Hello to all of all my beloved Yates Baptist friends!
I am excited to begin taking steps toward a responsible reopening of the church building for worship. Last week, our email to the church indicated that Yates would be moving indoors in anticipation of the winter cold. Our first Sunday indoors will be this Sunday, November 1.
We also know that coronavirus cases are again rising across our nation, in our state and in our community. Now, more than ever, a disciplined approach to our life together must remain a priority in order to hold in balance the deep desire we all have to be together and the pragmatic realities of the current public health needs.
As we take this next step, I want to remind you first of all that we are relying more and more on the high-quality Yates live stream (yateschurch.org/video-stream). You can always share in worship on the church web site, Facebook live, the free Yates app, or on your smart TV, Roku, Apple TV, or other streaming device. I hope that this is a way you can remain connected to the weekly worship celebration of the church.
In the month of November, we will offer an in-person opportunity at 10:30 am on Sunday mornings for a congregation of up to 25 people. We have no way of knowing how many of you are comfortable coming indoors, and we also know it’s possible that demand may exceed our supply of seats on any given Sunday. We have decided to approach this by scheduling worshipers with a view of several Sundays.
Seating assignments will be chosen by lottery after receiving feedback from the congregation. It may seem a little like reserving a table in a restaurant. Bear with us as we work through the kinks! What I’m asking is for you to take a longer view of your intentions and call the church office and inform us of your desire to be in worship across multiple Sundays in November. Of course, we cannot guarantee a seat on all your named Sundays, but this approach gives us a better chance to share the space among many interested people.
Please contact the church office by phone (919-489-2309) or by email (email@example.com) and let us know which Sundays in November you would like consideration for worship. Please note that scheduling seats for a given Sunday will be made by the Thursday afternoon prior. If the need for worship seats consistently exceeds our fixed number on Sundays, we will develop another in-person worship opportunity (and that quite possibly between Sundays).
I am excited that we are taking these next steps! I have long said that worship is the heartbeat of any church’s life, and it certainly true for Yates.
As we continue to move toward more face to face encounters indoors, I encourage you to remain connected weekly, so that whether at home or on-campus, we share the communal experiences that make Yates so special. This season will not last forever, but it will continue to demand flexibility, discipline and commitment. One thing I’ve learned pastoring you is that you have all these things – and to spare. We are in this together and I am confident that, together, we will see it through.
The Holy Spirit is at work in our together times and in our distant ones. I want to us to learn to trust God’s work even more right now. Until we meet again, may God bless you today and make you a blessing to the world.
Grace and Peace,