Pastor's Post
By: Rachel Billups
Last week as cases of COVID 19 rose throughout the Miami Valley, folk began to ask questions concerning our COVID response: “Is it safe to gather in the room for worship? What changes if any will we make in the future, and what are our COVID “triggers” for making those changes?” All of these are helpful questions as I am thinking and praying about the future. Reasonable predictions point to a future where COVID cases could continue to rise, particularly during the cold and flu season. We know this pandemic isn’t going away any time soon, so why not thoughtfully prepare for the future with peace, poise and wisdom?
I’m reminded that safety is a top priority. Starting this weekend, we will be following the statewide mandate for face masks that went into effect Thursday evening at both our Tipp City and Fort McKinley campuses. This means that all attending worship, age 10 and up, will wear masks, as well as staff and servants. The one exception will be those leading worship while they are on the platform only. Masks will be available if you forget or do not have one available.
As a faith movement whose 10-year vision is that no child within our reach goes to bed without faith, family or food, safety will always be on the top of the list. This is also a season of flexibility. Life will change, predictions will change and information will change. That should not surprise us, so let’s prepare for change!
I am firmly convinced that this COVID challenge is a God opportunity. Already, I’ve witnessed our Ginghamsburg movement and the people who fuel it focusing on God-priorities, recommitting to faith practices like prayer and loving their neighbors on purpose. Servant volunteers packed 63 duffel bags for foster kids last Sunday, as just one example. Our long-term resilience and sustainability as a church results when we focus on relationships and responsibility. More on that in a moment.
First, I want to recommunicate our commitment to you, our Tipp City and Fort church family, and identify the triggers we will follow for suspending in-room worship. These “triggers” are based on the county alert level guidelines issued by the Ohio Department of Health. (Read more about ODH indicators here .)
Stage 1: Yellow (0-1 indicators triggered) AND Stage 2: Orange (2-3 indicators trigger)
  • All COVID cleaning policies and procedures in place
  • Per statewide mandate, masks required for ALL (staff, servant volunteers and all attendees on campus)
  • 6-feet of social distancing
Stage 3: Red (4-5 indicators trigger)
  • All COVID cleaning policies and procedures in place
  • Per statewide mandate, masks required for ALL (staff, servant volunteers and all attendees on campus)
  • 6-feet of social distancing
  • Recommunicate triggers to church family
  • Remind church family of Purple policy
Stage 4: Purple (6-7 indicators trigger)
  • Suspend in-room worship; prohibit groups of 10 or more from gathering
  • Focus on life groups, home groups and continuing online worship/community
  • Regular drive-in worship experience/outdoor worship experience/creative gathering, alternating locations convenient to both campuses as/if possible (frequency to be determined)
We will make decisions county by county. The Fort McKinley Campus is in Montgomery County, and our Tipp City Campus is in Miami County. As of today, Montgomery County is red and Miami County is orange. This weekend and ongoing, we will continue to worship in the room barring any changes to our Montgomery County or Miami County status.
Of course, the next reasonable question is: “If we stop in-room worship, how will we decide when to restart?” Our leadership team will need to make the best possible decision about that, relying on prayer, wisdom and other practical factors. I will say that a second return to “in room” worship is unlikely until a county-alert level returns to yellow.
If you have reservations about in-room worship, online is always an impactful option! Online worship is real worship. Whether we are in the room or online, discipling relationships and responsibility, serving and loving others on purpose, must be our focus in this season. Something happens in circles that just can’t happen when gathered in rows, even if those “circles” are comprised of boxes on Zoom.
This week Pastor Emeritus Mike Slaughter will be bringing a strong word on the power of mentoring relationships. You are not going to want to miss it online or in the room.
You are strong, you are courageous, we are in this together!
On mission with you,
Pastor Rachel

Rachel Billups
Senior Pastor

More Ways to Live the Mission:

Homefull Mobile Grocery Update
The truck for the mobile grocery will be ready for pick up next week! Homefull is looking for volunteers to help with the truck and begin training the second week of August. Anyone interested in volunteering can register by filling out this form . In addition to the mobile grocery serving opportunities, there are other ways to serve with Homefull, including:

  • assistance with the food box delivery program
  • golf cart shuttle drivers for the 2nd Street Market food stand
  • serving with the food incentive program.

Check out the current listings  HERE.

Feeding Kids - Trotwood Library Curbside Food Distribution
We are partnering with the Trotwood Library to distribute food to children in our area each Wednesday, 3:15-4:15pm, June 24 to August 26 . Register now to be a part.

Online Opportunities
First Up - Onsite & Online
Sundays starting
August 2,11am

DBS - Digital Bible Study
Sundays, 10:30am
Online via Zoom
Avenue 506-507

Zoom Meeting ID: 859 3514 1904
Password: TheAvenue6
Online Recovery Group
Tuesdays through September 8, 6:30pm
via Zoom

Email for Zoom credentials

Ways To Stay Connected
Social Media
Ginghamsburg App

Available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
By the Numbers...
  • Offering this week was $43,320 from 243 identifiable givers.  
  • In the room worship was attended by 256 people in four worship times.  
  • Online worship was streamed over the weekend by 3,013 unique devices on three platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and Live Stream).
This Weekend:
What could it mean for your life to have someone pulling you toward your best created self? The secret sauce of the early church was the radical mentorship model Jesus introduced. Join us online or in person this weekend as Pastor Emeritus Mike Slaughter speaks to the powerful influence of one person’s life on another.

Fort McKinley Online & In-Person Worship Time:
Sunday: 10am

Soul Food Cafe Breakfast-to-Go:
Sunday: 8am
Tipp City Online Worship Times:
Saturday: 5pm
Sunday: 9, 10:30am

Tipp City In-Person Worship Times:
Sunday: 9, 10:30, 11:59am/Next Step