Pastor’s Friday Comments (09.11.20)

The life and spirit of the Parkway family have always been characterized by our joy in spending time with one another. Obviously, that level of connection has been absent for the past six months and I’m sure all of us have missed it greatly. Although your attendance at the Midweek Prayer Service via Zoom has been outstanding, and most of you have utilized the interactive worship material and have participated in Sunday School, none of those things are adequate substitutes for our ability to meet face-to-face.

The staff, with the approval of the Church Council, has developed a plan where we can remedy that situation on a trial basis. For the month of October we will be holding outdoor, socially distanced worship services at 10 a.m. each Sunday, weather permitting. Full details of the precautions all of us will have to take in order to make this work will be in next Tuesday’s weekly email.

Because we know some people in high risk categories and others may not feel comfortable or able to participate in these services, we will continue to email interactive worship material each Friday during that month. Near the end of October we will evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, based primarily on the level of attendance, and make adjustments accordingly.

I trust that everyone will understand the limitations on gatherings like these that are unavoidable while COVID-19 is still a deadly force in our community. The service will last no longer than forty-five minutes. There will be no congregational singing and no physical contact with anyone outside of your own family. (This may be the most difficult restriction of all.) I’m simply saying that we all need to be prepared for these services not to have the “feel” of the worship to which we are accustomed. They do, however, give us a chance to see one another.

After you have taken part in one or more of these services, I will be very interested in your feedback. Did you find them preferable to worshipping at home with our interactive material?

Is there anything we could suggest adding or changing that would improve the experience, while maintaining rigid safety precautions? If we only offered one option (in-person socially distanced or virtual) which would you prefer? 

Since this time conflicts with our adult Sunday School Zoom meetings, each class will have to decide if and when to meet during this trial period. I’ve written to all of our teachers about this and I’m hopeful that all of the classes will be able to find a time to meet.

If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. The one wild card is the weather. Pray for sunny skies and mild temperatures, but if some week we can’t meet, please remember – I’m in sales, not in management.