May 29, 2020 Gatherings and Services update
GBC Family, We will be offering the next phase of in-person services starting next Sunday June 7! The service is called “Fellowship.” Along with the in-person “Fellowship” service, we will also continue with a live stream “Worship” service on Saturday evenings that will be a base for Bible teaching and worship through music. The Saturday live stream “Worship” service will also operate as a connection point for all who are unable to attend the Sunday in-person fellowship. Before giving you all the details about these services. I would like to share with you the journey that shaped them.
My first glance at the guidelines for in-person worship services was disappointing at best, not at all what I was hoping for. The two greatest dilemmas were the inability to have nursery and Sunday school for our children due to the distancing protocols. And singing strongly discouraged because of the large effect that it has had in the spreading of the virus. These changes alone in our worship services presented the question of whether we would be able to fulfill what we are all longing for. I felt that this threatened to strip away our ability to function in a meaningful way during our service times. As Jenni and I prayed for wisdom to formulate a plan one night, the LORD reminded me that He already has a plan for His Church. This brought me great comfort and encouragement. It also changed the way that I was praying for service plans. I began to seek His plan rather than for knowledge about how to build my own. In the next couple of days through continued seeking of the LORD and conversations with fellow Believers I saw a clear way to not only resolve the dilemmas that threatened our ability to function, but even more, a way to enhance and to strengthen us as a church body.
I realized that we could think a little bit more outside of the box. We could still have a live streaming service that would emphasize worship through music and a Bible message. As well as, to offer a service that accentuates the side of fellowship that involves the sharing of prayer together and spoken praises. A service that the whole family could engage in, from the youngest to the oldest. Basically, taking the one service that we have had in the past and splitting it down the middle to give special concentration to both parts. This I believe will give us the opportunity for growth in all areas! I and the church council are excited about the next phase of our services together, both the Saturday evening livestream service and the Sunday morning Fellowship service!
The details for these two services are as follows: Saturday Evening Livestream Worship Service 6PM The Worship service will function the same way that it has been on Sunday mornings, but with a change in day and time. The Worship service will be held Saturday evenings at 6pm. We will continue to study God’s Word together through the teaching and preaching and to sing praises
to the LORD through worship music. If you are unable to tune in during the livestream it will still be available afterward on both Facebook and YouTube.
Sunday Morning Fellowship Service 10AM The Fellowship service will start at 10AM on Sunday morning. This service will begin with a short devotional that will connect with the sermon from the Worship service the evening before. There will be opportunity for sharing prayer requests and praise reports, which has been one of the missing elements of our fellowship through the livestream. It is my hope that we can deepen our prayer time together as well as our testimonies of the LORD’s blessings. Again, though there will not be Sunday School and Nursery offered for our children at this point, this is a service that will allow greater freedom for them to be with us and participating in varying degrees. I think of what our children will remember about this season in their lives as they look back years later. My hope is for them to remember special times of the church gathering in prayer and fellowship together. It is my prayer that this will be a great foundation for our next generations!
Present In-Person Protocols as Part of The Sunday Fellowship Service There is a long list of protocols that we will need to follow in order to stay open for in-person services. This information in its complete content can be read at:
Below I have the details that will be important for us to know concerning our in-person service times. I have also provided a bullet point list at the end of the protocols section of what items to bring with you for these services. There are many changes to what we have been accustomed to as you will see in the paragraphs to follow. I want to encourage you to keep in mind that though these procedures make our fellowship less convenient, they do not make it impossible. When you arrive in the parking lot you will need to be mindful of leaving a 6-foot space between your car and the cars next to you. While walking from your vehicle to the church building there needs to be the same 6-foot distancing between yourself and anyone not from the same household. The same distancing is protocol for when leaving the church building to return to your car.
The Fellowship service will meet either indoors or outdoors depending on the number of participants and the need for distancing of seating. King Jim and Fizz are working hard on designing and implementing the indoor seating arrangement. Part of the protocol regarding seating along with distancing includes no cushions because they cannot be sanitized as well as the chairs can be. If this is a concern for you, you can bring a cushion from home for the service. Bibles will also not be provided in the backs of the seats during this season so, bring
your Bible with you. If you do not have a Bible, please let me know and we can provide you with one. When we are seated indoors the windows will need to remain open for air ventilation. So, remember to bring warm coats on the cooler days.
Only the Sanctuary and bathrooms will be open for use during the Fellowship service at this time. Though the Bathrooms are open please use them only if you must, as we want to keep them as sanitized as possible. We will not be able to have potluck lunches for the time being. Nor will we have coffee and cookies as usual. However, there has been a way provided for us to still have communion together at these Fellowship services. Rick and Lynne found communion packs that are sealed individual kits. We will also provide communion together through the Livestream Worship Service for those who are unable to be part of the Fellowship Service.
When it is time to leave, we will be excused by groups, a lot like at TALC KAMP or VBS if you have experienced either of those before. We will likely use two exits, both the main exit and the emergency door on the other side of the Sanctuary to help with the flow. We will have the bowls for tithes and offerings available near both exits. That being said, the mailing method has worked well and will continue to be recommended.
Everyone who attends the Fellowship Service must wear a face mask and have hand sanitizer to use when needed. Gloves can be used but are not mandatory. It is important for each of us to follow these guidelines, if not for ourselves, for others. I realize that there are many differing views regarding Covid-19 and the protocols that are in place because of it. This is a time in which we can exercise great love towards our brothers and sisters by demonstrating humility.
*Important: Please do not attend the Fellowship Service if you are experiencing any of the symptoms for Covid-19, or any other contagious illness. It would be recommended to check your temperature before leaving your house. If you are more susceptible to the virus, we strongly encourage you to stay home and to be a part of the Saturday evening Livestream Worship Service.
What to bring with you for the Sunday Fellowship Service: • Face Mask (on your face) • Hand Sanitizer • Gloves (if you desire) • Bible • Seat Cushion (if needed) • Warm Coat (for cooler days, even if we are inside)