We're "Leaving the Cocoon!"

Submitted by First Brethren on Mon, 03/08/2021 - 1:35pm

March 8, 2021

Greetings, brothers and sisters in Christ! Our Official Board had a very productive meeting yesterday after church, and I wanted to get an update to all of you as soon as possible. I am excited to announce that we as a church are beginning the process of what I calling “leaving the cocoon”- that is, we are setting out a plan for getting back towards “normal”. So here are some highlights for the coming weeks and months.

Easter Sunday

Believe it or not, Easter is less than 4 weeks away! As you know, the pandemic prevented us from even having a church service on Easter Sunday last year. This year, we will be meeting in person for worship at 10am. But we will also be serving a Breakfast, prior to worship at 9am, in the fellowship hall. And as we have done in years past, we will have a Live Floral Cross. You may bring flowers with you to church to place on the cross. Weather permitting, we hope to have the Floral Cross outside the church, which should allow us to better social distance when decorating the cross. One thing that is different from most Easter Sundays is that we will not be having a Sunrise Service this year. So our Easter Schedule will be 9am- Breakfast, 10am- Worship

We are asking that if you know you will be attending Easter Breakfast and/or the Service, that you please let Pastor Jeff know, either through email or by using a sign up sheet in the fellowship hall. This will help us make sure we have enough food and seating at Breakfast, and help us know how best to arrange seating in the Sanctuary for Worship. Given that it is Easter, we may have guests, and we want to ensure we have a place for them to sit, while still trying to maintain a safe social distance. Of course, if you forget to RSVP, you are still welcome to come to church! But if you know you will be here, if you could let us know, it would help us prepare for our Easter Celebration!

Also, regarding the Easter season, because of social distancing concerns, we will not be having a Threefold Communion Service during the Easter season. However, a Bread and Cup communion will be held during worship on either Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday.


Morning Worship (Beginning April 11th)

We also have some exciting things to announce for after Easter morning! Beginning April 11th, Fellowship Time will be back! At 9:30am, you may meet for fellowship each week in the fellowship hall. Coffee will be served. We will not at this point be serving food each week, but you are welcome to bring in something to snack on if you wish. Our morning worship service will then begin at 10am, continuing to use a blended style of worship.

Also beginning April 11th, our Jr. Church program will start back up for Pre-K-6th Grade students. During the sermon, students will leave the service for a brief Sunday School-type program, taught by a group of committed volunteers. Our plan is for Jr. Church to meet each Sunday of the month except for the 1st Sunday of the month. On the 1st Sunday each month, a Children’s message will be offered from the front, but children will remain in the service.

There are also a few things that we have done to keep us safe during the past few months we will continue to do for the time being. First, the Sanctuary Overflow area will continue to be “Mask Mandatory”. Though mask wearing will be optional for those seated in the Sanctuary, if you choose to sit in the Overflow, we ask that you keep your mask on. Second, until vaccinations have been opened up to all adults, we will continue to ask that we leave every other row open in the Sanctuary. And third, we will continue our current practice of sending out Digital Bulletins, while making a limited number of paper copies available on Sunday morning.

The Board has also decided that we will not resume passing the offering plate each Sunday. Please continue to use the offering box at the back of the Sanctuary, mail your offering to the Church, or utilize online giving through our website or the GivePlus app. We appreciate everyone’s faithfulness in supporting the church financially over the last year, even when it has been more difficult than usual to get your tithe to the church.

It has been a challenging year, but I am thankful that our congregation has weathered the storm fairly well. I pray that over the coming months God will continue to strengthen our relationships and our mutual faith, as we “leave the cocoon” and go forward into the ministry that God has called us to.

May God bless each of you!

Pastor Jeff