COVID Update: June 30

June 30, 2020

Church Family,

Thank you for your flexibility regarding the unexpected tweaks to our schedule this past weekend. These changes were made largely in response to the emergency order regarding mandated face masks in the city limits. That order was rescinded last night during a called meeting of the Milton City Council.

Our church leadership, like many others, continues to monitor this fluid situation. As I shared late last week, we receive input from numerous sources and realize that there is just as much information about one person’s side of the argument as any other. Through the wonders of Wikipedia and Google, anyone can find anything to fit any narrative of any choosing.

We have noticed an uptick in cases in our state and the local area. We also listened as our governor shared information last Sunday from Pensacola. The surgeon general, governor, and other officials continue to encourage us to use common sense as we go about our lives. I refer you to the information provided on their websites should you desire to read their specific recommendations.

We are making minor tweaks to our Sunday and Wednesday schedule. Though this information is largely the same as it has been, I wanted to redistribute it, as well as note the changes, especially in light of the unexpected tweaks we had to make this past weekend. You will find this information and a brief explanation below.

SUNDAY SCHEDULE (effective July 5, 2020)

Connection Groups (Sunday school) will not meet on campus at this time. Many of the experts we trust have stressed the importance of physical distancing, and that cannot occur when groups of people gather in small rooms. Therefore, for the time being, our Sunday morning connection groups will not meet on site.

Our Sunday morning worship service will continue to take place each Sunday at 10:30 and will be available onsite and online. The wearing of masks is not required, though it is recommended. This is the same perspective we shared on Welcome Back Sunday and Father’s Day. Again, to be clear, the mandate requiring the wearing of face masks is no longer in effect as it was this past Sunday. Masks are not required, but are recommended, and we will continue to have a supply on hand for your use, should you choose to wear one.

Furthermore, all seating will be available both downstairs and in the balcony. We simply ask that you “police” yourselves with seating. If you can’t sit a few feet apart from other families on a pew, please choose another pew. I have yet to see a ceiling cave in if someone sat in a different pew from week to week, though there’s a first time for everything, and if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen during this season.

Nursery and preschool worship will resume this Sunday and will continue to be offered so long as it is deemed safe to do so. Judith and her team will continue to use the safety protocols that they’ve used these past few weeks.

In summary, Sunday’s schedule will look much like it did June 14 and 21, apart from Sunday school classes not meeting on site.

WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE (effective July 1, 2020)

Wednesday activities will continue this week with a very minor change. This change involves our men’s group. They will meet offsite when doing a work / service / ministry project. Otherwise, our plan will be as follows…

* The nursery will be open and available for use each Wednesday.

* Preschool and children’s ministries will meet as scheduled. Contact Judith ( ) if you have questions or would like more information.

* Our students will meet in the student center in the FLC. Contact Bo ( ) if you have questions or would like more information.

* The young adult group will meet in First Cup.

* I’ll continue to lead a Bible study in the sanctuary for all other adults who would like to participate.

Please note that Wednesday evening activities begin at 6:00 PM. We believe that each group will be able to meet safely in our facilities by enabling appropriate physical distancing measures.

In all these endeavors, we encourage you to continue to care for your health, both physically and spiritually. If you don’t feel well, have been sick, etc., please remain home and take advantage of the online opportunities we will continue to provide. For those who gather on campus, please continue to be mindful of others and their health.

These decisions are born from our desire to provide you with opportunities for worship and discipleship. Though this pandemic has changed our schedules and altered our lives, the basic purpose for which we were created remains the same: to reflect the image of God in the world. The basic function of our church also remains the same: to produce disciples who follow Jesus.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Jonathan Russell

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