A letter from our pastor…
March 16, 2020
Dear Beloved Vineville Baptist Family,
Communicating with you in this manner is exceedingly strange – but such are the times in which we live. The world seems to have gone crazy, and everything about our lives seems to have gone crazy, too. I would like to think that church could be a refuge and respite from the craziness, but it can’t be – or at least it can’t function in the way it usually does. That fact is hard for us to accept. But we must adapt to ceaselessly changing circumstances.
A group of us, including your ministers, the church council chair, and the deacon chair, met this Sunday morning to envision a way forward. We came to the following conclusion: we are going to plan our church schedule a week at a time. For the coming week, March 16 – 22, we will have no church activities on the church campus – no Wednesday night activities, no XYZs, no exercise class, nothing. The Morning School will be open on Monday and Tuesday, then shut down, mirroring the Bibb County school schedule.
Next Sunday morning, March 22, at 10:45 am, we will livestream a morning worship service. The service will involve a minimum of participants, but we will email the Sunday bulletin in the Vision so worshippers can follow the framework of the service. Incidentally, if you have not yet signed up for our church email, now might be a perfect time to do so by calling the church office or emailing Ginny at email@example.com.
Also, I have emailed Mike Sharpe last Sunday’s sermon – the message I would have delivered had we had worship — and he will send it out to the usual email group. Or you can drop by the office and pick up a paper copy. That‘s right, the office will be open its usual office hours, Monday through Friday.
Of course, we all have an obligation to maintain “social distance” so as to help retard the spread of this virus. That means, while you can drop by the office and deliver your tithe or offering, you can also mail it in – or use our online giving system at www.vinevillebaptist.org. This might be the perfect time to set up an online account with your bank, so your gift to the church can be deducted from your account without the church incurring any expense. The hard truth is, whether we worship or not, the church expenses continue apace.
As to the future, we will make a decision on the service for Sunday, March 29, by the end of next week. We have no idea how things will develop with this virus. Perhaps the environment will be safer for us all; perhaps it will be worse. We are trying to leave our fellowship the flexibility to respond to ever-changing conditions.
If you have pastoral care needs, please contact me or the church office. I am still making emergency visits and am available by phone at 478-262-4228. Our deacons are also willing to help with any exigent need. Jim and Frances McNorrill want everyone to know that they are postponing their 50th wedding celebration, scheduled for March 28th. They didn’t want to imperil anyone’s health. And, obviously, the deacon election will be postponed to a future time – which gives many of you a chance to take your name off the deacon ballot if you still desire to do so.
I am sure that some of you regard all of these moves as an over-reaction. I understand that. It is hard to make so many changes in our entire culture based on a virus we cannot see, a threat that seems so remote. Yet what is remote now could be nigh tomorrow. It is our collective responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I have dealt with all manner of issues over the course of a long ministry – hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, ice storms, the Great Recession, among them. This pandemic demands a response from our community of faith unlike any of them. But I believe that God will grant us vision to see our way forward. Love to you all. We will get through this!
Dr. Richard Kremer – Click to email