When we gather again

Updated: May 27

May 7, 2020

Leadership Notes

Greetings to all the Saints of Covenant Church, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you on this very beautiful {albeit cold} first week of May. This past Saturday, I was sitting on the front porch, reading a Harlan Coben page-turner, enjoying the outside warmth. Taking a break from the book, I looked around our peaceful neighborhood, thinking about how surreal things seemed. We haven't been together for worship since March 15. No kids in school. Vacations cancelled. People struggling financially. Businesses hurting economically. It is all such a mass of weirdness. And I thought, "God is Good all the Time." The refrain stays the same. No matter the upheaval, all is well because Jesus Christ is Lord.


Our leadership board {the Session} will meet later this month to talk about what things will look like when we get back to doing life together. Here are some thoughts and ideas that might be a part of our guiding principles:

* REASONABLENESS - We want to be a calming presence in our community and with each other. We will track our reopening with what happens in our state.


* We have plenty of sealed communion cups and wafers for the first time we celebrate the Lord's Supper together.


* During phase-in, no greeters? Self-serve bulletins; no nursery; one entrance with one person {properly gloved and masked?} holding door open; no passing the offering plate.


* Will there be limits on how many can attend each worship service? What about social

distancing? Should we offer 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. services, to limit numbers of people

at each service?


* Perhaps we could worship outside more frequently.


* Small Group Ministry study groups, with appropriate social distancing practices, will probably be first to gather in person.


* We must be sensitive to those who might be hesitant about in-person worship. Therefore, streaming services will continue.


* We will not get caught up in the politics. Some say we've overreacted. Some say we haven't done enough. Some say it must end soon. Some say it must continue into the fall, and warn that the second phase will be worse than the first. Everybody has an opinion, and there's plenty of "science" to support most opinions. I'm a contrarian by nature, and while I have private thoughts on where we're at, my primary purpose is loving each other and loving our community well. I think our love is best expressed in a reasonable, measured approach.


* Anything involving youth/children should not resume until public schools/library/parks-and-rec programs resume. How best do we show our respect and concern for the health and welfare of families in our community?


Always remember…apart is temporary, together is forever. I love how you are letting your faith in Jesus Christ drive your attitude and actions. 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." Resilience and grit are the two words that come to mind when I think about the people of Covenant Church. Think about what people have gone through in the past. The 1918 Spanish Flu. WW1. The Great Depression. WW2. 9/11. The Great Recession. And now, this. And each time people recovered. Each time families and communities and economies moved forward, out of darkness and into the light. That is resiliency. The history of the human race is written by people with grit. And today, right now, we know that nothing will be able to separate us from our forever family.


We will look back on these days and marvel at how we grew in our walk with Jesus Christ…about how God was with us through it all, and used it for His Sovereign Glory.


Be of Good Cheer,


Richard

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