Bible to Church Habit IMage

I had someone tell me, “Go ahead and decide what you want to change about worship so you can change it before you start back with church.” I pondered what I would change and here is what I came up with: Nothing. I want so desperately to go back to way things where before we took our Coronavirus break.

As I pondered more I did come up with something I would like to see different as we return. I would love for people to bring their Bibles to church. We are blessed to have great projection technology and volunteers to help us with worship. Unfortunately, I think it has made us over dependent on reading scripture off the wall instead of in our own Bibles.

Here are five thoughts on why you should bring your own personal Bible to worship.

#1 – Having your own Bible helps you realize more detail. As good as projection is you still will miss nuances that are easier to see on a page. Think about this, lyrics projected on the wall can tell you the words to sing. If you really want to see how to sing, the music, to sing louder or softer, higher or lower, you really need to see the music page in a hymnal. In the same way see where you are in your Bible gives you more detail.

#2 – The scripture projected is not for you. I am afraid something good like projected scripture has made us neglect bringing our Bibles. Here is a secret, the projectors are really aimed for people who are new to faith and have not learned to bring their Bibles yet. It is also for people with small children in worship who physically can not hold a child and a Bible.

#3 – Having your own Bible helps you keep notes. I really encourage you to underline in your Bible and take notes. I actually just bought my wife this NRSV Journal the Word Bible that has space to take notes.

Side Note: I am preaching out the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). The main reason is it is the translation of our pew Bibles so it will be easiest for guests to pick up and follow along with us.

#4 – Having you own Bible helps you follow along with the preacher. I’m sure you are super spiritual and never have a problem following along. In case there is a Sunday where it is harder to follow, having your Bible open can help you see what the preacher is talking about or where he is.

#5 – Having your own Bible is a visual reminder that the Word of God is important. If you carry a Bible you are not going to magically become a Christian. However, when you bring a Bible with you are communicating to others… and even yourself that these words are important and at least worth investigating.

I can remember something formative in my life was seeing my father spend time in prayer and scripture reading each morning. I also remember him taking his Bible to church. His consistent example spoke to me about the importance of scripture in his life in Christ.

My prayer for my church members and myself is that we bring our Bibles, we get caught by our families and friends treasuring God’s Word, and that Jesus continues to change us through this means of grace.

If you want to know more about reading the Bible check out the David Donnan Podcast. Season one is about steering toward scripture.

Front of church

Dear Church Family,

We are eager to return to in person worship!

We obviously want to do that in a safe and responsible way. 

As your pastor and the head elected leaders of your church, we have been in conversation about the best way to move forward. In these conversations, we have been guided by the words of Jesus in Mark 12:31 when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is always our goal as a church and we want to practice the classic Wesleyan principle of “do no harm.” We know worship will look different even after we return. Also, please understand that plans can change – we will constantly be looking out for what is the best for us here in Twin City.

With that in mind, here is what we are planning for moving forward:

  1. Resume in person worship on Sunday, June 21, 2020.
  2. Please stay home and watch online if you or anyone in your house does not feel well.
  3. Two Service Times – 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Our services will be approximately 30 minutes.
  4. We will ask you to enter through the pre-school side entrance of the church and exit through the front doors. This will keep people moving in the same direction.
  5. We will practice safe social distancing within the sanctuary. Seating will be in every other pew. Ushers will be available to assist everyone in seating to ensure proper spacing. Families will be allowed to sit together.
  6. We will clean and sanitize surfaces in between service times and during the week. We will also have hand sanitizer available at the doors and you’re welcome to bring your own.
  7. We highly recommend face masks be worn while in the sanctuary for worship, even for those who do not feel vulnerable. This is a great way to love our neighbor at this time.
  8. Bathrooms will be available for those who may need them while in the building.
  9. We will continue to offer online worship for those who are not ready to return yet. There will be no pressure or judgment if you want to stay online for the time being! 
  10. For the time being, we will not have Sunday School, Nursery, or Children’s Church on Sunday mornings.
  11. Considering how recent studies of how the virus can spread through congregational singing, we will continue to have special music only in our services and no congregational singing. This will help to limit the further spread and is another way that we can love our neighbor in this time.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into this decision to re-open for worship! And these are all plans and we all know plans can change based on circumstances. We will probably have to make adjustments and corrections moving forward. We ask for your patience and your grace as we try to sort this all out. We all believe in the importance of in-person worship and being in the sanctuary that is so special to all of us. We look forward to being together. We look forward to worshiping God in his house. And we want to continue to love our neighbor as ourselves!

Grace and Peace,

Rev. David Donnan, Pastor

Jimmy Mincey, Admin Board Chair

Paula Hall, Lay Leader

Clark Dixon, Trustee Chair

Brandon Jones, Pastor-Parish Relations Chair

Kaye Mincey, Pre-School

Kenton Landon, Finance Chair

Sybil Johnson, Treasurer

Maria Woodger, One Board Member

Patti Hendley, One Board Member

Jim Nix, Lay Delegate to Annual Conference