Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

This week marks the second anniversary that Daniela and I have been with you.  I began serving as your pastor July 1, 2018.  It hardly seems possible that two years have already flown by!  I want to thank you for the privilege of being your pastor.  It is an honor to serve IBCZ, and I look forward to seeing how God works among us and through us as we continue to minister together for His kingdom and His glory. 

Last Sunday we examined the fourth of the Ten Commandments: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  As we saw, the word “holy” means “to be set apart,” especially for the purposes of God.  As Christians, we observe the Sabbath on Sunday.  This is a day set apart from other days for the purpose of both physical refreshment and spiritual renewal, and so should be seen as a gift from God.

Of course, for the past four months we have not been able to meet together on Sundays for our corporate worship, but we will resume that this Sunday, July 5.  I know we have all been eagerly looking forward to this; certainly I have!  It will be wonderful to see you again, and join with you in worshiping our Lord and celebrating His great love for us.

While for some, this is still too early to begin meeting again with a large group of people, for those of you who will be joining us, I want to remind you that for the present time, our worship services will be a little different than what we are used to.  Our Elders and Deacons came up with a list of guidelines for our worship services, which went out in the newsletter two weeks ago.  For your convenience, you can refer to them below.  I look forward to seeing you – whether this Sunday or at a later time.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

Guidelines for Worship Services

  1. When you arrive, a greeter will be at the door (which will remain open unless weather prohibits).  Each person or family will be asked for contact information, as required by the Federal Government.  (This information will be destroyed after two weeks.)  Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry should you want to use it.  Please go straight into the sanctuary to find your seat.
  2. Social Distancing – We ask that appropriate social distancing be maintained at all times.  In the sanctuary, please be sure to leave adequate space between you/your family and those near year.  This means that we will want to make use of the entire sanctuary.
  3. Masks – We recommend that everyone wears a mask, although that is not required.  Please bring you own mask.  Should you forget, we will have some available at the entrance.
  4. Singing – For the time being, we will not be able to engage in congregational singing.  However, we will still include music in our worship.  The worship team will provide the music.  The words will be on the screen so everyone can worshipfully reflect on the words as they are sung.  You may hum along if you wish.  The congregation will remain seated for the entire service.
  5. The Bibles and Hymnals will be removed from the pews for now.
  6. Offering – For those who give their offering in the form of cash, at the end of the service ushers will be posted at the exit with offering baskets so you can give as you leave.  The offering will not be collected during the service.  Of course, you can give electronically either through bank transfer, PayPal, or in the near future via TWINT.
  7. Children – Sunday School will resume August 16.  Until then, children will remain in the sanctuary.  (For parents of small children, it would be good if you could bring something that will quietly occupy your children, such as a coloring book and colors, a book to read if they are able, etc.)
  8. Communion – We will continue to offer Communion on the second Sunday of each month.  However, we will not pass the trays as usual.  The bread and cup will be available on a table at the entrance when you arrive on those Sundays, which you can take with you to your seat.  Each piece of bread will be on a small napkin so there will be no touching of other pieces.
  9. Taxi – We will continue to offer taxi service before and after the service as usual.  We ask that everyone riding in the taxi wear a mask.
  10. At the conclusion of the service, please leave the sanctuary allowing appropriate distance.  For now, there will be no refreshments following the service.  Please go directly outside.  If the weather is nice, we invite all who wish to stay and visit outside to do so, again allowing appropriate distance.
  11. Until it is appropriate to do so, we ask that there be no hugging, shaking of hands, etc.
  12. If the weather is cool, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket as we will keep the doors open as much as possible.
  13. The pew cushions will not be available at this time, so if you prefer to sit on a cushion, please bring one from home.

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