It was exciting to have all of our Sunday School departments open this past Sunday! Lori Replogle did a great job promoting and organizing, which resulted in a great first Sunday back for our children. Mary Fleming's class just showed out in their attendance, and was spread out over 2 rooms! Also, Brad Replogle's new class for parents of children and teens got off to a great start. And, as expected, we saw an increase in our 11:00 am worship service attendance with Sunday School back on line.
Folks, I want you to hear my heart. COVID-19 is a real disease that can be fatal for a small percentage of the population, especially those considered "high risk." Our family has not been immune, and our daughter-in-law, Nadia, is still struggling with one of its complications - pneumonia. I truly understand that there are those who have health risks, or who have close family members who have health risks, and should not place themselves in jeopardy through any unnecessary exposure. I am glad, for your sake, that we are able to livestream our services to enable you to worship with us from the safety of your home. I encourage you to do that for as long as it is necessary!
But, I believe there are some who need to ask themselves why they are staying home. If you have not returned to worship and Bible study in the church facility yet because you like the freedom of staying at home better, I want you to read the following. I "borrowed" this from a post I saw on Facebook. As my thoughts are already turned to this upcoming Sunday, it just seems to capture what's in my heart. I hope it touches something in yours as well.
"As church attendance numbers fade across the nation and online services become very convenient (who doesn't love not getting ready in the morning or leaving the home?!), it's important to remember why church attendance for you and your family matters so much.
"You can't serve from your sofa. You can't have community of faith on your sofa. You can't experience the power of a room full of believers worshipping together on your sofa.
"Christians aren't consumers either. We are contributors. We don't watch. We engage. We give. We sacrifice. We encourage. We do life together.
"The church needs you. And you need the church.
"Wherever you are, find a local church where you and your family can be part of community and use your talents to advance the kingdom and reach others. To come alongside one another physically, not just through a screen. While I'm grateful for technology to keep people connected that can't physically come to a facility or need to be away, it's absolutely not like being in the building. Never will be.
"Yes, church on the sofa is nice. But it'll never be the same as church in the sanctuary."
Praying for You!