RCC’s Response to COVID-19

To the RCC Family,

Greetings!  I want to share with you a quick update concerning RCC’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  The church leadership met last night to pray and make key decisions regarding church services and programs for the near future.  The CDC’s strong recommendation to limit social gatherings to ten and under over the next eight weeks certainly presents challenges to faith communities like RCC.  As a church we want to be socially responsible, respecting the informed decisions of government and practicing social distancing as an expression of “love thy neighbor.”  At the same time, we also want to be spiritually vital and creative, pursing short-term, alternative expressions of worship, community, and ministry. 

With this introduction in mind, here are RCC’s updated plans and strategies for the next two months.  Please share this information with other members of the RCC community, especially those who may not be connected to social media.

For the next eight weeks (through May 10th), RCC’s worship services will be completely online.  For clarity, this means there will be no in-person Sunday AM gatherings over the next two months (including Sunday school classes).  Beginning this Sunday at 10:30 AM, we will offer a worship service through Facebook Live.  Within a couple of weeks, we also hope to offer either live streaming of our service or the option to watch a video of the service on our website.  As soon as this second online option is in place, we will make this known to the congregation.

Related, we have purchased the necessary licenses to be lawfully able to record and post online our entire worship service.  Audio podcasts of full services should be available by early next week.  We are also going to make CD copies available to those who cannot access Facebook or the church’s website.  Please communicate with us if you would like a CD mailed to you. 

All other routine, onsite church programming including 242, adult education programs, children’s ministries, and student ministries are cancelled through March.  The leadership will decide at the beginning of April if this programming hiatus will be extended for the full eight weeks.  With this in mind, we are considering possible online study and community opportunities.  We’ll share more details soon.  Additional types of smaller gatherings will be judged on a case by case basis over the next two months.  Call the church office if you have any questions. 

The church will continue to function according to the normal weekly office hours (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM).  Staff will be available if you need anything.

Beginning next week, we plan to send out through email a weekly congregational news update.  If your email has changed, please let us know.  Also, let us know if you would prefer a print version of the update mailed to you.  This weekly RCC news source will include relevant announcements, prayer needs, and a devotional study based on the current sermon series.  On that note, we plan to resume our study of Peter’s life this upcoming Sunday.

Finally, we are actively and prayerfully thinking about what ministry needs the church may be able to meet in the weeks to come.  With unease over the virus spread and the resulting economic hardships, RCC wants to be ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to our community.  One initiative is that we are providing “buddy bags” to students in the community who might be hungry. 

A second initiative is a “community cupboard” we have set up to support families in our congregation.  Located in the office hallway, various goods are being brought in to share with anyone who has need (Acts 2:44-45).  We do not want anyone in the RCC family to do without.  If you need something, please visit the “cupboard.”  If you would like to donate, please stop by.  Rather than panicking or hoarding, let’s share with one another and bear each other’s burdens.

I will close with the beautiful promise of Isaiah 40:31 – “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Greg

March 17, 2020

To the RCC Family,

Greetings!  I want to share with you a quick update concerning RCC’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  The church leadership met last night to pray and make key decisions regarding church services and programs for the near future.  The CDC’s strong recommendation to limit social gatherings to ten and under over the next eight weeks certainly presents challenges to faith communities like RCC.  As a church we want to be socially responsible, respecting the informed decisions of government and practicing social distancing as an expression of “love thy neighbor.”  At the same time, we also want to be spiritually vital and creative, pursing short-term, alternative expressions of worship, community, and ministry.

With this introduction in mind, here are RCC’s updated plans and strategies for the next two months.  Please share this information with other members of the RCC community, especially those who may not be connected to social media.

For the next eight weeks (through May 10th), RCC’s worship services will be completely online.  For clarity, this means there will be no in-person Sunday AM gatherings over the next two months (including Sunday school classes).  Beginning this Sunday at 10:30 AM, we will offer a worship service through Facebook Live.  Within a couple of weeks, we also hope to offer either live streaming of our service or the option to watch a video of the service on our website.  As soon as this second online option is in place, we will make this known to the congregation.

Related, we have purchased the necessary licenses to be lawfully able to record and post online our entire worship service.  Audio podcasts of full services should be available by early next week.  We are also going to make CD copies available to those who cannot access Facebook or the church’s website.  Please communicate with us if you would like a CD mailed to you.

All other routine, onsite church programming including 242, adult education programs, children’s ministries, and student ministries are cancelled through March.  The leadership will decide at the beginning of April if this programming hiatus will be extended for the full eight weeks.  With this in mind, we are considering possible online study and community opportunities.  We’ll share more details soon.  Additional types of smaller gatherings will be judged on a case by case basis over the next two months.  Call the church office if you have any questions.

The church will continue to function according to the normal weekly office hours (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM).  Staff will be available if you need anything.

Beginning next week, we plan to send out through email a weekly congregational news update.  If your email has changed, please let us know.  Also, let us know if you would prefer a print version of the update mailed to you.  This weekly RCC news source will include relevant announcements, prayer needs, and a devotional study based on the current sermon series.  On that note, we plan to resume our study of Peter’s life this upcoming Sunday.

Finally, we are actively and prayerfully thinking about what ministry needs the church may be able to meet in the weeks to come.  With unease over the virus spread and the resulting economic hardships, RCC wants to be ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to our community.  One initiative is that we are providing “buddy bags” to students in the community who might be hungry.

A second initiative is a “community cupboard” we have set up to support families in our congregation.  Located in the office hallway, various goods are being brought in to share with anyone who has need (Acts 2:44-45).  We do not want anyone in the RCC family to do without.  If you need something, please visit the “cupboard.”  If you would like to donate, please stop by.  Rather than panicking or hoarding, let’s share with one another and bear each other’s burdens.

I will close with the beautiful promise of Isaiah 40:31 – “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Greg

Sermon Series: Follow Me

The Life of Peter – the Beginning of Discipleship (March 8, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Getting Out of The Boat (March 22, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Watch the recording of the live broadcast of this service.
A Confession with a Cost (March 29, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Watch the recording of the live broadcast of this service.
Mountaintop Experiences…the Transformation (April 5, 2020) – Kevin Roach
Watch the recording of the live broadcast of this service.
Starting Over (March 12, 2020) – Greg Robbins
Watch the recording of the live broadcast of this service.

Church Reopening!

Greetings RCC Family,

I wanted to provide you with a brief overview of how the church will “reopen” on May 31st. We are all looking forward to gathering again as a church family. If you are older, in poor health, or have a comprised immune system, please know that we will understand and support your decision if you decide to continue worshipping from home for an additional season. Just know that you are loved and remain a vital part of our faith community.

The following plans and guidelines are designed to allow us to resume in-person services as safely and comfortably as possible. These guidelines are temporary and will be eased as state and local health indicators improve.

Beginning May 31st, worship services will be offered at 8:45 AM and 11:00 AM. Services will also be streamed to the fellowship hall to serve as an overflow area if needed. The 11:00 AM service will be streamed to Facebook Live and the church’s website. We have also been in discussion about making the service available on the radio. Let us know if you, or someone you know, would benefit from a radio broadcast.

For the near future, no other Sunday AM programming will be offered, including Sunday school, coffee fellowship, and nursery. There will be a temporary cry room available to parents.

Our aim is to make the worship experience as safe as possible. To accomplish this goal, several measures will be in place. Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple stations. Every other row of pews will be marked off to allow for social distancing. Everyone is asked to use common sense and courtesy toward others in selecting a seat. For the time being, the balcony will be closed off and the foyer area simplified. Please bring your own Bible, pen, coffee, or anything else you may need.

Continuing from the previous point, as you enter the worship area you will pick up your own “double-cupped” communion emblems. If you need help carrying your communion cups, church leaders will be available to assist you. Communion is going to be prepared by deacons wearing medical masks and gloves. Offering boxes will be mounted on the walls next to the various doors in the worship area. Facial masks will be optional for those in attendance. In between services, bathrooms, busy areas, and “high touch” surfaces will be sanitized and disinfected. Let us know if you would be willing to serve on a cleaning team.

At the end of the service, we will dismiss those in attendance by rows, beginning with the back rows. Everyone is asked to exit the building upon conclusion of the service. Please enjoy fellowship outside.

We are all anxious to assemble again as a spiritual family. These temporary plans and procedures are designed to facilitate a safe and joyous return. Though things will feel a little different for a while, the values of our church—commitment to God’s Word, loving community, transforming grace, lifelong discipleship, devoted service, and God-honoring excellence—remain the same.

As we anticipate reassembling as a family of faith, let’s keep the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 4:2-3 in mind – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Greg

Jr and Sr High Students Small groups are kicking off!

Small Groups will meet at the Big House, 6:30-7:45 PM. Jr. High will meet March 8 (2nd and 4th Sundays), and Sr. High will meet on March 15 (1st and 3rd Sundays).

 

Calling All Bakers:

Baking Ministry           There is a new sign up sheet in the café for our baking ministry. Each Sunday we would like to have 2 volunteers each bring 5-6 dozen treats to share.

 

April 12, Easter Sunday

7:00 AM ~ Sunrise Service

7:30 ~ Breakfast

9 & 10:30 AM ~ Worship Service

Please note there will be no Sunday School or Children’s Church and Children’s Wing Nursery will only be offered at 10:30 AM Service

 

Easter egg

April 11 will be our annual Easter Egg Hunt for ages Birth-5th Grade. There will be other activities planned along with the egg hunt. Mark your calendars and make sure to join the fun.

 

Friend Sunday

March 15, 2020 has been designated as “Friend Sunday”.  We encourage everyone to invite a new family, a long time neighbor, a person new to Parke County, or an old lifetime friend, to RCC this Sunday Morning. Let’s have a full house and warm welcoming smiles! There are post cards in the foyer for you to give to your guest for date and times. Please see Greg or Kevin for questions.

 

Wednesday Night

242 Everyone is welcome to join us on Wednesday nights for supper and Bible Study. There is activities for nursery, children, students, and adults.

 New 6 week Adult Electives beginning Wednesday, March 4:
    “The Character of a Man: Lessons from the Life  of  David” (Jason Thurman)
“Resurrection: I Corinthians 15 and Our Hope as Christians” (Greg Robbins)

 

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