August 19, 2020
This last Sunday, I was talking to one of our members because they came looking for the 10:20 pre-singing. I was glad they were here, but unfortunately, they were about three weeks early! This example reminds me that when things change, it takes a while for all the new information to sink in. So in light of that, let me answer a few questions in another edition of the administrative pastor's mailbag!
Q: What week are we in for ABFs? Is it an A week or a B week?
A: Technically we are in a B week for this Sunday. However, because many ABFs have desired to meet weekly, all ABFs are permitted to meet this week and next. If you are unsure if your ABF is meeting this week, please contact your ABF's leadership. And while we are talking about ABFs, they have taken a beating thanks to Covid...Zooming, bi-weekly, not meeting, combined ABFs, etc. Thank you, ABFs, for your faithful ministry! We look forward to a more regular schedule in the Fall.
Q: Is children's ministry meeting this week? How will children's ministry be different starting on September 6th?
A: Yes, limited children's ministry is meeting during the 9:30-10:30 time slot this week (8/23), but not next week (8/30). They have been rotating weeks for the last two months. Beginning on the 6th and continuing every week, childcare will be available for all ages during the ABF hour. Then during the service, childcare will be available for ages 0-3. Kids older than three will attend the shorter service with their family.
Q: What is the church doing about Covid?
A: For indoor services and classes, everyone should be wearing masks into and out of the building. When seated, it is OK to take off your mask. In addition, hand sanitizer is available. We have two weeks left of our two-service schedule. On Sundays between services, you can help us out by exiting the Worship Center fairly quickly after the 9am service and by staying out of the Worship Center until the glass doors are reopened for the 11am service. Finally, in all of your time here and in other public places, please stay six feet apart, and when in the Worship Center, sit every other pew, spacing yourself out between families. All of these things help us to stay as Covid-free as possible.
Q: So about the pre-service singing - what day does that start?
A: On September 6th, we will transition to one Sunday service at 10:30. That service will last for about an hour. We want to provide a church service that is a little bit shorter. This will enable families with young children to attend, since we are only offering childcare for ages 0-3 during the service. Families that can't do the worship center can watch the service in the gym. The service will include a kid's message. As for the pre-service singing, that will begin at 10:20. If you don't come at 10:20, you will miss about half of the planned singing.
Q: What about the offering and the bulletin?
A: CDC guidelines for churches continue to suggest that the offering be taken hands-free. We will continue to collect offering by way of the baskets on the way in. Thank you for adjusting to that system! As for bulletins, the CDC also suggests not using paper bulletins. For now, we will continue with that, but will continue to post communication to our website's online bulletin and social media.
Q: How will ABFs work starting September 6th?
A: First, in the new schedule, ABFs will run from 9-10am. That's 30 minutes sooner than they used to be pre-Covid. ABFs will be meeting weekly in their own classrooms. We have already put up some tables and are allowing individual ABFs to make decisions on seating and tables, based on the needs of their classes. Buffet style snacks are still not allowed, but if an ABF wants to have a snack that is served, that is doable. Childcare will be provided for all ages during the ABF hour.
Second, we will be having a combined ABF during the four Sundays in September. Several of our pastors will be teaching on Discipleship. All ABFs, including college and student ministry, will be joining up for those combined ABF hours in the Worship Center. Regular ABFs will resume on October 4th.
Q: When will we have baptisms and communion again?
A: Many of our baptisms come as a result of the Exploring Membership Class. That class will run on Wednesday nights during Fall electives (look for more info on that tomorrow). We are anticipating a baptismal service sometime in the fall. Communion is planned for September 13th, but it may be moved up to the first Sunday that we meet all together.
Q: Last year we had a special ABF time to hear about the new budget. Is that happening this year?
A: Well, we really like the idea of communicating about the budget well in advance of the November meeting. Being transparent about what we think we should invest God's money in is important to us. As for the meeting, the logical time for that is during a combined ABF. However, with four combined ABFs already planned for September, we have opted to create a video this year. Look for that in mid-October; hopefully it will be effective in communicating our financial plans for 2021.
Q: How can I help out?
A: Children's ministries always need workers. Contact Chad to get in touch or fill out this survey. In addition, we need more greeters. Some of our greeters have not been able to come back to church. Please contact Curt Nutkins to be involved intermittently or on a regular basis.