Ministry in the Parking Lot: I have always viewed our parking lot at New Horizons as a great asset and that was certainly illustrated last Sunday May 31 (Pentecost). In the morning, our Friendship Class met outside for their first “in person” session since March, and they plan on meeting again on June 7.
From 12 – 2, we had a variety of activities including Brianna Allen’s high school graduation party, an opportunity to receive a mask to wear to protect others from the coronavirus, the giving away of geraniums to plant as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, plus the chance to make a food offering for the Free Store at Camp Christian.
And the real bonus of the day was being able to interact (in a socially distant and safe manner) with people most of us had not seen in person in months. It was wonderful.
The response to all of these events was fantastic. The Friendship Class has 17 people in the morning, a trunk full of food was donated, many masks and flowers were distributed, and I counted over 50 church people who I knew in attendance in the afternoon (plus others who were there for Brianna’s party). And I know that many had watched online worship before they came because that was when the food drive had been announced.
In other words on Pentecost Sunday, we had online worship, in person learning and fellowship, plus hands-on mission. It was the church in spirit and in the flesh. All without being in our building. It was a great lesson for us as we continue to learn new ways to be the church.
And next Sunday, the Lord’s Workers class will meet at 11:30AM at the church. So we are phasing in our in person small groups.
No Bible Study this week (June 3) Pastor Jim will be out of town and away from a reliable Internet or Cell Phone signal.
Sunday June 7 Ali Miguel will be preaching on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 and our ministry of reconciliation. As always, this will be available on our YouTube channel at 9AM.
Sunday June 14 Our Summer Worship Theme Begins: “A Camp Christian Summer: You can’t go to Camp but Camp can come to you.”
Also on June 14, our Sisters in Christ will gather from 5-7 in the backyard of Holly and Jim’s house (86 W. Case Dr., Hudson, Ohio). This is a BYOE event – “Bring your own everything – chair, beverage, food, and whatever else you need.”
Drive in Worship “Grads and Dads.” Sunday June 21 at 10:45AM. There was a lot about this in last week’s blog and there will be more in the future. You are invited to participate in whatever way you feel safe. Online worship will still be offered. We will begin a food drive that Sunday to fill our blessing box and supply our food pantry.
A Message from Dt. Timothy James, a friend of mine, and an Associate General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):
Pentecost Sunday – This will be an exciting weekend at New Horizons Christian Church. As always, our worship service will be available at 9am on our YouTube channel. The message this week will be an adapted drama called “It’s the Spirit.” No expenses have been spared in terms of costumes and props. In other words, there may be a hat or two plus a table and two chairs. That’s what our production budget could afford.
And at Noon on Sunday Drive into the church parking lot for Brianna Allen’s graduation event. Wish her the best as she makes plans to attend Ashland University in the fall.
As you drive in, pick up a geranium to take home and plant as a symbol of the new life that the Holy Spirit brings us. Do you need a mask (or an extra one to wear between washings)? Karen Burridge will be making three sizes available – Adult, Tweens, and Child Size.
We hope to see many of you in person (or in cars) on Sunday from Noon to 2.. It will be fun.
Reopening Survey Thanks so much to all who have submitted responses to last week’s survey. As of a few days ago, we had about 50, and I know that a few more are coming in. Your thoughts and views have been very helpful to the Reopening Team, the Worship Team, as well as to the Elders. We are adapting our thinking and planning based on your responses.
Plans for Worship
- We will be having our Grads and Dads celebration outside in our parking lot on June 21 at 10:45AM. We have learned that outside is much safer than inside.
- At this point, we are leaning away from having a tent and are encouraging attendees to either stay in their cars or sit in chairs (that you will bring).
- Our parking lot is big enough for everyone to attend and to practice social distancing.
- If you can bring your own communion, that would be great, but individual communion servings will be available.
- If you will be outside your car, masks are highly encouraged to protect others.
- The building will not be open except for the restrooms.
- If you are not sure if you want to attend, but you want to drive by and check it out, please do.
- Weather – if there is a downpour, our worship leaders will take the service inside and record it to put on YouTube later in the day. Our plan is to have our AM transmitter up and running so you can listen to it on your car radio. We will keep you updated as we get closer.
- Our goal is to learn from June 21, make improvements, then offer some more outside services in the summer. But we are starting with June 21.
- Regardless of how often we may have in “in person” or “in car” worship, we will continue to offer an online version of worship.
Mission Emphasis We are gearing up to fill our soon to arrive blessing box and to restock our food pantry. Please bring non-perishable food items on the 21st or any other time as well. There is someone at the church every day. Just call ahead.
Some of our small groups are making plans to meet in person in the parking lot.
Ali has set up a “NHCC Women’s Group” Facebook page.
Elders will meet Tuesday night June 2 by Zoom.
No Bible Study on June 3 since Pastor Jim will be out of town that night.
Memorial Day Weekend: As we head into the unofficial start of summer, I am guessing that most of us will have a low-key weekend, but hopefully it will include time with family and those closest to you.
I also hope that your weekend will include worshipping with the New Horizons Christian Church through our YouTube channel. This week’s sermon: “Just a Roll of the Dice,” Acts 1:12-26. We will be picking up where we left off last week when we talked about the Ascension. The service is available beginning at 9AM on Sunday.
Faithful Giving: I continue to be encouraged by the number of those who tune in for online worship as well as the abundance of financial gifts that you are sharing with the church. The past two weeks have yielded the highest offerings of the 2020. I am humbled by your commitment, your faith, and your generosity.
As we plan for a return of “in person” activities as a church such as small groups and worship, we can prioritize the safety of our members and act out of a sense of faith rather than rushing back too soon because we feel like we are in a weak financial position that needs to be shored up. Your financial gifts are helping us make decisions from a position of faith not fear. Thank you.
Survey:Most of you have received an email asking for your input about the church and our plans to reopen. Thank you to Ali Miguel for putting it together. Please take a few minutes and fill it out. We value you and your viewpoints. We are also mailing out the survey to those who do not have email. Here is a link to the survey:
Dads and Grads: Though we are still working out the details. our first “in person” worship event will be June 21. Since it is Father’s Day we will be recognizing men as well as lifting up our graduates. The service will be held outside in our parking lot. We plan on having a tent, but we realize that some will feel comfortable under the tent while others will not. So we are encouraging people to bring their own chairs and to place then as near to the tent as they wish. Others may want to attend but would rather stay in their cars. That’s fine as well. We have bought an AM transmitter and you should be able to pick up the sound through your car radio.
We are also planning a mission component to worship that day. Stay tuned for details.
Will everything be perfect at that service? Unlikely. But our goal is that it is a safe environment for everyone.
Our “Reopening Team” will meet on Tuesday night May 26 to continue to learn and to plan the best way forward for our church.
Our online worship will continue to be offered every weekend even when we have “in person” worship.
Bible Study: Meets on Wednesday nights at 7PM by Zoom. Contact Pastor Jim if you want to join.
Pentecost Sunday: May 31. Stop by the church from 12-2 to help Brianna Allen celebrate her graduation from high school and also receive a geranium as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Have You Been Contacted? Our Elders have attempted to contact each member of their flocks more than once throughout the past few months either by phone call or email or cards. If they have missed you, please let the church office know so that we can make sure that we stay in touch with you. These are challenging times and we want to know how you are doing.
Welcome Ali Miguel: Ali Miguel was introduced last weekend during worship as our new part-time Co-Pastor to serve alongside Pastor Jim who will assume the role of Lead Pastor. Ali who served this past year as Youth Pastor at First Christian Church of Wadsworth is well-known to the New Horizons Christian Church community having previously been an intern at our church. Ali was the top choice of our search team comprised of Valdene Barbuto, Chris Bean, Adam Seger, Helen Stager, and Glenn Warner. The position was advertised through the Ohio Region’s website, our church website, and also at area seminaries. Though Ali technically does not begin her work with us until July 1, she has already been assisting our church in a number of ways including serving on our Reopening Task Force, providing worship leadership, and helping us with our social media efforts.
In order to make it financially possible for Ali to join our staff, Pastor Jim is accessing his retirement accounts early to free up funds to pay for Ali’s compensation. This new arrangement is projected to save the church thousands of dollars. Both Jim and Ali will technically be part-time though the church will realize more than a full-time position between them. This new co-pastor position is a one-year appointment.
Reopening Task Force: Our Reopening Task Force had it’s first Zoom meeting this week. Previous to this meeting, the group studied a number of documents dealing with steps necessary to open up our church safely, how the coronavirus is spread, etc. Links to some of these materials have been provided on our Facebook group. Our #1 goal is the safety of our members and visitors. We are moving ahead carefully. Our Elders will be looking at the Task Force recommendations at their meeting next week. We will be sharing updates with you in next week’s blog.
You will be receiving a survey soon so that you can let us know how you are doing as well as your thoughts and needs concerning reopening.
Communion Pictures: Thanks for all the pictures you submitted showing us how you are celebrating communion during our virtual worship experiences.
Pentecost/Fathers Day/Graduation Sunday: Next week you will be receiving updates about upcoming event for Pentecost, Fathers Day, and a special time to honor our graduates.
Sunday May 17: We continue our series on the early church and how our challenges today are similar to theirs. This week: The Ascension, Acts 1:1-11. The worship service will be available on our YouTube channel on Sunday at 9AM.