Message from Pastor Tarpy

FromThePastor
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I woke this morning, the words of Psalm 122 came to mind: "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD.'" I am certain I speak for most when I say, we miss gathering for worship. Therefore, I am delighted and rejoice and say, "Let's go to the house of the LORD."
Council met Tuesday evening to discuss the possibility of opening church on Sunday, May 3, 2020. It was a very productive meeting in which we unanimously decided that it is time to offer a morning service in our building.
We know that COVID-19 still presents a risk to our Church body, especially those over the age of 65 or with health conditions. For this reason, we will continue to offer online services for those who'd love to come to church but decide to wait. If you cannot come or choose not to physically attend church this week, we want you to know that we love you and we understand. You are still a vital part of our fellowship and will continue to offer service online.
Many of you may be unsure about returning to worship. If you are, we simply ask that you pray to God for wisdom and trust His Spirit will guide you. Our desire is to love and support each one. If you are not ready, we understand!
Each person's health and safety is important to us. Since the virus still presents a risk those who decide to meet at church, any who decide to attend are volunteering to abide by the following guidelines:
  • Please maintain six feet distance from anyone not in your household. You may sit with your household. You may sit in the same aisle with another family provided there are two seats between families.
  • Please refrain from physical contact with those not in your household. For example, refrain from handshakes or hugging.
  • Please stay home if you have symptoms of illness. Apply the phrase: "When in doubt, don't go out."
  • Please stay home if you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Do this even if you don't have any symptoms.
  • Please cover every cough or sneeze.
The church will be taking the following precautions:
  • Church will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before service.
  • Council greeters will warmly greet you while opening the front door for you.
  • Aisles have been separated 6 feet apart.
  • Mutual greeting in service has been removed.
  • The offering plate will not be passed. The deacons will walk each aisle to collect the offering.
  • The children will remain in their seats for the children's message.
  • Sunday School is canceled until further notice.
  • Coffee and cookies will not be available.
  • The nursery will be open for moms or dads to use but there will not be a nursery attendant.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in the hallway near the kitchen.
Other matters to note:
  • Sunday evening service is canceled on May 3, 2020.
  • Wednesday evening is canceled on April 29 and May 6, 2020.*
  • Coffee Break is canceled on May 7, 2020.*
*These are the last scheduled dates for Wednesday Evening and Coffee Break in the spring.
Our prayer is that we continue to see a drop-off of cases of COVID-19 in Erath County and beyond. The council will continue to monitor and adjust things as needed. Remember to pray for your leaders and pastor. We are looking forward to seeing you at church soon!
In Christ,
Pastor Tarpy