The Healing Our Hearts Need
Dear Spry Family,
These days there are so many things pulling us apart. There's a lot of uncertainty and fear. There's a lot of frustration. There's a lot of rage. At the same time, there is the healing power and love of Jesus for all of us. The theme of our worship this weekend is healing. That's what our hurting world needs. It's what our hearts need - healing. You likely have family or friends who would benefit from this message of hope and peace in the midst of the challenges before us. Please reach out and invite them to worship with us, either online or in person.
Remember to Vote
With less than a week until the conclusion of one of the most contentious election seasons in recent years, we are called to love our neighbors - even when we don't share the same political views. John Wesley, who founded Methodism and sought to heal a deep division within the church, spoke these words: "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?"
Please remember to exercise your civic duty by voting. What a privilege it is for us to live in a country where we can vote - many millions of people around the world can't do that. Please also remember that we are called to listen and that we should always seek to be the voice of love in our community and our country.
Returning to Indoor Worship at School St.
Indoor worship resumes November 1 at our School St. Campus with the same schedule as before: traditional worship at 9am in the Sanctuary, and contemporary worship at 9:45 and 11am in Fellowship Hall. There will be a modified Children's Church experience (though kids are also welcome to remain with their parents or grandparents in worship) and Nursery for each service. To help keep everyone safe, masks are required, physical distancing will be observed, and cleaning will take place before and after each service. It's important that we follow these protocols so that we can continue to gather in person indoors.
In putting together a plan, we have consulted local medical and public health experts as well as other church and community leaders. All this work has been guided by prayer and discernment, and a desire to honor God and serve our community well. We recognize there are different comfort levels about the idea of gathering in person at this time, as well as different opinions about details. We respect those differences and are committed to being the church together. Our focus is, and will continue to be, on Jesus. These are trying times, but God is with us. Thank you, Spry, for your love and faithfulness. It's such an honor to serve the Lord with you!
Thank You for Completing our Survey
Thanks to all who filled out our survey about returning to indoor worship. We shared the link in my email update each of the last 2 weeks, and we'll include it once more below in case you haven't yet completed it and would like to do so. The results are helpful as we plan for next steps. 68.5% of respondents indicated that they plan to worship with us in person once we return to indoor worship at our School St. Campus on November 1. In case you are interested, here is the breakdown of responses to this question: "Given your current understanding, when do you predict you might feel comfortable attending indoor worship?"
-immediately (for a survey released Oct 15): 45.9%
-November 2020: 21.6%
-December 2020: 8.1%
-January 2021: 3.6%
-February 2021: .9%
-March 2021: 2.7%
-April 2021: 4.5%
-May 2021: 2.7%
-summer 2021: 6.3%
-fall 2021: 2.7%
-longer than 1 year from now: .9%
We appreciate the honest responses and recognize that things may change as the situation changes. These results give us a snapshot of what people in our church are thinking at this point.
Please be assured that discussions are ongoing regarding both campuses, including a plan for building on what has already begun at the Pine Grove Campus with the weekly Pastor's Bible Study (each Thursday at 10am in the PG narthex right by the main doors, with distanced seating), weekly youth events (every Wednesday night from 6:30-8:30), monthly Community Meals (the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30), and worship gatherings including the recently announced Christmas Eve Service at 3pm on December 24...only 8 weeks away! We expect to be able to share more information within the next 3-4 weeks. As we navigate circumstances that are complex and continuously evolving, we are seeking to act wisely and follow where we believe God is leading us. Thank you for your patience, grace, and understanding - and above all for your prayers.
Time to Fall Back!
On Sunday morning, daylight savings time ends. It's time to fall back. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep!
I hope you will invite others to join us to worship and in remembering to love our neighbors as Jesus commands us. Celebrate the good news of Jesus with us this weekend and hear what God is saying to you today!
In God's love,
P.S. Here is the link to our Return to Indoor Worship Survey. If you haven't yet done so, please take the survey by clicking this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZZjbbeXPRSvd2JecesCe0g5m2Y73w9v1RHeRTAwO_dgpYzw/viewform?usp=sf_link. Your responses will help us as we prepare for next steps.