SIGNAL CREST UPDATE-May 17, 2020
Scriptural Basis for our Vision:
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I recognize the longing many of us feel to come together as sisters and brothers in Christ and to be able to worship together in person. I think we would all agree that virtual worship and online community is not the same as coming together in person for worship, fellowship, service, and discipleship. We have been created in the image of our God of love who exists in an eternal communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which means we have been created for relationship and community. Our hearts especially long for such deeper connection in these times.
We have seen things beginning to reopen in our community and in our nation which has led to questions related to our church’s reopening for in-person worship and activities. Currently, we are waiting for further guidance from the Holston Conference related to our reopening. I have been following what other Conferences are saying, and I expect we will receive similar guidance very soon that includes a date for reopening (the dates vary somewhat but most are still weekS away) along with guidelines and restrictions related to reopening. I have talked with our District Superintendent Randy Martin, and Randy has assured me that there is a Conference task force putting together guidelines for our churches that we will receive soon.
Instead of simply waiting idly, our Church Council has commissioned the formation of a Health and Welfare Task Force to provide guidance and to implement the guidelines and restrictions related to reopening. In addition to our Conference guidelines, we must also consider guidelines from the state of Tennessee, local officials, the CDC, etc.
While we look forward to being together in-person, an important consideration for us to keep in mind is the quality of the experience that we will be able to offer when we are given the green light to meet once again. In the early phases of reopening, it will not be “church as usual.” It will look very different from the last time we met in March. The guidelines from other Conferences and governmental sources consistently emphasize that places of worship must ensure social distancing (which means our worship spaces will be limited to no more than 50% capacity), that all attendees must wear masks (we have plans to provide these for those who don’t have their own), that there will be clearly designated entrances and exits, that there can be no childcare early on, that there will be possible limitations related to singing, etc. I mention this so that we might prepare ourselves for a different experience early on. Again, our Health and Welfare Task Force will work hard to ensure a safe return while also seeking to maintain a hospitable atmosphere with the best quality experience we can possibly provide.
Let me close with what I believe is of utmost importance. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed people were coming together to care for one another and were committed to the common good. I am saddened by divisions in our country that have become more evident over the past few weeks. As God’s church, let’s be a witness of unity to the world by remaining united in God’s love in Jesus Christ. Along these lines, let’s seek to live into our church’s CORE PASSAGE of Romans 12 which I’ve included above. We can do this by being devoted to one another in love and by seeking to honor one another above ourselves. Friends, such love and care for one another is the reason our facility is currently closed and why we will follow the guidelines we are given when we reopen in order to preserve life and ensure the well-being of all God’s children. Though we face such restrictions and challenges, we continue to live as God’s church by maintaining our spiritual fervor in serving the Lord, being faithful in prayer, and caring for those in need. With such faith we can remain joyful in hope and faithful in this time of affliction.
LOVE IN CHRIST ALWAYS,
As a community and world, we are dealing with the reality and impacts of the Corona virus. Signal Crest is committed to bringing you worship and ways to stay engaged as well as helping and praying for those in need. Below is a list of information and resources as we navigate this unprecedented time. We have no doubt God is on the throne and is working ALL things to His good. May you feel His peace and His hope at this time.
We’ll be worshiping online-only for at least the month of April. You can find us online on Facebook Sundays at 10 am.
We are sharing daily devotions via email. If you wish to be added to our email list, please email Kristy Stewart at [email protected] You may also view the daily email below.
Join us each day at noon in prayer as we pray for our community, our church, all impacted by the virus, all on the frontline such as healthcare professionals, workers providing food, etc, and all other prayer concerns.Prayer Chain
If you would like to be added to the Prayer Chain, please send a note to Kay Wallace at [email protected]
Our offices are closed to outside visitors at this time. You can still reach out to us by phone at 423-886-2330 or by email at [email protected] . You can also reach out to specific staff members. If you have a pastoral concern, please leave a message with the church office and it will be forwarded to Pastor Josh.
We encourage those with youth and elementary age children to sign up for Youth and Children emails. Youth and Children are meeting Sundays Online and Rachel and Drew can share that information with you directly.
Drew Barton, Director of Youth Ministries
Rachel Dow, Director of Children's Ministries
Rebekah Ducote is hosting a Wednesday Night Bible Study Wednesdays at 8:30 pm using Greater Than, by Francis Chan on Right Now Media. Email Rebekah for more information at [email protected]
If you do not have a Right Now Media Account, email Rebekah at [email protected]
Congregational CareMember Needs
It is the desire of the church to call on members who are in the hospital or ill at home. Members and friends of Signal Crest, knowing of such cases, are encouraged to notify the church by calling the church office at 423-886-2330 or you may contact Rev. Josh Kilbourne at 865-292-8137 or Rev. Bill Thornton at 423-580-0892. Please note, during this time, we may not be able to visit people in the hospital or other healthcare facilities based on pending practices from those providers but we will do our best to visit and call.
Freezer Meal Pantry
Signal Crest United Methodist Church has a Frozen Meals Ministry. During this time, please contact Faye Hitchcock (423-280-0091), or Bertie Strickler (804-922-1610) regarding utilizing and serving in this ministry and they can assist you with your needs.
Thank you for Continued Giving
Thank you for continuing to give. Your gifts are changing lives now more than ever. We’re still being the church even though the building is closed. You have provided food to Signal Mountain Social Services, provided firewood to the families we serve, provided bread to the Orchard Knob Food Pantry, and are checking in on our home bound community and ensuring needs are met. So many of you have contacted us to see how you can help, thank you! We’re still sharing the hope of Jesus!