Administrative Pastor's Mailbag
Some of these are real questions that have come from our congregation; others have come from our staff and me. Regardless of the source, the answers should be helpful and informative!
Q: Some ABFs start this week, why not all of them?
A: The short answer is to promote physical distancing but allow for teaching and fellowship at the same time. Utilizing our three largest classrooms and matching those spaces up with the sizes of our classes is a good way for us to be cautious, but together.
Q: So which classes are meeting this week, and when?
A: At 9am, Crossroads and Open Door will meet. At 11am, Two28 and the Harvesters/BYKOTA classes will meet. Next week, the other ABFs will meet. Click this link for the schedule.
Q: We love the snacks in our ABF. How are we supposed to get breakfast on Sunday without them?
A: Let me know which ABF you are in so I can get in on those snacks too! Seriously, we have put the kibosh on snacks and coffee provided by the ABFs to be cautious...there are just too many shared handles, bags, cups, spoons etc. in the classrooms.
However, you can bring your own coffee and snacks. Just don't share them with others. And our café will be open. Our café workers will be masked, they wear gloves, and the way they handle the edibles gives more of a restaurant feel than ABF snacks do.
Q: I really appreciate the masked section in the Worship Center. Will there be a masked section in my ABF too?
A: Each of the three ABF rooms we will be using will be setup differently than you are used to. For the sake of physical distancing, there will be no tables. Chairs will be spread out in groups. We have encouraged all ABFs to have a masked section. Look for information from your ABF leader about a masked section.
Q: What time does ABF start, and what do I do between services?
A: ABF starts at 9am or 11am, depending on which one you are attending. For example, if you are a part of Open Door, your ABF begins at 9am this Sunday and should end around 10am. However, your church service doesn't begin until 11am. The time in between is a great opportunity to spend with other people! Use the Gathering Space and other areas of the building to catch up and fellowship together. In addition, the café, library, and bookstore will be open.
One thing you can do to help out though, is to stay clear of the Worship Center and the hallways surrounding it between 10:30am and 10:45am. We use that time to clean the bathrooms and wipe down the pews. Once the glass doors have been propped open, you will know it is fine to enter.
Q: My spouse and I are supposed to go to ABF at 11am but our kids go at 9am, and we are supposed to sit together during the service. What do we do?
A: Our staff has spent time planning the ABF times and classes so that there is as little of this problem as possible. However, we couldn't account for every scenario. So as these situations happen, just do your best to work it out in the spirit of physical distancing and caring for each other.
Speaking of kids, we have been asking that kids 12 and under be accompanied by a parent everywhere they go. While that is still mostly true, let's update that. Kids going into 7th grade and up can get themselves to student ministry by themselves. Kids going into 6th grade and under should be dropped off and picked up at KBF by one family member to keep things simple.
Q: I heard that we are going to hold a Sunday church service outdoors. Is that true?
A: I can neither confirm nor deny that information.
Q: Last time our Members' Meeting was held online. What about the next one?
A: Our next Members' Meeting is July 26th at 6pm, and it will be held in the Worship Center. Following the meeting, we will have root beer floats outside in honor of our departing interns. Besides hearing from our interns, we plan on holding baptism, voting on membership changes, hearing regular reports, and considering a constitutional change. The constitutional change is very simple. It would allow the Elder Board to call a meeting without two-weeks notice if the situation should arise. We will make that motion more public next month.
Q: When will we go back to normal?
A: That's a loaded question. Many of our members would like to get back to normal now. And some of our members haven't felt the freedom to attend at all. Michigan continues to make progress towards "normal." Our Elder Board is considering a date for that even now. Once that is determined, we will let you know.
Q: On Sunday, Bob mentioned that he was going to Kentucky to help build a playscape for the grandkids. How is he doing with that?