This past Sunday the Church Board met for our monthly meeting. We once again talked about Coronavirus and church and all that is entailed in it.
Unless there is some drastic change, we will retain the current model for the rest of the summer. This means 9:00 am outside, 11:00 am inside 2 adult Sunday School classes @ 10 Am. Masks required, social distancing, etc.
One board member asked me to remind the indoor service to use the hand sanitizer and to make sure we exit the building before socializing after the service. This can be difficult to remember, but our Head Usher, John Ashby works out a TON, he can remind you if need be. (This last sentence is a sad attempt at a joke. As Brent said on Sunday, Pastor Ryan knows a bad joke)
Hopefully we will not need to alter our plans again, but if 2020 has taught me anything, it is to expect the unexpected.
Furthermore, we realize that our current model of 2 services is not ideal. We don't particularly enjoy splitting the church, having motorcycles buzz by, wearing masks. We get that this is not normal. I hope this causes us to ask important questions:
What is the point of church?
Who is the object of our worship?
The point of church is to worship God, to be formed into God's likeness. The object is God. We come because we have the opportunity to gather as the body of Christ and one of the benefits of gathering is that when 2 or more are gathered, Christ is present. So while we don't enjoy all of the current expressions, our personal preferences have never been the point of any church.
Furthermore, by going to two services, we have opened up the possibility for growth. During the board meeting some talked about the hope of joining the two services. I joked a bit by saying, no, the hope is that during a pandemic our light shines so bright that we cannot return to one service because we have too many people joining us in praise of God. The hope is not a return to the past, but a bright future as God blesses our faithfulness.
It might sound strange to have that hope, I don't have the hope of division, but I do have the hope of furthered mission. I believe more than ever that people need Jesus, that people need church, and that we are the ones to do that work. I pray that we will not get bogged down in conspiracy theories, anger at politicians, frustration over the sinful world with its sinful systems. Instead may we be salt and light. may we draw people to Jesus. Essentially, let us be the people Peter describes in 1 Peter 2:11-12
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God