COVID-19 UPDATE FOR FOREST CITY FELLOWSHIP
SERVICES START JUNE 6TH
Dear FCF family, June 1, 2020
Covid-19 has certainly changed the world we live in and it has also affected the church.
If you follow social media even minimally it becomes readily apparent that the country is deeply polarized on this pandemic. Some feel that the threat of Covid-19 has been overstated and that personal liberties have been unfairly limited and want to cast off all restraint and return to business as usual. Others see or fear that Covid-19 could be catastrophic and believe that guidelines developed by experts for safety and well-being should be scrupulously followed and want to pursue a cautious approach to reopening the country. Most probably fall somewhere in between these two.
Resentment, animosity, offense and division abounds and this is finding its way into the church. Up to this point the FCF leadership has been processing this before the Lord and with each other. We are trying to hear the Lord’s heart, have compassion on people and their concerns as well as wanting to be good citizens and cooperate with our state and local authorities.
The freedom to preach Christ is not at risk and the command to meet together as a church has not been stopped. We’ve had to be creative, so we have been connecting either through phone, Zoom/social media or small “in person” activities.
With Governor Pritzker changing the restrictions to guidelines concerning houses of worship, we feel it is time to begin to reopen the church. You probably noted the word “begin”. Forest City Fellowship will open at Hallstrom this coming Saturday, June 6th, but with adjustments to start.
We must realize that the Lord is using this to refine and mature us in our relationships. As the apostle Paul writes, we need to consider one another’s convictions. We may need to change what we would like out of love for another as well as not judging someone else’s differing conviction. This is a challenge! Instead of hearing a sermon, we will be living the sermon to each other.
So, when we meet, we will maintain a level of social distancing and in our seating let's have families sit together and alternate rows. There will also be hand sanitizer available and we will increase air flow in the auditorium, etc. The wearing of masks generates a lot of opinions. While masks are optional, we would ask that you be considerate of others especially if they are wearing a mask.
There will be no children’s class but the nursery will be available. All the kids, with the exception of the nursery, will be in the service for the duration. It will be a shorter service with worship and some sharing.
If you are at higher risk or don’t feel comfortable gathering in person at this time, by all means stay at home. If anyone in your family is feeling sick or showing any symptoms of shortness of breath, fever, cough, sore throat, loss of taste or smell etc., please stay at home until everyone is healthy.
At the same time, we are working on small group gatherings to be able to process how we’ve been doing as individuals and what the Lord has been speaking to us through all of this. Church has never been about the large gathering on a Saturday night nor a small midweek meeting. It is actually a creative blend of both. As some have said, the Lord is wanting to change the expression of how we do “church” among ourselves and to the lost. In this shaking time, let us glean all that the Lord would have for us.
We need to begin somewhere and I’m sure we haven’t covered everything, so please bear with us because this seems to be a fluid work that is ever-changing.
As always, if you have questions please contact one of the elders.
Also you can go to the Forest City Fellowship's web page and listen to the previous messages from the services. There will be more updates added to the Audio page.
Go to Forestcityfellowship.net. Click on the Audio page and choose which message you like to listen to.