There have been no tougher reentries than that faced by NASA Mission Control and the astronauts on Apollo 13 on April 17th, 1970. I bet you remember that, or at least the movie. What a nail biter! Annette and I remember the actual event and remember praying to God to protect the astronauts and get them home safely.
Likewise, churches are at a point where we must make sober and thoughtful decisions about how and when we will reenter our IN-PERSON worship and the truth is the variables are many and complex.
There is no shortage of opinions and as those who read deeply know, even scientists and experts have changed their advice and contradicted each other.
No matter which Sunday we pick for the initial IN PERSON service, folks will disagree. Fair enough, that is the price of leadership. Just disagree with Christian charity.
FEAR NOT! Thankfully, we can offer a sensible staged reentry and serve both those who want to come back to church on June 14th and those who feel more comfortable returning later. We have to have grace and humility to know that other people in our church will have different thoughts from us and make different decisions on when to reenter.
For those who are elderly, immune suppressed or just are not ready to come back to IN PERSON church, no problem – – we fully support your decision and will do all we can to serve you well. We will be broadcasting our service on Facebook Live for a long, long time. We have ordered higher quality PTZ cameras and likely will hire a PT video tech to insure you get a quality worship experience at home.
For those who feel ready to return to IN PERSON church, we will have a slow and phased roll out. No childcare, SS or food for now, but positively, we will experience a joyful worship service.
May 31 – Pentecost – Worship in our cars in the parking lot and broadcast on WFIR 107.3 FM. Wear red for Pentecost.
June 7 – Facebook Live Worship on CHS Facebook beginning at 8:50, as we have been doing for weeks now.
June 14 – Facebook Live service, but we will add a beta or trial in person service at 9 am in the sanctuary, following all of the Governor’s orders. We have plenty of room for social distancing and will thoroughly disinfect. Children 3 and older and adults will need to wear a mask. As one doctor said, not only does that demonstrate love for our neighbor but it’s not nearly the inconvenience that a ventilator is! Communion will be in personalized, sealed containers, wafer and juice, and will be taken in your seat. No passing of the plate or bulletin. We will forehead scan folks to insure no one with a fever comes into the sanctuary. A year ago, that would be unthinkable but, in these times, love and good sense call for it. We will ask folks to sign up if they want to come into our sanctuary for worship. Sign up here.
June 21 – Facebook Live and two IN PERSON services, 9 and 11 am. We will send out a sign-up link on the 15th. Two services will insure generous social distancing
I leave you with three important points:
1. Those who want to worship God will worship in Spirit and in truth, whether or at home or in person. So, wherever you decide to worship, do so with your full heart.
2. Know that we are reentering even slower than the law allows and are being even more cautious than the Governor’s orders.
3. Pray for our pastors, staff and worship team as we do our best to serve the Lord and each of you, no matter when you decide to come back to IN PERSON church.
If you have any questions, and we expect you might, please feel free to call me at 540-529-2282 or send an email to Quigg@chsroanoke.com and pray the SPAM filter doesn’t grab your email.
This is not the toughest situation the Church of Jesus has faced in her history. We have wisdom, courage and charity from on high. We might find that this challenging time is actually a time of spiritual growth and a time where our roots grow deeper.