News from the Pastor
March 31, 2020
My Beloved Vineville Baptist Family,
President Trump announced last Sunday that he was recommending that Americans extend our nation’s “social distancing” policy through the end of April. That being the case, Church Council Chair Todd Smith, Deacon Chair Kathy Kendrick and I felt as if we had no choice but to suspend all activities on the church campus through April.
We had already suspended activities at the church through Saturday, April 11. We knew that we would have to livestream all of the Holy Week services on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But now we will have to livestream only our Easter service. Argggh! I cannot express to you how frustrating this is for me, not to gather with you on Easter Sunday, save remotely. But we have no choice. Your health, the health of our overall community, and the welfare of our wider region demands that we continue to worship only through livestreaming.
Note this important fact! Since our wonderful organist Ann Caldwell is having to make the trip from Milledgeville alone, she requested that we move next week’s Holy Week services up to 6:30 pm so as to allow her to make the trek home by dusk. So, if you want to witness the Holy Week services in real time, know that the services on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will start at 6:30 pm.
Next week will also mark another first: we will attempt a “remote Lord’s Supper” on Maundy Thursday. I will say the words of the ordinance as I always do, but you will be invited to provide your own bread and drink for the ceremony. I don’t know how exactly this will work, but, hey, circumstances call us to be creative! So be prepared next Thursday to engage in an old act in a new way.
I hope you are continuing to access my Pick-Me-Ups and the Bible study in John. I hope you are also enjoying the delightful offerings of music and lessons that Angela and Leigh have been providing, too. As I have said often lately, we cannot see you, but at least you can see us. I apologize that my dear mother’s passing necessitated the slight delay of some of our postings this past week, but we did the best we could under the circumstances.
Speaking of my mother’s passing, please know that I am deeply appreciative of all of the texts, emails and cards that I have received from so many of you. I have told many of you in the wake of the loss of your own dear ones that God often grants us “God’s anesthesia” after losing a beloved friend or family member. I mean by that phrase that life often doesn’t seem quite real in our first stage of grief. I feel that way, too. Of necessity, I am staying incredibly busy, but sometimes I feel like I am operating on auto-pilot – walking through a fog. But I know that this, too, will pass.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Red Cross Blood Drive this past Thursday. This was one concrete way that some of us could make a small contribution to alleviating our national crisis.
Again, I am saddened that we will only be able to worship together by livestream through the month of April. But at least we have the technical capability to worship together in this fashion. Mike Sharpe, Charles Schaible, and Gene Welch among others, are working hard to keep our church’s life before your eyes, and we are also indebted to the invaluable skills of Leigh Halverson and Jody Thornton.
I look forward to the Sunday of May 3, which looms as the next time we hope to be able to gather together. But I am aware that even if this blessed moment happens, we will need to reshuffle a host of church events. The deacon election, the youth-led service, the deacon installation service, all of these will need to be re-scheduled. But flexibility must be the order of the day. I will see you Palm Sunday. Or rather, you will see me.
A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer