News from the Pastor
March 7, 2021
We welcome back to the sanctuary some of you today as we begin anew holding in-person worship. We also welcome those of you who continue to worship with us via livestream and Facebook. Without question we are in a transitional period, glad that some COVID-19 data suggests that case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths are going down, yet aware that other data suggests that mutant strains of the virus continue to pose a real threat. True to the spirit of a Baptist church, we encourage everyone to follow the dictates of their own discerning conscience. Each must decide what matrix of medical information seems most persuasive to them and act accordingly.
Our best hope for the resumption of what we once called normalcy continues to lie in the fact that production of the COVID-19 vaccines is ramping up, and our national and state governments are working hard to distribute those vaccines as quickly and as widely as possible. Take advantage of the vaccines as soon as they are available!
While holding in-person worship is nothing new for us – we did so from June through December — this Sunday we introduce a new element, congregational singing of hymns. Of course, as we sing – and you are encouraged to sing softly, not boisterously — everyone is asked to keep their masks on and wearing them in proper fashion, and everyone should be seated in a socially-distanced manner, and we have now installed a sophisticated air filtration system in the sanctuary – indeed, throughout the church – so as to make this act of worship as safe as possible. But again, we realize that each person must decide for themselves what they regard as safe worship practices.
If you have ordered a hand-crafted bowl as part of the Macon Mud Pottery initiative to benefit the Higher Life Ministry, be sure to pick up your bowl this week, March 8 -12, from 11 am to 3 pm. Cost of tickets is $25 each.
You should have received a letter from deacon chair Peggy Hindsman this week reminding you of the upcoming Deacon Election. Included with that letter was a list of all the members of the church who are are eligible for election as deacon this year. I remind you, if you do not want to be considered for election, be sure to call the church office immediately and remove your name from the list. Moreover, if your name was accidentally omitted from the list, and you are eligible for election, be sure to call the church office to add your name! The church will send out ballots in a couple of weeks, and we request that you return your completed ballot promptly. We will hold our in-person deacon election on Sunday, March 21, as required by our by-laws. Obviously, if you have already sent in an absentee ballot, please do not vote again on March 21. We will have an installation service, including the act of ordination for those elected deacon for the first time, on a Sunday in April.
On a lighter note, the NCAA will host their men’s basketball tournament this year, which means we will be observing our annual Pastor’s Pick-em again. Once the tournament is announced in mid- March, you will be invited to submit your entry – or entries – prior to the tournament tip-off. Each entry costs $2 and all proceeds will go into our missions budget. I will personally buy a $35 gift certificate to Ingleside Pizza for the winner. Basketball maven Frieda Byrd is the two-time (!) defending Pastor’s Pick-em Champion.
Remember also that we are gearing up for a return to in-person Sunday School on Sunday, April 11, the Sunday after Easter. Other dates to remember include next Sunday, March 14, when we are called upon to “spring forward” and turn our clocks ahead an hour to acknowledge the return of Daylight Savings Time. Palm Sunday is March 28; Holy Wednesday is March 31; Maundy Thursday is April 1; and Good Friday is April 2. Parents and grandparents, those of you who have pre-ordered them, don’t forget to pick up the Easter boxes that Leigh Halverson has prepared for the children to enhance their Holy Week appreciation. They will be ready for pick-up on March 17.
A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer