Pastor's Page 

July/August 2020

Greetings my Brothers and Sisters and friends!!!

 

Well we have certainly learned that we cannot know what tomorrow will bring, and yet we know that our unchanging, loving, gracious and all powerful God is still in charge and His promise for you is still and always will be yours. And so still. The life of the church goes on.

 

New Technology—Perhaps you have caught us on Facebook Live and tuned in with us at 11:00 on Sundays, or perhaps you have caught the post later in the day. Technology has been a good friend to us in these days of distancing and isolation but it has been a difficult friend to come to know. But like a lot of people, once you get to know them you love them dearly! Look for an email soon with instructions on how to find our videos on YouTube. Our services are also now being recorded, and so for our families without computer access, we can burn them onto a DVD for your use at home.

 

Check out My Monday Morning Musings at 10:00 am on Mondays. It started out as a way to recap Sunday’s Sermon when we were having transmission difficulty, but now we are in the habit of making it a new tradition.

 

Did you notice the Organ Music? This too is the advantage of new technologies in our church. 100% Digital access to all our hymns and liturgies through our upgraded use licensing for print and for streaming. Our Contemporary Service is also using Digital Music with accompanying Videos as our Praise Team will not be able to meet and play for some time yet. We did obtain a CCLI Streaming License, however it was our choice to stream the Traditional Service at 11:00.

 

Now that we are in Phase Three, we are no longer using Zoom for our board meetings, choosing instead to meet in the Martin Luther Room, in accordance with Covid Guidelines. However we continue to Zoom in attendess to our Sunday Morning Bible Study on Ezekiel and our Wednesday Bible Study on Genesis. Live attendance is offered, and the class is growing once again. Both classes will be taking place in the sanctuary now, to accommodate the larger groups. If you would like to access the studies online, email me at pastorbillbaker@aol.com for an invite. You will need to register for these and use a meeting ID and password.

 

Our new multi-media sanctuary upgrades are complete and they allow for so much for us to be able to do. We do continue to adjust and fine-tune as we go, and improve as we see fit. Looking forward to when we can come back fully and allow you all to enjoy what you have done.

 

Covid Changes—I’m reluctant to post much here about the current requirements for us due to the Covid 19 virus, as things change so often, but a few basics are worth noting…

 

Our doors are open. We have limited seating areas, but we can easily accommodate our usual pre-pandemic worship numbers. We continue to stream and record our service for those of you still at risk and/or concerned. Many of you are probably getting used to joining church in you jammies and slippers with a cup of coffee in your hand. Please know that of you chose to come to church that way, you would be welcomed. Coffee is ready in the foyer before the first service!!!

 

Masks are required, however we can sing and respond to the litany enthusiastically. Distancing is still the practice of the day.

 

Communion is still offered in the prepackaged and sanitized individual containers. We will return to our traditional practices when it is safe to do so. Continued Page 9 9 Pastor’s Page Continued (From page 8) If you have seen our worship services online, you may have noticed that we are not streaming the Service of the Sacrament, even though we are sharing that each Sunday. It is our faith and Practice that Online communion is not a Biblically acceptable practice, and it seemed a little unfair to broadcast what can not be joined. Starting in July, we will be returning to our normal schedule of first and third Sundays having communion at first service, and second and fourth Sundays having communion at second service. This new schedule will be broadcast in it’s fullness beginning July 12th.

 

New Church Secretary—We have contacted all our previous applicants and because of the amount of time that has passed, we are advertising anew for our church secretary position. Days and hours are somewhat flexible, but it stands now at Wed—Fri for 4-to-5 hours each day. Much more in the beginning as needed to learn stuff, and get used to things around here. The hardest part of the job is putting up with me. Skills are important, but a kind heart and a willingness and ability to learn goes a long way. People Skill a must. Need not be a member of Mount Olive. Spread the word.  But do it soon!

 

Events at Mount Olive—

 

We just held a moving Flag Retirement Ceremony at Mount Olive on June 14th,Flag Day. It was well received, and so the we have decided to make it an annual event. Each Memorial Day Weekend, between services, we will have the retirement, and invite our local active and veteran servicemen and women. The ashes will then be gathered up on the altar for Flag Day and then properly interred on the church grounds.

 

Usher Training was tentatively re-scheduled for July 12th, but we aren’t going to make it. Our backup is August 9th and will be held between services to make it easier on everyone. Bible Study will still be held as usual, so you will have to choose. With all the sanctuary uprades, the new checklists are going to be important. If you are or are thinking of becoming an usher, please make arrangements to join us. If Covid does not allow, we will push back and reschedule, but we need to be thinking about dates for all our events.

 

Speaking of Dates, I implore all ministry teams to begin work on re-establishing dates for your events and activities to reconvene. Please shoot me an email at pastorbillbaker@aol.com or call the office with dates and descriptions. With that in mind, I have some dates to share with you now…

 

Rally Day—September 13th in conjunction with our 93rd anniversary of proclaiming Christ in Shelton. One service with a Bruncheon afterwards. Rally Day is the traditional celebration and gathering for Sunday School. We hope to return to our Sunday School for all ages at that time.

 

Ladies Tea—We missed out on Mother’s Day so we are rescheduling for December 5th at 1:00 pm.

 

Reformation Sunday—Brats served on the 25th of October in the fellowship hall following our SINGLE

REFORMATION SERVICE at 10:00 am.

 

Men’s Bible Study—I’m making an executive decision and saying we will resume Saturday September 12th with Breakfast.

 

Stephen Ministry—Training will begin in the Fall. If you are formerly a Stephen Minister, or interested in becoming one, please let me know. Stewardship—I want to personally thank everyone for their continued financial support during this Pandemic. We have been able to continue our ministry in Shelton and our mission of Proclaiming Christ. The Elders will begin in January to take a look at the mid-year financials and making suggestions for adjustments and changes for the remainder of this year and for next year as well.

 

Blessings and Peace, Pastor Bill

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Followers of Jesus Christ, who love, grow, and serve in His name.

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