Mid-Week Musings from Lead Pastor Todd Malone
The Executive Committee of the Board consulted with medical professionals and determined that it will be safe to reopen the in-person service on Sunday morning, August 2. The service will be at 10:30am and will stream online for those who wish to worship at home. The safety of reopening will depend upon social distancing. Please maintain social distance as you interact in the lobby and choose where you sit in the sanctuary.
FBC has never required masks and we do not want to start now. The medical professionals made it clear that avoiding another shutdown will require a high level of cooperation from those who attend the service. Although we are not requiring masks, I am appealing to you to wear them out of love and concern for those in our church who are at risk. We shut down the church for two weeks because we learned a lesson the hard way. We saw how quickly the virus can spread in a gathering. We then saw people who attended the gathering unknowingly spread it to others, including to older members of our congregation who became very ill. If we have to shut down again because of an FBC-related Covid spread, the next reopening might have to be more restrictive.
One of the Deacons is currently fighting Covid. For the first four days of the illness, he could not sleep and his mind was affected to the point where he couldn’t concentrate even to pray.
He is doing better now, but doesn’t want anyone to have to endure that type of sickness. He strongly recommends that if you are ill or suspect you are ill, that you worship from home. He also recommends that when worshiping together, you wear a mask out of love for one another. If you can’t or don’t wish to wear a mask, please worship from home as a demonstration of love to one another.
I ask that you prayerfully consider this man’s counsel: worship from home if you cannot or do not wish to wear a mask. No one will confront you if you do not wear a mask to FBC on August 2. But prayerfully consider that wearing a mask or worshiping at home if you cannot wear a mask might be the best thing for those around you. This would be a very loving decision for you to make, and it will be appreciated by those at risk. As we have said in the past, it is also important to worship from home if you are running a fever or have other symptoms of being sick or have been exposed to Covid.
Book Club | New Book: The Practice of the Presence of God
One of the ways that FBCers can stay connected to one another is through the Monday night book club I lead. We are getting ready to start our second book: The Practice of the Presence of God, translated by Marshall Davis. Our first Zoom meeting will be on Monday, August 3 from 7:00-8:00pm. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us.
The Message is not the Problem. There is nothing inadequate about the gospel. You do not need to market it or sell it. You do not need to make it sound better by making promises the gospel does not make. You do not need to make it more palatable by down-playing what is hard to hear. What keeps people from responding to the gospel is their heart. We do not change the heart by a more skillful sales pitch. Hearts change when the Holy Spirit goes to work and the gospel is clearly presented.
The Deacon who shared his story about battling Covid moved me. I am so grateful that most of the people I know who have it did not experience that level of pain, but some have. I will spend time thanking God for protecting those I know who tested positive. I will also pray for those who are very sick.