EXPANDED MINISTRY DURING PANDEMIC
Fletcher Seventh-day Adventist Church
June 3, 2020
Our Church Board carefully made decisions to expand our ministries to meet the needs of our church family and to reach our community for Christ during the pandemic. The board has made a sincere attempt to give careful consideration to a variety of views expressed by our church family. A variety of options are provided for involvement in worship and ministry. More details of each plan will follow through our usual communication avenues.
A. Outdoor Meetings
Weather permitting, weekly Fletcher Family Gatherings will be held on the Academy Field, starting June 6, at 6:30 PM. All are welcome to attend this program featuring youth and children especially. Bring outdoor chairs or blankets.
B. House Churches
1. Because of the desire to keep each other safe we will be unable to meet in the church in the numbers and manner we have in the past for the foreseeable future.
2. Therefore, gatherings in homes are encouraged where host families could invite friends (not only church members) to their homes for worship and fellowship on a day and at a time they choose.
3. The Fletcher church will give resources and suggestions on how to create community relevant to different demographics (Young children, teens, young adults, older adults etc.)
4. A short study guide for each sermon will be provided for discussion after viewing the Bible message.
5. An online form will enable house churches to report attendance and give feedback each week.
6. This is an excellent opportunity for us to focus on the commission of Christ to make disciples.
7. If you would like to be a host, please contact Pastor James.
C. Worship Services in the Church
2. On Sabbath, June 13, at 10:45 AM, limited in-person attendance at our worship service will start.
3. If you are in the high-risk category we will respect your decision if you do not attend yet.
4. It is vitally important that you NOT come to the church if you are not feeling well.
5. At this time space will be provided, every week, for the first 50 persons who call the church office (684-0332) by Wednesday noon to make a reservation. If reservations are full by the time you call, you will be given priority for the following week. If our system works well, and safety is maintained, and cooperation is at a high level, we could increase the number.
6. Please use the main front entrance only. There will not be any valet parking service provided. Please do not arrive before 10:30.
7. On arrival at the front door, your temperature will be checked.
Readings above 100 degrees mean it is safest for you not to enter the building.
Some hand sanitizer will be put in your hands.
If you are not wearing a mask, you will be asked to pick up a complementary mask at the hospitality desk. Children in elementary school and younger are not expected to wear a mask. You are encouraged to wear a mask throughout your time in the church building.
A deacon will register your arrival on the registration sheet.
At that point you may enter the front door.
8. A greeter will welcome you in the narthex with a smile and a wave, and point you to the hospitality desk where you may take a bulletin. Be sure to take the bulletin home with you.
9. Please enter the sanctuary right away through the open center door.
Keep at least a 6' distance between yourself and anyone else around you who is not your immediate family. Hugs and handshakes are reserved for a later time when deemed safe. Greet all you like with a wave, a smile and with your voice.
Sit on pews with a reservation cord hung on the ends. If you are alone, please sit on a pew where the nearest person to you is 6' away. Nobody should try to slide past anyone to get to the other end of the pew. Families may occupy the entire pew. Deacons will assist you to find your preferred seat.
Singing with a mask is difficult. We encourage you to hum the music while reading the words from the screen and pondering their meaning.
Children will not be invited forward when the children's feature occurs.
Quiet bags will be provided as before.
Deacons will dismiss row by row from the back moving forward.
Exit through the two side doors.
You may exit using the north and south stairwells, depending on where you park.
Please do not linger in the church or narthex. The safest place to visit is in the parking lot, keeping at least 6' apart.
9. Please bring your own water. Fountains are not in use for safety reasons.
10. Restrooms - only one person to enter at a time. Wash your hands before coming out. Use paper towel to open door as your leave. One stall only will be usable. A Deacon and Deaconess will be on the outside to give assistance.
11. We understand that abiding by these restrictions could be awkward for you, and you may choose to continue worshiping from home. Hopefully, the other options for gathering will appeal to you.
D. Sabbath School
We encourage Sabbath School Zoom meetings to continue.
Children and youth classes will resume in their regular classrooms at a later date.
E. Ministries During the Week
Activities involving 10 or less persons may use church rooms.
Contact the church office to notify our secretary of your intended use of a room.
The group leader is responsible for wiping all touched surfaces with sanitizer before and after the meeting.
Refrain from handshakes or any physical contact.
Please keep 6' distancing practices with seating.
Wearing a mask is encouraged.
Nobody should attend who is not well.
Attendees should use their own Bible and materials.
Dear Fletcher Family, I have a heartfelt plea for you to consider, please. This pandemic has caused havoc from the beginning. We are now at a stage where responses to the pandemic have become divisive. People have taken positions on both extremes and everywhere in between.
Every decision taken by our church board can easily draw a negative reaction from anybody. It is my deep conviction that the biggest issue we face is not the pandemic, or when and how to open our church for in-person worship. Nothing surpasses the importance of how our response to this issue will hurt or grow our relationship with God. It is crucial that we use this tough time to let the Holy Spirit create a Christlikeness in how we think, speak and act.
Please take time to carefully read and internalize this text: Ephesians 4:1-4 I (Paul), a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
I pray earnestly that you will allow this text to shape your reaction to the five decisions listed above.
Thank you for being part of our learning-to-be-like-Jesus church family.