Fletcher Seventh-day Adventist Church

Lifting Jesus Up, Loving People In

Covid-19

 

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

 

1. Live-streaming our 10:45 AM worship service via our website (www.fletchersda.org) and our Facebook page (Fletcher SDA Church) and Channel 27 for the Fletcher Academy Campus, will continue.

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. 

   With gratitude, 

   Pastor Ivan

House Church plan

The mission of the Fletcher Seventh-Day Adventist church is to lift Jesus up and Love people in. I understand this to mean in practical terms that our mission is to share the everlasting gospel with every tribe language and people, and the most effective way to accomplish this is to create a safe welcoming community where Jesus is the focus. Because of Covid-19 we are restricted in how we can accomplish this. My thoughts moving forward are motivated by a desire to meet these goals.

Statements:

1. Because of the desire to keep each other safe we will be unable to meet in the numbers and manner we have in the past. The Fletcher church has an average attendance of over 350, many of whom are at high  risk for serious sickness or death if infected by Covid-19.

2. We also have a very large population of young children who create a social distancing problem.

 

Suggestions

1. Create house churches

a. As state restrictions on home gatherings loosen, encourage members to invite others to their home for a house church
.
b. 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.)

c. Produce a short study guide for each sermon that the house church can discuss after viewing the message.

d. Encourage members to invite their non-member friends to join and be a part of our community.

e. Create an online form that each house church can use to report attendance and give feedback each week.

f. Encourage generosity through online donations.
 

It is my belief that our effort should be focused not on how we can “get back to normal”. But on how we can be most effective fulfilling the  commission of Christ to make disciples. For the near future I think our efforts would be most effective when directed toward the model proposed above.

Suggestions for those wanting to start a house church

The purpose for starting a house church is to invite people to be disciples of Jesus. This is an outward focused gospel proclamation endeavor. We ask that you lift Jesus up and Love people into relationship with Him.

Below are suggestions on how you can do this. These are intended to empower you to share the good news about Jesus. Please be creative and let us know what works best. We pray that God inspires you and uses your talents in a powerful way for the salvation of all mankind.


Pray

  • Spend time asking for God’s guidance as you move forward in sharing the Good news about Jesus.

  • Ask that the Spirit impress you who to invite. (A neighbor or coworker, perhaps a church member who seems to be disconnected) Take time to lift up those attending each week prior to gathering.


House Church plan
 

Gather

  • Invite friends to gather with you for a time a fellowship, worship and growth.

  • Meet in a place that is comfortable for you as a host and those you intend to invite. (Do not limit yourself to your home; the yard, the park, or the river may be better. Jesus called people to follow Him in many different environments.)

Fellowship

  • Spend time getting to know each other. Take personal interest in the lives of those you interact with. How can you be a benefit to them?

  • Look for common ground that you can both celebrate.

  • Be thoughtful and listen to someone who may think differently than you.

  • Serve!

Worship

  •  Listen to the weekly sermon and discuss the material provided by the speaker

  • Pray for each other

  • Sing if this is something you are comfortable doing.

  • Give. This may be through service or supporting a local cause.

Grow

  • Look for new people to invite to your gathering

  • If space becomes an issue consider splitting the group in half so that growth can progress.

  • Make disciples.

  • Invite people to accept Jesus as their personal savior and be baptized

Connect

  • Check in with the church office and let us know how things are going.

  • Is there something we can do in improve our presentation of Jesus?

  • What was positive?

  • How many people did you have attending?

  • Is there anything we can do to help?

We want you to feel free to make disciples in the way that works in your context. We believe that people
will come to a relationship with Jesus through your witness that would never have walked through the church
doors. Your house Church should meet at the time that works best for those attending and should function in a
way that meets their needs. Thank you for allowing God to use you!

 

 

 

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