Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

05/20/2020

Randall Caselman

 

Togetherness – Fellowship

A New Normal

 

  Wow!... Who would have thought that we would be so ready to get back together to worship our creator? If this Pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown our need for one another. God created us for fellowship, togetherness, one-an-otherness; "It is not good that man should be alone." Genuine Christianity is about fellowship, family, community. The New Testament word is Koinonia. It speaks to us of worshiping together, preferring one another, placing the interest of others before our own, washing feet, working together in the Lord's Kingdom. May God help us to never take these joys for granted again. Amen?

 

 We all want things to get back to normal, but that may take a while. In the meantime there'll be a New NORMAL for our togetherness.

 

  Our Eldership is working toward having our facilities ready for Public Worship June 7th or 14th.  They are acutely aware of their responsibility to protect congregates who will be attending. With health and safety in mind, this is what our New Normal will look like as we began to reassemble for Corporate Worship:

 

• You will have a choice of four services: 8AM, 9:30, 11:00, plus we'll Live Stream the eleven o'clock service. All services will be the same.

 

• We will post three service times on our website. You'll need to go there and select the service you plan to attend. When one fills up to capacity (75-80) that service will disappear as a possibility. This allows us to meet the Health Department's criteria for Social Distancing.

 

• We are asking family units to sit together.

 

• Sit six to eight feet from the next family.

 

• Occupy only every other pew.

 

• As you enter the auditorium, individual Communion packets will be handed you by a greeter with gloves.

 

• There will be contribution plates and waste baskets for your use at each door.

 

• Worshipers are asked to exit the nearest door when dismissed.

 

  Our Eldership strongly advised those who are most vulnerable due to age, health issues, or immunocompromising conditions to consider staying at home; participating in the Live Streaming Service. Or, if you just prefer to wait for a few more weeks to attend a public service, that's alright, also.

 

  The other recommendations by our Governor and the Arkansas Health Authorities are as follows...

 

• Signage: Signs must be posted advising congregants not to enter if they have a fever of 100.4 or higher, have a cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms typical of COVID-19; or if they have been exposed to someone with the virus in the past 14 days.

 

• No one will be admitted into the worship area without a face covering. Such must be worn at all times while indoors. The only exception is worship leaders addressing the congregation, and while congregants are taking communion. Face coverings for children under ten years are optional.

 

• Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at all entrances to the Worship Area and should be used as we enter and exit.

 

• We should refrain from physical contact with each other outside our family groups: No handshaking, touching, embracing.

 

• Again, remember distancing protocol in the worship area of six feet.

 

• There should be no use of pew Bibles or song books.

 

• Frequently touched surfaces such as backs of pews and door handles will be disinfected between services.

 

 Our Elders have decided that there will be No Bible School Classes until a later date. Teachers are reminded that our Promotion Day Activities will be rescheduled; July's Vacation Bible School will be handled as the circumstances allow as the time approaches. Some preparations are being made to have Online Streaming of Elementary Class Activities. Our Youth should check their website for news and devotional thoughts. We will not have Public Wednesday Bible Studies, but will continue to Live Stream our Studies in the Minor Prophets at 7PM.

 

  Again, God has created us for togetherness, placed us in church families where we can enjoy and benefit from Corporate Worship. As we make plans to reassemble, let us follow the guidelines of those who have our best interest at heart.

 

  May God bless our New Normal. Amen?

 

—Randall

For the Eldership