On August 17 our pastoral staff met with our lay leadership council to discuss the post-Covid church. We are hopeful those days are not too far away. As we reimagined the post-Covid church, we evaluated and recommitted ourselves to Vision 2025, which the church adopted back in January. We believe that it states Jesus’ plan for HBC:
To become a family of churches who are sending transformed people to make Jesus known across the street and around the world.
The post-Covid church will be different from the pre-Covid church. We will continue many of the practices that were started these past six months. We will make use of technology. We will enhance our partnerships with other churches as we make Jesus known. And we will lead church members to become disciple-making disciples.
As we slowly return to some sense of normal, we want to focus on three areas: Gather. Grow. Go.
Gathering for corporate worship is the single most important thing that we do as a church. That’s why we never stopped worshiping together, even when we were “quarantined” at home. That’s why in-person worship was the first thing we added back to our calendar back in June. And it is why gathered worship is where we are focusing most of our energy as we move towards normal.
During August we modified our Gathered Worship Protocol and began standing while singing. Starting the first Sunday of September we will give worship attenders the choice to remove their face coverings during the preaching portion of the service. We will reserve the back half of the worship center for those who wish to wear their masks for the entire service and be around others who are doing the same. Everyone will continue to wear face coverings during the other portions of the service. Sometime during the month of September we anticipate adding a limited number of choir members in the loft.
The second purpose of the church is to make disciples who make disciples. We grow in groups. Throughout the pandemic many of our groups have continued to meet online. We are now allowing groups to meet in the Church Parlor. Requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to monthly gatherings of our Sunday School classes. Events have a two hour limit and must begin between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Contact the Administration office or complete the online Request Meeting Space form to request a reservation.
We anticipate resuming Sunday School on a limited basis in October! We will meet with our Sunday School teachers in the next week or so to determine who is willing to teach. We will follow our Covid Protocol including social distancing and wearing masks. Stay tuned for more details.
Being salt and light is the third purpose of the church. And I am so proud of our church for continuing to serve even during the pandemic. In our August Family Meeting, Linda Johnson reported that We Sew Love delivered its eighteen thousandth mask since March! That’s amazing! And so many of our members have gotten involved in serving this way. Back in May we collected 2020 pounds of food for the Christian Service Mission.
Beginning September 8th we have another opportunity to make Jesus known across the street. Working with Kingdom Family, we will provide Remote Education Support for up to 40 children in grades K-8. As you may know, the Birmingham City Schools will begin the school year completely online. Many of these children do not have sufficient internet access or parental supervision during. We are hiring teacher aids to manage and monitor the classrooms, but we also need volunteers. If you are willing and able to serve an hour or two a week, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am excited about what God is doing at Huffman Baptist Church!