Chalice News
 
Round Rock Christian Church


Embracing o ur neighbors
with Christ-like love 
April 28, 2020
In This Issue
This Sunday in Worship -- May  3, 2020
    
Scriptures: Psalm 23; John 10:1-10
Sermon title: 
"Of Sheep and Shepherds" 

Jesus says, "I am the gate."   In what ways is the 
church guilty of wanting to play that role? 


A Message from Rev. Maxted

During a press conference yesterday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that public libraries and museums, restaurants, movie theaters and retail have the okay to reopen this Friday, May 1st. There are some significant restrictions, of course. All of these businesses must limit capacity to 25% or less. Counties with fewer than five cases can reopen businesses at 50% capacity. Also, the order said people can't be fined for not wearing masks or face coverings.

How does this affect you personally? Do you plan to dine in or check out a book at the library any time soon? Or do you feel you may be less likely to venture out in public beginning May 1st, knowing that fewer people may be wearing masks? 

Of course, many businesses that will be allowed to open will not do so, because they aren't able to, at least not for a while. They will need to first hire back some staff, or institute new cleaning procedures, or develop new ways of doing business...or perhaps all of the above.

What about churches? What will it look like when churches begin to return to their campuses? We got a glimpse of the new reality during our final on-campus worship service at RRCC prior to STAY HOME STAY SAFE. That was March 15th. Worship bulletins were passed out and coffee was served with gloved hands. Snacks were individually packaged. The offering plate was not passed. Communion was symbolic only. People were asked to keep a good distance and not to make physical contact with one another. There was no "passing of the peace" and the kids stayed in their seats for the children's message. We did not use prayer cards.

Those were all adjustments that we made very quickly, and they were all good efforts. We did decrease the likelihood of virus spread in our congregation on that day. But since that day, tens of thousands of Americans have died of COVID-19. Since that day, we've learned more about the virus and more about good practices to impede its spread.  Since that day, we've learned that when we do get together again at Chalice Way, we'll have to have a much better plan in place than we had on March 15th.

Our Ministries Council will be prayerfully working on that plan as they meet on Sunday afternoon. This week the various ministries will be sharing their input with their leaders. The results of this work will be shared with the Guiding Board for their consideration input, and action. 

Our Southwest Region  leadership has suggested a four-step process to prepare to return to church:
 
1. ASSESS our church's unique situation
2. DECIDE the details of our congregation's plan
3. COMMUNICATE the plan as clearly and simply as possible
4. IMPLEMENT and be prepared to model and enforce rules and precautions

There is a lot to think about! Here are some of the issues we are prayerfully considering, and this is a very incomplete list:

1. When we return to the RRCC campus on Sunday mornings, will we initially offer worship only? Will we need to offer multiple Sunday morning services, so that we can greatly limit the number of people who attend each one?
2. What specific adjustments will we have to make to the way we receive the offering, serve the Lord's Supper?
3. How will the choir be able to rehearse and to participate in worship?
4. How will we clean and sanitize the church building between and during gatherings? Since there are three congregations worshiping in our sanctuary, what will that mean for the scheduling of cleaning services? 
5. Will we be able to serve coffee and snacks before worship? Will all-church fellowship meals be possible? 
6. Will we continue to offer some kind of online worship experience after we've returned to our campus?
7. What is our plan when older, more vulnerable congregation members step down from volunteer positions? For example, an older Sunday School teacher who works with kids, or an older deacon, may choose not to come back until a vaccine is readily available. 
8. Will we still have greeters, and if so, will they do their jobs differently? 
9. Will we continue to produce paper worship bulletins?
10. Do we have a plan for reducing expenses if offerings decrease? Will rising unemployment significantly impact offerings?
11. Are we prepared to respond to a possible rise in COVID-19 related addictions? With alcohol sales soaring and porn sites giving away free memberships during COVID-19, churches will have some new challenges. 
12. Should we be investing in new digital equipment now? Online worship is here to stay. Does it makes sense to invest dollars now so that cameras and other equipment can be purchased that will help the church be more professional in the new online world of worship?

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Mitch
NEW MID-WEEK OPPORTUNITY TO GROW TOGETHER!

After the success of our recent Lenten study, many have expressed interested in another mid-week opportunity to grow together. Beginning June 11 Pastor Mitch will lead a four-week study: The Faith of a Mockingbird.

In The Faith of a Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, pastor and author Matt Rawle uses Lee's beloved characters to explore Christian faith, theology, and ethics. Join Scout, Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson in this four-week study considering God's world and what it all means.

Classes will be held on Thursdays at 11:00am on June 11, 18, 25, and July 2. We anticipate that they will likely be held via zoom video conferencing.

If you would like to participate, please contact Susan Kessler (swkessler@austin.rr.com) by May 10 with the following information:
1. I will participate. Please order a book for me from Cokesbury at a cost of $15.
2. I will participate, but will buy my own book.



Do You Need a Face Mask?

RRCC's Handcrafters Ministry is making face masks!  If you and/or family members are in need of masks, please contact Janette Johnston (call or text 512-876-1010, or email  jnttjhnston@gmail.com), or Bea Whitley  (call or text 512-633-8616 or email  BeaWhitley@aol.com).

We will appreciate hearing from you before May 1. 
Elders Begin 40-Day Prayer Journal

Our nine RRCC Elders, along with Rev. Maxted, have begun a 40-Day Prayer Journal in conjunction with their evangelism study book 
Unbinding the Gospel by Martha Grace Reese. This special season of prayer began on April 22 and will end on May 31 (Pentecost Sunday). In addition to daily, guided prayer sessions that the Elders are doing individually, they will pray with their prayer partner (the group has been divided up into 5 pairs) once a week and participate in a total group session once a week as well. The Elders know that God will strengthen them individually and as a group in the weeks ahead. They also know that in this process they will become blessings to others in new ways. As the author says, 

"Prayer changes things--within us and for others." 


How Do We Continue?
Guiding Board Requests Recommendations From Congregation 

It's tempting to ask the question "When is the pandemic going to be over?" or "When can we get back to normal again?" But the real question we need to grapple with right now is "How do we continue?" We don't know how long it will take until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to the general public. That may be one or two years away yet. Therefore, in the meantime, how do we function? When we start to return to our church campus, what will that look like? What will we be comfortable with, and how can we make that happen?

Your Guiding Board is brainstorming what our needs will be as we return safely to 22 Chalice Way to worship, serve and grow. We are now calling on you to help us plan the return to our campus and to embrace our neighbors with Christ-like love.  Our Ministries Council will be prayerfully discerning God's guidance this week, and they will meet on Sunday for discussion.
We want to hear what you are thinking that our special needs will be. Your ideas are important to our success as a congregation. We've offered some categories for you to share your ideas. Please add others that you think of when you respond: 

* Preparing and maintaining the buildings
* Morning worship
o Offering
o Communion
o Seating arrangement
o Greeting one another
o Other topics of concern when we are together in the sanctuary
* Group gatherings (church school, DWM, book and bible study groups, fellowship luncheons, special events, etc.)
* In addition to worshiping in our sanctuary, what about continuing some form of online worship (Zoom, Facebook-Live, streaming)
* Your topics
We look forward to hearing from you. Respond to any or all of us.

Linda Glover (moderator) pybus@sbcglobal.net
Gary Tucker (vice moderator/chair of elders) tuckerx2@yahoo.com
Pastor Maxted (senior minister) pastormitch@rrdisciples.org

Splinters from the Board


Your Guiding Board.....

....Met on April 20, via Zoom, with all members present. Reports of our Sr. Minister, Mitch Maxted; Treasurer, Gary Collier; Financial Secretary, Irene Jenkins; Trustees Dan Knight and Tricia Mouser; Personnel, Kent Toomey; Property, Perry Mouser; Elders representative, Tasha York were presented.

....Meditated on Psalms 100, a psalm giving grateful praise.

....Approved continuing compensation to our staff: Pastor Maxted, Molly Salzwedel, Randy Preston and Jimmy Horowitz, during the period May 1-June 30.

....Recognized the faithful servants among us-our staff, elders, worship leaders, financial team, ministries, church school facilitators, Caring Hearts prayer warriors and those many people who are caring for others.

....Considered the tasks necessary to prepare for the return to our campus (see next article).

....Is Grateful for the dedication of our church family in their attendance at online worship services, Sunday school, bible studies and timeliness forwarding tithes and offerings.

....Prayed for you and asks for your prayers.


Should you have any comments or concerns, please reach out via email to Linda Glover at
pybus@sbcglobal.net .

" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Chancel Choir



Chancel Choir will be meeting via ZOOM Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.:

https://zoom.us/j/99642443406?pwd=TWJST2YrRlRvMmJaakMvU3MxQmpYUT09

RRCC Online Giving

Even though we are unable to meet in person,
RRCC has three ways you can still give your tithe:
  1. Go to the RRCC website rrdisciples.org and click on the "GIVE HERE" button at the top of the main page. Or use the link at the top of each newsletter. It will take you to the same place.
  2. Use your bank's electronic bill pay feature to have a check mailed directly from your bank to RRCC.
  3. Mail your check directly to RRCC.
Address your envelope to:
Financial Secretary
Round Rock Christian Church
22 Chalice Way
Round Rock, TX 78665


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Did You Miss a Newsletter?

Past newsletters dating back to mid-March 2020 are currently archived under the "ABOUT US" tab on the RRCC Website.
This is a more efficient way to access past newsletters and Friday "Reminders" than to hunt back through old emails.
COVID-19 Update From the Serving Center --  A Letter from Lori Scott, Executive Director

The Serving Center facility was closed to the public effective March 18th. The thrift stores and client services are closed until May 11, 2020. The food pantry is operating on a modified basis and is distributing food on Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 11 am to 2 pm only. This is a drive-through operation in the donation receiving area circular driveway. And, we are accepting food donations during those same hours of distribution. We are providing financial assistance by phone only. Clients must call and speak with Cynthia Flores, and fax/email their utility bills and lease agreements. Checks are being mailed. The modified operation is running smoothly and many, many thanks are extended to the staff and volunteers who are working to make this successful.

Since March 18th, we have provided food to 527 families, including FFFF, which is a total of 2,004 individuals. We have provided financial assistance for rent, utilities, prescriptions, bus, and hotel, and have spent a total of $12,295. 

After 9/11, the Serving Center caseload skyrocketed by 86%. In 2008, the caseload jumped by 45%, and in 2009, the caseload rose by 19%. The COVID-19 pandemic is much broader and is impacting significantly more families who are normally working with job cuts and layoffs. The Serving Center caseload is going to rise dramatically.

In addition to the increased caseload that the Serving Center will face, the closure of the thrift stores is a serious loss of revenue in the amount of $60,000 for two months. At this time, it is anticipated that the stores will reopen on May 11th, but that could be extended. The Serving Center expects to exceed the program services budget to meet the needs of not only client families but also households who have never asked for help before.

I cannot say thank you enough to everyone for your compassion, hard work, flexibility, and willingness to serve our community. 

Lori Scott, Executive Director
Find a Place to Serve Here at RRCC


Here are the ways you can contribute to Sunday Morning Worship:
 





Upcoming B irthdays

 
May 1
- Deb Cueva
May 3
- Matt Scherer
May 5
- Michael Scherer
Prayer Needs

OUR CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP
1. Our staff--Jimmy, Mitch, Katie, Randy, and Molly
2. Guiding Board, Ministries Council, Elders, Deacons, Ministries and Teams as they discern what congregational life will look like when we slowly begin to return to activities at our church campus.
3. Ad Hoc Youth Programming Team and youth director search
4. Our El ders as they begin the 2nd week of their 40-Day Prayer Journal
5. Shut-In Servers & Caring Hearts Prayer Group
6. Stephen Ministries (Care Receivers and Caregivers)
7. Our music ministries and their leaders: Randy Preston, Rod Walker, and Jimmy Horowitz
8. Our partnership with Shalom Seventh Day Adventist & Manantial de Vida congregations (and their pastors Edy Rosa Paez and Maria Rosario) 
9. Reverends Christal Fisher (South Texas) and Andy Mangum (CCSW)
10. Gary Collier, Tara Pollock, Randy Preston, Katie Maybaum, Molly Salzwedel, and other tech support people from our congregation who are helping us to stay connected and active, even during this time of STAY HOME STAY SAFE. 

ME MBERS AND FRIENDS 

1. Bell, Jean (son Chris has made great progress with infusions to combat cancer)
2. Blair, Anna Marie (adjusting to new BP medication)

3. Davis, Marilyn (now living with Duane and Keri Davis, her son and daughter-in-law) 

4. Fennimore, Nancy, (sister Joan recently diagnosed with ALS)
5. Guilbeau, Rick & Cynthia; Hubbard, Harold
6. Habtemariam, Solomon and Meaza
7. Maybaum, Liz (platelet count)
8. Plough, Paul
9. Pollock, Paula
10. Sanford, Collin and Sonya
11. Sherry, Bea (no visitors allowed at this time)
12. Snider, Rev. Ed (no visitors allowed at this time)
13. Terrell, Hank and Gwen (brother and sister-in-law of Anna Marie) Gwen is anticipating heart valve surgery
14. Whitley, Charles (recovering from shingles)
15. Skyler David Shoop-York arrived early Monday morning, April 27th by emergency C-section. Baby and birth mother are doing well. Parents are TJ and Heather Shoop-York and grandmother is Tasha York

OTHER
1. All affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) around the world (those who are ill, their families, health professionals)
2. All people who are persecuted for their faith throughout the world 
3. Our military personnel and families
4. International cooperation in responding to climate change challenges
5. Development of an immigration policy for the U.S. that is fair, just, and responsible 
6. For all efforts toward universal, affordable access to health care here in the U.S.
7. All who don't know Jesus
8. U.S. lawmakers and community leaders to work together to solve the problem of frequent, deadly mass shootings
9. Reaching out to our neighborhood families through the schools: a. Hopewell gift cards b. Adopt-a-Child ministry at Union Hill and Hopewell c. Literacy Partners at Union Hill  d. Staff Appreciation Breakfasts  e. school supplies for Hopewell Middle School  f. Hopewell "Swarm the Hive" back to school event  g. Our annual neighborhood welcoming events such as Trunk n Treat, Breakfast with Santa, and Hop into Easter.
RRISD will not return to school buildings this academic year.
Sunday School Classes

[There will be no Sunday School classes at the church for the foreseeable future. Some classes will be meeting via Zoom during this time of social distancing.]
 
Early Childhood Class (ages 4-7) - Taught by Lisa Walker

Intermediate Class
(3rd - 5th grade) - Taught by Jennifer Kienzle 
 
Chi Rho Class -  (6th - 8th grade)  ( studying the book, "Middle School TalkSheets" for ages 11-14.  "These TalkSheets present every aspect of Jesus' life in a way that young teens can connect with as they learn to apply the lessons to their own lives.")
 
CYF Class (9th - 12th grade)  
 
Open Circle (primarily adult women) - 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Studying Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans .
 
Explorers (mixed adults) - 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Facilitator is Mildred Adair; studying a gospel of Luke resource by John MacArthur.
Pastor Mitch and Office Emails

info@rrdisciples.org
pastormitch@rrdisciples.org
rrcc-office@rrdisciples.org
bookkeeper@rrdisciples.org
RRCC is on Social Media

Follow us on Social Media!

We can be found on:
Twitter as @ChurchRound
Instagram as rrccdisciples
Photo Submissions

Submitting a photo? Awesome! 
We love pictures of congregational life!
Please remember to include
identification (who, what, when, where, why)  
 for each photograph s ubmitted to the office.  
Also, please indicate  where you would like the photo to be used (RRCC website,  social media, weekly newsletter, etc.)

Please email photos to the church office: info@rrdisciples.org
RRCC Newsletter Deadlines

Please submit your Tuesday newsletter articles  and pictures 
before  10:00 a.m. on Mondays.
Thank you!
Upcoming Events 



There will be no events/meetings held in the RRCC facility until further notice.  Many RRCC activities and events have been cancelled until further notice. Some are continuing online.


Tuesday, April 28 , 2020
7:00 p.m.
- Elders "Group Meeting" for Prayer Journal (via Zoom)
7:00 p.m.
- Shalom Congregation (via Zoom)

Wednesday, April  29, 2020
1:00 p.m.
- Caring Hearts Prayer Group (via ZOOM)
7:00 p.m.
- Chancel Choir (via ZOOM)

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Psalm 34:10b
Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 

Friday, May 1, 2020
1 Chronicles 16:11
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Saturday, May 2, 2020
8:00 a.m.
- Shalom Congregation (live stream)

Sunday, May 3 , 2020  
10:00 a.m.
 Sunday School (via ZOOM)
11:00 a.m.
- Worship with us (via ZOOM)
1:00 p.m.
- Ministries Council (via ZOOM)
Evening
- Manantial de Vida Congregation (off site)

Monday, May 4 , 2020
7:00 p.m.
- Shalom Prayer Meeting (off site)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
7:00 p.m.
- Shalom Congregation (off site)

Events and details can be viewed on the  RRCC Calendar
Elder's Prayer Corner/Closing Messag e

Resentful
 
I was recently presented with a question about the difference in being resentful and holding a grudge. 

I knew neither one was good, but couldn't really identify the difference. I thought of resentful as being just a feeling you have for someone which causes you to have a lot of regret of circumstances in your life that you feel that person has caused. Even so, you don't go to them and tell them what you feel. I felt a grudge was a feeling of holding something against a person and exhibiting anger openly to the person because of what they had done to you. I found out I was wrong. The definitions of the two words are as follows: 

Resentful is to feel or show displeasure or indignation at from a sense of injury or insult. 

A grudge is a feeling of ill will. 

Even though I had the two words confused, I was right in knowing neither one is good to have in your life. In Matthew 5 Jesus has this to say about grudges. 23 "This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, 24 abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

Got grudges, feel resentment? Get rid of them. Then you will be free to worship God in Spirit and Truth. He is so much more than a feeling. He is mighty to save, heal, and deliver. "For I am the LORD that healeth thee."   He heals of all things, even grudges and resentment.