Posted June 11, 2020
Greetings, Edgewood family. I miss you and can’t wait for us to gather together again in person. The words of the Apostle Paul found in 1 Thessalonians 2:17, 20 sum up my feelings toward each of you: “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face…for you are our glory and joy.”
I have some exciting news to share with you! It’s time for the Edgewood Comeback!
I don’t want to use the title, “Reopening,” because the ministry has never been closed. God has been at work in amazing ways these past months. I’m especially grateful for the pastoral team’s compassionate shepherding and creative teaching methods.
After much prayer and many meetings among our leadership, we are ready to announce we will gather again in person for our weekend services beginning June 27 and 28!
Before I share more details, I want to share five values to guide us as we move forward.
1. We will always seek to bring glory to God. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
2. We will protect the unity of the Spirit. “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
3. We will put the needs of others before our own. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
4. We will implement safety measures. “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12)
5. We will continuously seek God’s wisdom. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18)
I can remember taking long road trips with my family when I was younger. From the back of our yellow station wagon, my sisters and I would incessantly ask, “Are we there yet?” I remember my mom telling us to look out the window and enjoy the ride. That was hard to do because we were so focused on our destination.
Our challenge during this Comeback season will be for us to enjoy the journey, even before arriving at the final destination. While trips often involve detours and stops along the way, we can take comfort we’re moving forward.
While it’s thrilling to gather again, it’s important to manage your expectations because it will look and feel different, especially initially.
It won’t be normal. The parking lots won’t seem full. You might even feel a bit awkward. Some of what we’re asking you to do will be inconvenient.
Could I ask you to be gracious with us as we navigate through these first weekends?
On June 27-28, we will go back to our regular service schedule in the Worship Center…and via video feed in the Life Center at these same times – Saturdays at 5pm, Sundays at 9am and 10:45am.
According to the results of the congregation survey, over 80% of respondents indicated their willingness to attend a service with a live video feed. This reveals your servant mentality!
Our services will be shorter to allow time for sanitizing the rooms.
Due to attendance recommendations of 100 per room from numerous health agencies, we will be using a registration system to insure we have enough seats for everyone. This system will allow you to choose between gathering in the Worship Center or Life Center (gym). Our plan is to set up seating around tables in the back of the Life Center to make it easier for families. If you don’t have internet access, you can call the church office at (309) 786-7913 and register over the phone.
Registration is now open on Edgewood’s mobile app and website.
Entrances and Exits
If you register to attend a service in the Worship Center, please park near the main entrance and use these doors to enter and exit. For those gathering in the Life Center, please park near the new south entrance and use these doors to enter and exit.
In order to optimize our capacity and maintain adequate social distance, our ushers will direct you to your seat. They will also dismiss you row by row, for a safe and immediate exit. We request you not to linger in the building afterwards, but feel free to talk with people in the parking lot following the services.
We will not have printed connection cards, sermon notes or bulletins. You are encouraged to access these on our mobile app.
We will be following reasonable health and safety measures. If you have a fever or a cough, or other risk factors, please stay home. We will have hand sanitizer available throughout the facility and will be practicing social distancing. We ask for you to refrain from shaking hands or hugging people.
Face Masks Encouraged
As a way to serve others, we encourage everyone to wear face masks, especially when coming into and leaving the worship services. We will have face masks available free of charge. All volunteers and staff, with the exception of those on the platform will be wearing masks. The worship team size will be smaller and will be further back on the platform as will the preacher.
Children are always welcome in the service but especially when we come back together, as we will not have nursery or children’s ministry right away. Sitting at tables in the Life Center may be a good option for you if you have young children. Parents will need to keep children close by and not allow them to wander.
The Family Room will be available for parents who need to attend to the needs of infants.
Student and Adult Growth Groups
These groups will not be meeting on Sundays at this time but hope to have them meeting soon.
The Café will not be open at this time.
The best way to give during this season is digitally through our website or app. If you prefer to not give digitally, you can mail your offering to the church or you can use the offering boxes available in both the main and south lobbies.
If you’re not ready to return for in-person services, that’s totally understandable. Our worship services will be available at 8:00 am on COZI TV (6.3, Mediacom 106) through August. You can still access our services on demand through our website and mobile app.
We will begin meeting in person on June 27-28 and you will need to register for the service you plan to attend. We encourage you to wear face masks when you come.
Are we there yet? Not quite. But I’m so glad we’re on the journey together!
May God be with you until we meet again.