“Looking Around The Corner As We Make Plans”
It is often difficult , if not impossible, to see around corners without assistance. So when we see curves and corners approaching, we have to make the best plans we can to navigate our way through them. Businesses will make strategic plans. Wise individuals will make financial goals with market curves in mind. And in fact, we all do this as we make back-up plans for unknown circumstances.
This month I’d like to share some upcoming events and occasions St. John’s is looking at and ask you to help us navigate our way through them. Let’s start with worship ‘curves’ we see coming our way.
It’s that time of year when we are busy planning some of our most celebrative worship services. Thanksgiving will be here in less than four weeks and we will again gather on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (November 24) at 7:00PM to thank God for the blessings we enjoy. Even in the midst of these unusual times, there are so many things for which we can be thankful, that a special service of thanksgiving is always appropriate. I hope you’ll join us as we focus on what there is to be thankful for even in the midst of a pandemic and political differences.
The really sharp curve facing us will be how we handle our Christmas worship opportunities this year. On the Eve and Day when we gather to celebrate God’s gift of His son as our Savior, we are accustomed to a full church, glorious music that touches our hearts, and age-old traditions that engage all the memories of Christmases past. We already know that because of the coronavirus concerns we can’t fill the church with our normal 300+ worshippers for Christmas Eve. So, several months ago I began working with our Worship and Music Committee and Vestry to design our worship opportunities for Christmas. We believe we can navigate our way through this curve by presenting four (4) Services this Christmas Eve. Those services are planned for 12:00 (noon), 3:00PM, 6:00PM, and 9:00PM. The noon service will be a service of lessons, with music provided by Todd and a limited number of choral voices. The 3:00PM service will be a service specifically designed for young children and families. The 6:00PM and 9:00PM services will be more like our normal candlelight Christmas Eve services. There will be a bit more music at these two services, but again, because of COVID-19, there will not be congregational singing. Communion will be celebrated at all four services.
We believe these four services will provide our members and guests with beautiful, meaningful, and reverent worship that brings the good news about the birth of Christ to life in our lives. But here is where we need your help. You have been very good about notifying the church office about your intention to be present in worship since we re-opened the church in September. It will be especially important for us to know who is planning to come to which Christmas Eve service as we finalize these services. For that reason, we ask that by December 4th you let us know which service you will be attending. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 843-723-2426 to reserve a place at one of the services. By providing us this information as early as possible, you will allow us to make certain we provide you a Christmas worship experience, as well as allowing us the time to be somewhat flexible if we need to make any changes. Please RSVP immediately so we can begin composing the lists of who plans to attend which service. As always, if you have any questions about these plans or anything at all, please call me. Your input is very valuable as we finalize these plans.
As we get closer to that December 4th deadline, I’ll be back in touch with you to let you know how things are looking and how we’re doing at getting safely through these curves. Thank you for your help and your prayers as we do old things in new ways.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Butler +