Hello everybody!! We hope ya'll are doing well and staying safe. Katherine and I enjoyed delivering bags of Easter eggs and treats to the children this past Friday. We enjoyed the looks on their faces as we drove up to their homes. You can tell they were bored or tired from homework. We also enjoyed the looks of parent's and grandparent's as we drove up. Their looks were of relief that they could give their kids something to do for awhile. In some cases the treat bags were used for inspiration or bribery for children to get homework done. It was a great day. On Sunday Randa, Josh, and John had their two state tour of traveling to deliver gifts to all of the teenagers. Her bags were filled with all that wonderful junk food and snacks that I used to be able to eat at all hours of the day and night when I was a teenager. It was all I could do to stay out of her office until the food left the building. Randa also reported the teenagers were eagerly waiting the arrival of company- especially company with food. Though it was a difficult decision for Donna to suspend Mother's Day Out, she still has been doing everything she possibly can to stay in touch with her babies, families, and staff. Jesse and volunteers also miss the KEYSII children and we look forward to staying in touch with them and their families.
This past Sunday we had over 80 computers logged into the service. I just don't do very well with an empty sanctuary. How did you like the moment when I walked back to the chair and got my bulletin to see what was next? My brain becomes mush by the end of the service. I want to thank everyone again for their leadership in such a beautiful worship experience. Natalie’s solos and Jenny’s musical offerings have been wonderful. After church all three Vick teenagers, John, Ben, Randa, and Josh passed out 80 boxes of KFC with two pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuit, and cookie for Community Kitchen. I want to thank them for all of their help. I also know they had a great time.
Josh, William, Marion, and Debra still have been deep cleaning the church. This time has allowed them to get to those remote areas that don't get cleaned much due to the busy weekly routine. The buses are headed today to be thoroughly sanitized and detailed inside and out. The pool has been drained until further notice to save on expenses. William has also gone around the church to find every possible way we can save money while we are shut down.
Once again John and I want to thank all the staff for their incredible work. No one has slowed down at all. Marrisa has continued to hold down the front desk and Kathy has maintained the records. We know that we have enjoyed coming to the building to see each other and to feel somewhat normal. But on the other hand I have not been as strict in the virus guidelines as I should have been. Though we have never had more than ten in the building it is time to think about their health and safety. We are all going home today at lunch not to return to the building until Sunday. If you need anything you can call me or John. Please remember I have a 731 area code with a 571 prefix. Your phone will tell you it is a Jackson number. I have called several folks who have not answered and/or returned my calls. John is a 615 area code with a 403 prefix.
Though we will be in conversation with our church leadership, John and I both envision a complete shutdown of the office and building next week. Unless someone on staff has something that can only get done by being in the office or building they we will be doing our work at home. Kathy and Marrisa will probably need to come in on Monday for financial stuff. William, Josh, Marion, and Debra may have a few cleaning projects to get finished. But after Monday please consider the office closed as well. A Blast will be sent out to you on Wednesday as usual, but Marrisa can do that at home. The time has come to join the rest of the world in proper social distancing guidelines.
On Monday, I will begin my journey in checking in with our "Precious Jewels" (Thank you Stacy). I had originally planned to do my two-three week journey on March 30 to visit the folks I got to see in November. There were about 22 visits. I will probably add more to that number. There will be no specific order of who I will call. Phone visits will be from 10- Noon and 2 to 4. I am looking forward to our visits even though they will not be face to face.
Also on Monday, John is arranging a Zoom Meeting with our Church Council Executive Meeting (Rodger, L.V., Harry, Mark, Jay, Susan, and Pam) at 5:30 pm. We will be sending out the link and helping you get on the site.
I am going to try and set up a Zoom Meeting for Wednesday at 6:00 pm for all of those who want to have a question and answer session in regards to The Ten Commandments. This week will be the last commandment. After Easter we will start on The Apostles' Creed. I know many of you have been taking notes so I wanted to give you a chance to ask any questions about the commandments that you may have. Also, a 15- 20 minute sermon does not go deep enough into the commandment as I would like. John will set up the Zoom Meeting and we will give you the link.
There is not much I can comment on past April 5. John and I both look to the Bishop’s direction for when worship (with people) can return. We do know that Holy Week will not be as normal. Both our Roman Catholic and Episcopalian brothers and sisters cannot have public worship until the end of the April. Their offices have to be closed as well. We are trying to work on something we can do together on the internet for Holy Week. When we know more than we will let you know.
In closing, someone shared a hand washing prayer that I wanted to share with you. Take care and love you all!!
Dear God, may I be free from internal and external harm.
May I have a calm, clear mind and a peaceful loving heart.
May I be physically strong, healthy, and vital.
May I have moments of love, joy, wonders and wisdom.