“Hang in There!”
It’s been a tough last three months as we dealt with disruptions from pandemic and now social unrest. If there was ever a time we needed to be together to pray for God’s grace and guidance it is now, but we’ve been forced to ‘social distance’ to ensure the health of our congregation. We know that tough times do not last forever, so we tell each other to “hang in there!”
The good news is that we are planning now for the reopening of our church at the end of the month. To reopen in a manner that keeps our congregation safe, we will use The Grove for our initial services which provides a better space for social distancing. There are many specifics in terms of sanitizing, masks, changes to our worship, and other issues that we are working through, but we are well on our way. And of course, we will be planning a special celebration to thank Pastor Beverly for her service to our church!
Then in July we will welcome our new Pastor John Tomlin to our church starting on July 5th. We will be setting up a series of events to allow our congregation to get to know Pastor John, while staying virus safe. We will be continuing video sermons for those who can’t be with us in person and video teleconferences as an option for many of our meetings. In all things we want to ensure your physical health while we feed your spiritual health.
Now I want to switch to the financial health of the church. The pandemic has impacted many people financially and across all churches we see a reduction in giving. You have stepped up and maintained your giving throughout the time we’ve been closed, but our giving is still well below the 2019 levels. We’ve been able to survive through the first six months of the year thanks to assistance from the North Georgia Conference and Lagrange District, but with a new part-time Pastor coming on board it is time to us to stand on our own. This will require us to increase our giving and revenues from other sources to remain a viable church.
As we enter this new phase of our church’s life, we invite everyone to take an active role in reshaping our ministries and programs so that we may better serve as disciples of Jesus Christ to the world.
Yours in service,
Steve Justice – 2020 NFUMC Board Chair