May 22nd, 2020 Update
Good morning Church!
As you know, we are planning to reopen in terms of weekly worship gatheringson June 7th; and hopefully you have taken the time to read the guidelines we presently have in place related to reopening. We realize that there will be changes and additions that come as we get started, maybe even week to week. For example, based on those who responded to our informal survey, we initially were assuming that about 30% of those who planned to attend would come to the9:00gathering and about 70% to the10:45gathering. But word of mouth responses suggest that maybe a lot more are considering the9:00 AMgathering than we thought. So for much of this, we will just have to wait and see, do our best to offer excellence in all areas, and be gracious when bumped by the unexpected! :) In many ways, we realize that what we are doing is really what you would call a "soft" opening. Live-streaming will continue to be an equally legitimate option; and for those who have concerns about returning, probably the encouraged option. Thank you for joining with us in prayer for nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else than what the Spirit longs for us to be as a Christ-centered community focused body committed to spirtual transformation during this time!
Today, I just want to talk about reopening and summer ministry as it relates to youth and children's ministries. I have met with our youth ministry assistant (Jenny Lust) and our children's ministry assistant (Carrie Mason), and here is a summary of what is taking shape:
1. We will not be offering nursery, pre-school, Cornerstone Kids, Travelers, or Youth ministry during our worship gatherings until this fall. We will not be offering kids SS or youth SS until this fall. We encourage parents and kids and youth to continue to take advantage of what has been made available on-line.
2. We will be offering a 5 minute children's spot and 5 minute youth spot in our worship gatherings. Activity bags will be available each week for kids to use and take home (and possibly can be picked up during the week). We are wrestling with possibly making the nursery available if a parent needs to use it; but are hoping such necessities will be few. We are wrestling with including a wide range of praise music that includes kids and youth choices or specials. Presently, we will be prepared to offer the children and youth spots in both gatherings if kids and youth are present. We will definitely offer such every week in the10:45 AMgathering that is live-streamed.
3.Sunday nightyouth group will not be happening on campus here at the church this summer. But youth group well may shift for the summer to various homes and creative settings. There will also be ministry days and special events planned throughout the summer for youth. Updates will be provided weekly during the youth spot in our worship gathering.
4. It is unlikely that we will be offering our Beulah Beach Day Camp or Pre-school VBS (though we will confirm such in the next week or so). But we would love to possibly do back yard clubs (one week in length or offered once a week) if we have families who would host one in their neighborhood. And/or we might create "VBS in a Box." Be watching and listening for more information...again often provided during our children's spot each week in worship.
As with everything we are wrestling with, there are many other details being considered (and many not yet thought of), but this is a start. Our deepest longing continues to be finding a Spirit-driven balance of faith rather than fear or foolishness. We long to provide opportunities to connect and worship together; while being graciously sensitive to our most vulnerable, and offering ways for everybody to be included. The church is not a building or even a meeting. The church is people! May we creatively be renewed in understanding that our primary opportunity to make disciples who make disciples is right where we live, work, play, and stay!
I know, it's still raining...again! Stay faithful and focus on hope!