Our church meets four times every year to review various reports and affirm the work of our committees and ministry teams. These meetings do not last very long, but they give the church a chance to celebrate what God is doing through us. In April and July, we provided all of the information that we would normally provide for one of these meetings, but we as a church did not take action on them simply because we were unable to ensure that the majority of the church would be able to respond.
Our on-campus and online attendance has grown to the point where we feel that there would be adequate representation by our church family for us to be able to affirm the reports from the staff and take necessary action to prepare our church for 2021. On October 25, at the close of each service, we will take a few minutes to have the church affirm the information in the previous and current meeting packets. We will also ask you to consider motions from the stewardship and nominating committees relating to budget and committees for 2021. You will be able voice your affirmation in person or online. Please make every effort to ask any questions or express any concerns prior to the October 25 meeting.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, CSB). This verse describes the church in its earliest days, and I believe it provides a list of minimal expectations for those who have experienced the blessing of God’s salvation. As the church began, it experienced explosive growth, and that growth was sustained not just in Jerusalem but eventually throughout the world. The Bible assumes that conversion will lead Jesus-followers to prioritize these things as they do life together. Jesus promised that he would build His church and that not even the gates of hell (or Covid-19) would prevail against it.
While we must continue to be cautious because of the reality of Covid-19, we will also continue to re-open our campus to the various discipleship and fellowship opportunities that we once were able to enjoy. Sunday, November 1, is a big day for Parkview. First and foremost, we should be well-rested because of the change from EDT back to EST. We “fall back” one hour. Our Sunday morning schedule will change as well. Our service times will be 9:30am and 11:00am. Our Life Group times will be 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00. Please note that some of our Life Groups will continue to meet through Zoom, or at times throughout the week. Some of our groups that meet on Sunday mornings in person will have Zoom options. Let us know how we can help connect you to a Life Group.
To celebrate our return to a full Sunday morning schedule, we will break bread together in worship as we observe Communion. We will be using the prepackaged Communion cups and wafers. We will still refrain from passing the offering plates and continue to worship with our offerings through offering boxes, online giving, mail, and in-person delivery during office hours. We will continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. As our attendance grows, we may need to remove the every-other-seat restrictions in certain areas of the worship center. Please make sure you tell our first impressions team if you prefer to sit in an every-other-pew section. Masks are encouraged in the common spaces, but not mandated. Our coffee station will be open. Please make sure you use the hand sanitizing stations often. Remember, fist bumps and head nods are the new handshake for many people, so don’t be offended when someone rejects a handshake or hug.
Our goal is to get our Sunday morning schedule normalized before moving on to other weekly program opportunities. Our plan is to resume on-campus midweek services in January 2021. The staff is continuing to develop ministry-specific programs, so take the time to check their reports. In the meantime, we are doing our best to maintain open lines of communication and make decisions that protect the well-being and expectations of our congregation.
Embracing faith in Christ, baptism and church membership are important and necessary steps to any authentically Christian faith journey. We would love the chance to help you take your next steps. We have designed a one-hour class called NEXT that will help you understand better what it means to become a Christian and what it means to participate in the life of the church. If you have questions about life as a Christian and/or life as a Christian at Parkview, please visit our website or call the church office and get registered for NEXT.
I am grateful for the men and women in our church who serve others through our care ministry. If you are a senior adult, single mom, someone who has had financial setbacks due to Covid-19, or are infirmed because of it, please let us know how we can help. I am grateful for the volunteer base at Parkview who work tirelessly to make sure that our next generations are discipled, our visitors are welcomed, our campus is inviting, and our people are cared for. Many of these volunteers have been featured in our email blasts and on our social media platforms. Thank them if you see them. If you would like to get connected to a particular area of service or ministry, please let us know.
Thank you for the privilege of serving the kingdom with you every day. I am looking forward to seeing our church grow beyond our pre-Covid-19 numbers. On behalf of the entire staff, please know that we love you and are appreciative of your faithfulness and generosity. If you need anything, please let someone know. Our church office, deacons and Life Group leaders are ready to serve you and meet your needs wherever possible. Stay safe and stay connected.