Sisters and Brothers,
This past Sunday we had the best attendance since returning to offer in-person worship. Just under 400 participated with just over 1/4 of those being in-person (and divided almost evenly between traditional and contemporary).
We remain socially distanced (well within limits, we could almost double our numbers and still be fine) and wearing masks. But we have started singing… (Read more below.)
- Let’s sing: If you are wearing a mask and at least six feet from others, in our sanctuary and MPR, which is “high volume” space with good airflow, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is low.
- The Nursery is open for children 3 years and younger, however could you register your child? (You can register now for this Sunday and any Sunday in September.)
- I’m going to get soaked at our BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT. This Sunday night Aug 30, 5-7pm MOVIE, POPCORN, SNOW CONES, DRINKS and PRIZES and oh yeah, Bobby, Jon and I are all serving as “targets” for the water-balloon game. Hit us if you can. Remember to bring in school supplies for kids who don’t have them…
- Starting this weekend you’ll experience a new GIVING PLATFORM. You’ll find this new way of giving (online) incredibly easy and convenient. Want a sneak peak? Text “ringgoldumc” to 77977…
- We have a number of “happenings” in our parking lot. This Saturday our local Girl Scouts will be recruiting from 10am-1pm. Do you know of a girl that is interested? Also, starting this coming Tuesday, COVID-19 testing will be available each Monday and Tuesday and 1st and 3rd Saturdays.
- You are a congregation that cares… One of your members wanted you to know specifically. Also I got to see the recent results of our SEW WHAT ministry, something especially needed right now.
Now, READ ON below for more details about each…
Thanks to the leadership of Taylor, our Director of Traditional Worship and Choir activities, we have received information from a study by the University of Colorado (Boulder) and University of Maryland, the first of its kind, that demonstrates the risk of singing in the spreading COVID-19. In general, the risk is low provided the following guidelines are met:
All participants are wearing masks, (and the better fitting the masks, the lower the risk); social distancing of 6 feet or more is maintained; the space is “large volume,” (such as our sanctuary and MPR); and those spaces have an airflow exchange of 3 volumes per hour, (which they do).
The risk increases slightly after the first 30 minutes of occupancy and more so with each additional 30 minutes (60+) that follows. Just so you know, worship is lasting right at an hour for contemporary and about 45-50 minutes for Traditional. This is on purpose.
If you want more details Taylor can share with you his incredibly informative post that he shared with our choir on their Facebook page. If you don’t have access to that just email Taylor and he can send it to you.
I want you to know that I am, and your staff are, diligently monitoring our situation and remain ready to modify guidelines as needed in order to both keep you as safe as possible while also facilitating a worship experience that is as engaging and genuine as possible.
Thank you so much for your support. You’ve been great!!
So join us in-person or online whichever is best for you, Covid-19 related or not.
Last Sunday we reopened the Nursery. It was nonetheless not used. (So if you are worried about over-crowding, don’t be.)
However, we would like to improve our preparedness nonetheless by asking that parents register their Nursery age child (3 years or younger). You can sign up for not just this Sunday but any Sunday through the end of September.
Remember as well that no child should be brought who has any symptoms of illness.
The Nursery staff will sign the child in at drop off after their temperature is taken by a “no touch” thermometer.
I’m going to get soaked I’m afraid at our FREE BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT, hosted by our youth and children’s ministries.
Bobby, Jon and I are all part of the fun as you’ll get your chance to hit us with water-balloons. There will be popcorn and snow cones, drinks and prizes!
More chances of prizes will be awarded as well as a Free Sandwich card from Chick-fi-la to those who bring in school supplies for kids that don’t have them (given to Ringgold Elementary School, one of our partner schools).
We’ll also pray a blessing over the kids for the new school year and offer backpack blessing cards that tie on to their book bag (like we did last year).
Don’t miss out on this event. Would be a great way to invite someone new to church!
Our Finance Team has been exploring for a better giving platform for almost two years. After a reflective and cautious process we are ready to move forward.
PushPay is our new platform and utilizing them will do three things: improve our communication about giving; lesson work-hours, so we are more efficient administratively; and, most importantly make giving easier!
PushPay is the new “parent company” of our existing database “C.C.B.” This means the systems integrate flawlessly and are able to do two-way communication, from one to the other, both ways. (An update on one automatically is an update on the other.)
You’ll find this a much better experience as you consider how to grow in your generosity and it will be another part of our church that you’re proud of and proud to have visitors experience.
Want to check it out now?Click here. Or text Ringgoldumc or “Ringgold UMC” to 77977.
We have a number of “happenings” in our Parking Lot. This Saturday the local region of Girls Scouts are using it as their annual recruiting site. We are glad to host them.
If you know of a young lady who might be interested in the Girl Scouts, send her, or bring her on by between 10am-1pm.
Also starting this coming Tuesday, Covid-19 testing will be available in our front parking lot.
They will offer testing from each Monday and Tuesday and 1st and 3rd Saturdays: 9:00am-12:00pm; and 12:30pm-4:30pm.
I am so thankful for our partnership with Catoosa County Health Dept.!
“This congregation cares!” One of our members wanted me to make sure you knew this! As one who has received care through her trials, she was concerned that you as a church knew how very important your calls and texts and cards were. She has felt so loved and helped and blessed and she knows others feel the same way. She asked me to express this on her behalf and it is my pleasure to do so.
I also got to witness this week the delivery of the 14th quilt made by our Sew What ministry since the beginning of this pandemic. HOW IMPORTANT OF A MINISTRY THIS IS, especially right now when people feel so alone unable to physically embrace others. Persons going through tough times receive a quilt that can be wrapped around them, a quilt that represents the love and care of a church family and the ever present embrace of God.
To each and every person that is involved in this ministry, thank you for serving Jesus by serving others in his name!
Now back to writing the sermon for this week… We conclude with “Contagious Hope.” We can relate to being contagious… does the hope in you spread and infect others?
P.S. I want to make sure you know that Diane Pelt, James Pelt’s bride of almost 48 years may in fact be entering the last days of her life. James has been a beloved leader and teacher in our congregation. Many know of Diane’s condition and her recent decline but I wanted to make sure everyone knew given what James means to this church (as well as Diane, of course). Thank you for praying and caring for them and for keeping them in mind during these trying hours and days. I’m sure James would appreciate whatever support you felt led to offer.