so we decided to be cautious and quarantine. It was decided I would preach on Sunday with only three people here-Ryan, Jo and me. That new equipment worked well and I hope you were able to tune in and listen.
So what now? The elders met last night (Monday) to figure that out. We remain committed to upholding the values we established earlier this year:
- We want to be safe.
- We want to learn as we go and continually improve.
- We want to follow the rules.
- We want to go slow as we ramp up.
- We will continue live streaming.
IMHO we have done fairly well with those. We have maintained that if you are in the high risk or vulnerable group that you either consider watching live stream or wear a mask. At the meeting I presented an article I found which asked what should churches do now that COVID is spiking again? The main reason I did that is to ask: Do we need to take a step back? The answer: yes and no. Here is what we decided:
- We will have two services in person this Sunday and continuing forward. We believe gathering together is so sacred that we need to keep the in person option open.
- We will do our best to honor the capacity limit of 50 people each service/area based on our county metric being ORANGE right now. We will not turn anyone away. If we exceed that limit, we may add additional service times to alleviate our crowding.
- We will continue to arrange seating, as we have been, to allow for appropriate social distancing.
- Although we will not make it a requirement, we encourage the use of masks, especially for those who are at high risk or have an increased vulnerability. We love to see everyone but if you are in the high risk or vulnerable group or unsure about participating, please consider joining us for the live stream services.
None of the leaders is in favor of not having in person service. We will do everything we can to accommodate what will allow us to meet in person.
In fact, here is something we tossed around (an idea given to us by someone): We would like to try a “masks required” service (a service where everyone wears a mask) on a different day/time of the week. It may be scaled down some but it will at least give some folks the chance to see others. Are you interested in that? Please let me know:
- What day or night works for you?
- How often would you like to meet?
- Would you be okay with a scaled down service that might not include the Worship Team?
And one more thing on that: the youth program WILL meet this Sunday at 10:45. The teachers can’t wait to see their students again.
I have to put a plug in here for Ryan. When we knew we were going online only this past Sunday, Ryan decided to do the same for the Sunday night ROOTS youth group. The attendance was about half but I appreciate Ryan’s heart to not go rogue, but also to creatively have something for the teens.
I was not going to have a MM next week due to Thanksgiving but with the length of this one, I was unable to include some information. Look for a MM message the early part of next week. I guess I could call it the EMM (Early Midweek Message).
Thanks for understanding and “going with the flow” this past Sunday. It has been said that OVCF has always been a church that adapts well. We have had to do that with floods and construction. And now we can say that about COVID. I’m honored to be the pastor of such fantastic people and to serve alongside some good men who truly love Jesus and OVCF. Love you all!