Re-Gathering Task Force - Step 2

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." - Proverbs 27:17

Dear Friends,

The verse above is where my seminary prayer group got it's name. Akonizo is the Greek word for "sharpen" - we basically met in our first year of seminary, in the summer, studying greek and over the course of our time together, each of us has sharpened the other in amazing ways.

But that's not the only group I've gathered with over the years, where it's been clear the questions, thoughts and insights have sharpened everyone involved. In countless small groups, ministry teams, mission teams, Deacons and Session meetings, I've walked away with a profound sense of God's work and gratefulness for the voices of those members, sharpening me!

That's the case right now, as the Task Force Session approved for re-gathering our congregation continues to meet. The work has been hard. The questions have been legion, but the compassion and care for this congregation and the willingness to listen to each other and to the Holy Spirit has been so evident.

Over the weekend, the Session approved moving into Step 2 of re-gathering - inviting Small Groups and Ministry Teams into the Fellowship Hall for two Tuesdays each month. This may seem like a small step, but there were many factors that were addressed. The Task Force addressed the potential for contaminating the Daycare, providing adequate cleaning, social distancing and the use of our facilities by AA & NA (which have been occurring in the Fellowship Hall only, since March). This Step will also allow us as a congregation to better prepare for the many additional issues that arise from gathering for worship.

The Task Force will meet again tomorrow evening, to continue to ask and answer questions about Step 3, which will include the limited gathering for in-person worship. At this point, they are basically looking at a 5 Step process, which would gradually increase in-person worship capacity and decrease gathering restrictions until Step 5, when we are at full capacity with very minimal restrictions.

While it has been very challenging and we miss each other so very much - I really do miss you and don't enjoy preaching to a (nearly) empty room (Kenton & Josh are there) - we have weathered this season well, by God's grace. I eagerly anticipate stepping into the sanctuary soon, to see you! But I am so absolutely grateful for the Task Force and the incredible work they are doing to thoroughly, prayerfully and compassionately address the myriad issues that exist, that we honestly didn't even consider when we began the process!

Please continue to pray for them as we move forward!

Also, if you're feeling comfortable, the Task Force and Session encourage you to consider setting up some "watch parties" in your home or attending some with your friends, as a way to fellowship and worship together in preparation for re-gathering in our sanctuary! After all, iron sharpens iron, just as one person sharpens another - and we want to be as sharp as possible as we continue,

Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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