May 14, 2020
The decision has been made to begin having outdoor on-site services beginning May 24th. From May 24th on, until further notice, we are planning to meet outside.
Here is the game-plan:
We are looking at having 1 service per week. The worship gathering will be at 9am on Sunday mornings. Due to being outside, we want to gather prior to it getting very hot out. If the Elders believe that rain might affect our Sunday Service, we will move our worship gathering to Saturday at 7pm. The call will be made by Friday evening each week and will be available on our Church website and Facebook. Again, there is only one service per week.
What does this look like? You have a couple of options in how to attend. You can come and stay in your car. We will have parking attendants who will guide you to a parking spot where you can watch and listen to the entire service from your car. We are planning to purchase an FM transmitter so that you can listen to the whole service through your radio, if you so choose (It will most likely not be available the first week). While people will be parked, we ask that only driver side windows are lowered. That provides a layer of protection for each car allowing those who might be concerned to feel comfortable and safe in their vehicle. If someone would like to get out and visit, they are more than free to do so. Our desire is that each person is able to attend and feels safe to do so if they so choose.
You also have the option of coming and sitting somewhere outside with your family. You can get some Vitamin D and worship! We continue to ask you to sit with your own family and at least 6ft. apart from other families. We are purchasing some large speakers that will be sending the worship gathering a good distance away so there will be plenty of places to sit safely and still hear the service well.
What if it rains? If it starts raining during our service, each family can return to their vehicle where the service will be broadcast over the radio.
Where will I park? There will be parking attendants who will direct you to a specific parking spot. Your spot will depend on whether you are planning to sit outside with your family or remain in your car to watch the service.
What will the service look like? Being that we are now going to be outside, we will be having a service similar to what we have done before. There will be announcements, times of prayer, singing and studying the word. The words for the songs will be emailed out to each person so that you have the option to print them or look at your phone and sing along. At this time, we will not be having bulletins or printed song sheets available.
What about offering? First, let me say thank you to each person as Mt. Vernon’s finances remain steady and healthy. You have continued to give to the Lord and we greatly thank you for that. As you leave, there will be an offering station where you can drive up to and drop your offering in a box.
Will the Church building be open? The church building will be open for restroom usage only at this point. An usher will be present at the entrance to limit the number of people in the building at one time.
How long will we be outside? At this time, it is until further notice.
Is there any Children’s Ministry (Children’s Worship, Nursery) available? At this time, we are only having a worship service. All families are asked to remain together.
IS THIS GOING TO BE AWESOME? Yes!! No question about it.
I do not feel comfortable coming out to a service yet, what should I do? We want each person to do what they feel like they need to do. We strongly encourage you to stay home if you feel that is the wisest thing for you to do. We will be uploading the service sometime Sunday afternoon so that you will be able to watch and worship with the family. It will take a bit of time to process and upload so it will not be available immediately and due to slow internet speed, we cannot livestream. It will most likely be uploaded by 5pm on Sunday. If you do not feel comfortable coming out right now, we want you to know that we love you, respect you, and support your decision.
Coming out of COVID-19 is going to be a very difficult thing for many people. Within our own congregation, there are very different feelings and concerns regarding the virus. Some are ready to hug, some are looking for 6ft of separation. We MUST love each other and respect each other through this. I truly believe that the enemy wants to use this as a way to divide the church. WE WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN AT MT. VERNON! We stand together and are going to come out of this more united than ever before. We ask that through all of this that you respect one another. If someone is in their car with their windows up, it does not mean that they don’t like or don’t want to fellowship, but at this time that is how they feel safest. We must honor and respect one another.
Bring a chair or blanket, feel free to invite others as there is more than enough space to spread out. We truly believe that is going to be a joyous time of worshiping God together!
March 20th, 2020
Mt. Vernon Family,
We hope this letter finds you well. On Monday, March 16th, our President requested that people refrain from gatherings of 10 people or more for the next 15 days in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Titus 3:1 says, “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,” We believe that we should obey our President who has requested that we not meet for 15 days in order to slow the spread of the virus. That being said, we have decided and are requesting of all ministries, that no gatherings 10 people or larger happen until March 31st. This encompasses all church ministries and services. If there are any questions, please contact Pastor Tony who will be able to explain in more detail. Another reason for the closure, is that we want to continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We believe that is part of being a good neighbor (Mat. 22:39) and a good testimony to our local community. During this time, we are watching people everywhere come together, because we are all truly in this together. We encourage you to look for opportunities to point people to Jesus during this time.
Please understand that this is a difficult decision. This is not one made lightly. We will continue to monitor this situation regularly and will send out an update following March 31st to discuss next steps. Once again, as was stated in the letter from Pastor Tony last week, this decision is not one of fear. Instead, we believe that it is made in love and wisdom. While we cannot gather in person, we will continue to gather online. Similar to what happened this past week, an email will be sent out with a YouTube link, which will include music, prayer time, and a message. It was such a joy to see the way that Mt. Vernon gathered even when not being together.
Prior to the President announcing his 15-day recommendation, the CDC also recommended that events of 50 people or more be cancelled for the next 8 weeks. That being said the following events are postponed until further notice or next year.
Easter Egg Hunt
While we would love to say that on April 5th we will gather again, we just do not know. However, it is such a joy to be able to trust in the One who does know what the future holds. God was not surprised by this. He is sovereign!
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
May we encourage one another,
March 14th, 2020
Mt. Vernon Family,
I hope you are doing well. On Thursday, you received an email from me detailing how we were going to move forward with the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing and it continues to progress. The Elders have made the decision to cancel Sunday School and the Worship Service on 3/15/2020. We would like to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. At this time we have only cancelled 3/15/2020. The Elders will be meeting on Wednesday to evaluate how this affects us as a church moving forward. We will keep you updated! There is the possibility that we will gather on 3/22/2020.
Please know we have not made this decision in fear, but instead in love and wisdom.
Let me encourage you in that we do not need to gather together on Sunday to worship together. The church is not the building, it is the people. So a plan is in place to allow us to worship together on March 15th without physically being together.
Here it is,
1. A little later today, I will send out a prayer list which you can pray through as a family tomorrow.
2. I will be recording a sermon and putting it on Facebook by 10am tomorrow morning.
3. Worship with your family, what a great opportunity to study the Word with your children and grandchildren. Take the time to invest specifically in them.
4. Sing some songs of praise and worship! Whether that is acapella or with instruments, Praise the King!
Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
Let us trust in the One who is over all,