Outdoor Worship Services/COVID
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are an Easter people, ministering in a time and place we have never been. No one would have predicted where we are now just six months ago. But, "God is good, all the time" and if we rely on the Holy Spirit's beckoning and work together, we shall succeed in all that we do. South Carolina Conference Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, in an effort to deal safely and effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic, has prohibited in-person Sanctuary worship, meetings, or gatherings until June 10th. This is keeping in mind that federal and state authorities have predicted that South Carolina's COVID-19 infections will not have peaked until the last week in May and the first week in June.
I am pleased to announce to you that Sunday Worship will resume this week at Church--in the parking lot in front of our Family Ministries Building, on Sunday morning, May 24th, at 9:00 AM. The early hour is so we can Worship before the expected hot temperatures come later in the day. The front "porch" of the Family Ministries Building will serve as our "Chancel," with a lectern serving as the "pulpit" for the reading of Scripture and preaching. Our Praise Team, soloists, and/or Choir will be on either side of the FMB doors. Loudspeakers will amplify the sound, so all attending will be able to hear, (and we are also pursuing the purchase of an FM transmitter, which can broadcast the sound to be heard through your vehicle's FM radio).
Vehicles will enter the FMB parking lot, and go directly under the covered walkway, where there will be a bowl/barrel to receive our tithes and offerings. Vehicles will then proceed through the parking lot in front of the cemetery, and make their way clockwise around the entire Family Ministries Building to in front of the FMB where they will park. There should be a space of at least three feet between each vehicle. There will be no seats on which to sit during the Service. Each person/family is expected to remain in their vehicles during the time of the Service.
As of now, I personally expect to also be able to serve Holy Communion at our June 7th "Outdoor Worship Service." The format of that Sacrament observance and the way we distribute the elements will be changed to be in compliance with the Bishop's Conference guidelines and intelligent safe practices.
My personal thanks to our "Virtual Worship Team" which has planned and executed our recorded Worship Services over these past few weeks--their dedication and expertise have been extraordinary. Thanks also to my "Pastor's Cabinet" (you know who you are) for their comments, wisdom, friendship, and insight. May we continue to do our very best to "make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." This plan, I am sure, will not please everyone--but it is our best effort in getting our dear Boiling Springs UMC back to some kind of "new normal."
Please join us at our Outdoor Worship Service on Sunday. If you feel that it is too risky for you to come, please remain safe at home. The Service will be recorded and broadcast via our app, website, and YouTube as we have been doing in recent weeks. It will be great to be able to worship together again at the same place--albeit in our vehicles--but data and science must govern what we can safely do. Love and blessings to you all...
Boiling Springs United Methodist Church - (803) 894-3930 / Pastor Ken Prill (803) 873-7742