Since March 15 we have missed 12 Sundays of gathering together for worship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can’t go back and recapture those holy days, we can press onto better days ahead. Our Administrative Council is meeting weekly to keep up with the changing needs of our congregation. Ministry is still going on at our church. We want to thank you for being faithful with your tithes and offerings even when we aren’t able to meet in person. In addition to
mailing in your offerings, or giving on-line, you can bring your offering and food donations on the first Sunday of the month when we host a drive-through communion service.
We are now in Phase 2 of Governor Cooper’s order of sheltering in place due to the COVID19 pandemic. In Phase 2, people can gather for social purposes as long as they do not exceed 10 persons gathering indoors, and more than 25 persons gathering outdoors.
Bishop Paul Leeland, our Western NC presiding elder, commented that even though churches are “exempt” from the Governor’s orders, the Bishop strongly urged pastors to suspend holding indoor worship services until the end of June. Leeland reminded us of John Wesley’s motto: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.” So out of love for God and not wanting to harm our neighbor, we will be abiding by Bishop Leeland’s request to keep the church doors closed until June 30th.
In order for us to “stay in love with God,” here are some new and improved ways we are going to do and be the church until it is safe for us to meet together again.
- Drive Through Communion at 11 am. We are creating drive through communion and prayer services on the first Sunday of the month at 11 am. (On May 31 from 9 am to 11 am we will be do- ing a Pentecost Prayer Parade and Communion to celebrate the birth of the church. We will still be holding our first Sunday communion on June 7th at 11 am.)
- Sunday Morning Live Broadcast at 11 am. We are broadcasting a weekly service online to help you connect to the family of God. We currently do this on Facebook live and hope to expand it to YouTube and our church website this month.
- Outdoor Special Services. Our worship team is working on some opportunities for you to come up to the church and sit in your car, or bring a lawn chair and listen to some music concerts. We will keep you posted when those special events are scheduled. We will still request that you wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of social distance.
- Live Audience on Sundays at 11 am. If you have the ability to watch the worship services on Sundays on Facebook or YouTube, we ask that you do this. If you miss the service, you can watch it later. But if you are unable to watch it online and would like to be one of the 10 persons apart of the live audience, please call us at the church office at 336-788-4183 so we can reserve a seat for you.
- Indoor Small Groups. We also plan to begin opening the church for Sunday School groups of 10 people or less. We have set apart the Family Life Center and the Disciple Classroom for this purpose. All other areas of the church will be closed off, for now, to help our Trustees in cleaning the rooms and bathrooms. Each room will be wiped down and then cleaned for 8 hours using a machine that will purify the air and kill viral bacteria. Those wanting to meet on campus will be required to wear masks and use hand sanitizer which will be provided for you.
- Meetings on Video or Phone Conferencing Calls. Sunday School and Bible Study groups may request to meet at the church in groups of 10 or less. Or your group may wish to have us set up a video or phone conference call. If your group is interested in this, please contact the church office or Charlie Shore.
- DVD (Digital Video Disc) Copies. We realize that many in our congregation do not have access to a computer, internet, or smartphones. We hope to make the worship services available on DVD very soon. You can call the church office to request a copy.
- weekly updates. We will be using mail and automated calling posts weekly now to let you know what is happening in the life of the church. We will include items that are just for our congregation to know such as prayer requests and meeting updates that we are unable to broadcast on the world wide web.
- Prayer Chain. If you would like daily updates by the text you might consider signing up for our prayer chain through Diane Harmon.
10.Monthly Newsletter. We had hoped to cut costs and email the majority of our congregation monthly newsletters through pdf files. But the report back has been many of our subscribers are not able to open the compressed pdf files. So we will be going back to mailing out the monthly newsletter unless you email us and tell us differently. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
11.Pastoral and Congregational Care. We are thankful for how you are taking care of one another and keeping up with your buddy that we assigned to you in March. If you did not get an assignment, please contact Jean Harris. If you or your buddy has a need, please contact us. Pastor Mary is also working hard to care for those with critical needs – those in the hospital, and those needing end of life care. She is also being careful to not enter hospitals and nursing home centers unless critically necessary so as not to expose her and us to the COVID19 virus. But please call her if you have a concern. She will help in any way she can. We also have a team ready to help out by running errands, bringing food boxes out to families in need. There is also an emergency fund for our church family who have an urgent need.
If you have a concern or suggestion that might help us be more faithful witnesses in our community, we welcome your ideas. Please contact us. We want to hear from you!
—Lynn Harmon, Church Council Chairperson