June 12, 2020 Dear Prairie Avenue Family, The end is near! You probably associate such statements with sidewalk prophets carrying signs of impending doom. It is not doom-saying, but good news coming soon. If all works well, and the COVID-19 phase moves to Phase 4, permitting groups up to fifty to gather on June 26, we will have in-person worship on Sunday, June 28! While it will be good to gather on the premises after nearly four months in exile, we will have to put certain measures and practices in place to keep public health guidelines. Some of these changes are temporary. When we gather on Sunday, June 28, it will not be in the sanctuary, but likely garage or fellowship hall. We can set up either space to abide with guidelines easily, giving necessary space for social distancing. We will require masks, and certainly encourage vulnerable or at-risk attendees to continue to connect via our online worship stream. Singing will be limited to a verse or chorus. The words will be on a TV screen, since common use of hymnals and Bibles are discouraged. Offerings will be received at the door, and communion elements (in individualized containers) will be distributed at the door. We will not have a moment of meet and greet. I recognize that this is not fully "normal." And I honestly am not sure when "normal" resumes. We will return to our "temple" of the sanctuary space soon, with probably just a few weeks of "tabernacle" to facilitate transition. It may just be too easy to resume usual behavior and forget social distancing guidelines in the familiar environment of the sanctuary. We are all creatures of habit. And habits are hard to break or change. A transition may help us better adapt to the new reality of living with COVID-19. Other guidelines, such as keeping doors open to prevent surface handling, are made difficult by the security needs of the facility, since open doors will invite freely wandering throughout the building unobserved. By having worship in garage or fellowship hall, we also minimize the amount of space that will require additional cleaning measures and practice. It is easier to do what is required if only certain spaces are occupied at this time. You must use the garage as entrance and exit; all other doors will remain locked. When sanctuary service resumes, it will be adapted. Our pipe organ may be silent for a time, since its usage of air stirs up the space and enables our gathered breathing to move more freely throughout the space. We are already used to not having our choir sing during the summer months. Other activities will begin in the building next week. Zumba exercise class will begin on Monday, June 15, and youth activities will resume after June 21. Adopt-A-Street: Saturday, June 20, 9 am: We will resume our Adopt-A-Street clean up of East Prairie & East Main next Saturday. Please observe COVID-19 precautions. Litter-getting equipment provided. Worship This Weekend We continue our summer series Family Reunion: Lessons from Genesis. This Saturday (at 5 pm worship-online, 9 am Facebook Live) we will examine the story of Abraham and Sarah receiving three mysterious men who visit their tent on their journey to Sodom. The scripture also states that God is among the mysterious men, and with gracious hospitality given by Abraham, informs Abraham and Sarah (who is eavesdropping) that the long-awaited promise of an heir from which all nations would be blessed will be delivered in due time. And Sarah laughed! Motherhood at 90? Impossible! How often does God's plan make us chuckle to ourselves? Is there anything too wonderful for the Lord to do? See you in worship (online!) this weekend!
As a church family, we care for and pray for one another. Names in Bold are new or updated concerns.
Health Peggy Bergen, Jeff Baker (Les Ruffner's friend), Joan and John Doll, Jayson Dudley (Brad Trotter's friend), Chris & Marion Gardner, David & Janet Geibel, Sarah Hazelwonder (Barb Humphries' daughter), Corbin Henderson, Chase Hendricks, Susie Hendricks, Dane Hodges, Jim & Barbara Kater, Sondra Lehew, Tom Little (Dixie June's Son-in-Law/Linda Little's Husband), Elizabeth Long, Joan March (Tonda Atchason’s mother), Kathleen McDaniel (Elizabeth Long’s cousin), Stephanie Pulliam (Tonda Atchason’s friend), Kathy Ray, Tiffany Ray Peacock, Karen Sharp, Amanda Sheperd, Pamela Smith (Amanda Butterick’s sister), Brad Trotter, Melia Yarnell Personal Zachery Hocker, Those who are unemployed, underemployed, furloughed or laid-off by COVID-19. Long-Term Care Maxine Henson, Helen Kater, Betty Moore, Maxine Van der Voort Sympathy Family of Michael Conway (5/6), Family of Michael Sheumaker (6/8)