This letter is adapted from the one I sent out last week, with a few more details added. Please read, and
whether or not you will be able to join us in person on Sunday, please pray for our church, and that the gospel
we proclaim will go forth!
Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, wisely observed: To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose
under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1) In April and May, we were in a season of on-line worship only. In June, we
entered into a season of re-gathering, meeting outdoors for worship, in addition to our on-line presence.
Things have gone well, and so the leaders of our church – our board members, elders, and staff – have been
faithfully trying to discern stepping into the next season, re-starting indoor worship.
On Sunday, August 9 th , we will do just that, with a 9:00 am indoor worship. This worship will be in addition
to our 7:00 am outdoor one, and in addition to what many of you have been doing, which is staying at home
and participating in worship on-line. Those options will continue, and I want to state very clearly: whatever
option you choose is just fine! The important thing is to worship!
Let me say several words about the 9:00 am service:
- This service – 9:00 am – will be the one used for live-streaming. The 7:00 am outdoor service will no
longer be live-streamed.
- Enter through the south doors (the ones closest to the kitchen door). When you come in, you
immediately will see the Welcome Center to your left. Stop and get your pre-filled communion cup
and other items as needed.
- Masks will be mandatory. Please bring your own, or if you don’t own one, there will be some available
at our Welcome Center.
- Chairs will be spaced apart, but there will be groupings for couples and families.
- There will be a limited number of seats; once we get to capacity, we may need to turn people away.
This is not at all what we want, however, and if it happens, we will be working hard to get a second
indoor worship time started ASAP.
- Through the month of August, we will not have a few things you might be used to: Nursery, Sunday
School for our preschool- and elementary-age kids, or coffee service. (If you bring your own drink,
please bring it in a closed container.)
- In order for everyone to feel comfortable, we are limiting people walking “in and out” during the
service. This will be helped by the worship being less than an hour. Of course, if someone needs to
use the restroom, that’s not off limits – but please consider using it before worship begins so you don’t
need to get up. If someone needs to step out for a phone call or “smoke break,” you will need to listen
to the rest of the service outside.
- Bring your own Bible! We will not have Bibles or hymnals out for use. (Having said that, it has been
my privilege on behalf of our church to give away a number of Bibles recently to those who have asked,
and we will continue to do so!)
- Our theme this Sunday, as we continue with the series “Fruit of the Spirit,” is appropriate: PATIENCE. I
pray that you come with extravagant patience for those who are leading the worship, and with one
another. Things will look and feel odd… but let’s enjoy the blessing!
I recently received an email from Dave Drum, founder of J17 Ministries. He was discussing grieving over the
deaths of a couple of Tucson pastors, and said: “When everything else is stripped away, as this season seems
to be doing in ever-increasing degrees, Jesus’ Holy Spirit, the Comforter remains. He doesn’t need a mask, He
doesn’t social distance, and He isn’t limited to a computer screen. Come, Holy Spirit….” I think this also applies
to the grief I have (and maybe you too) over changes in our society, including changes in worship such as the
ones I’ve listed above. Hopefully many of these changes are temporary, but in any case, as we do come
together, in this particular season, the Comforter remains, and the rock of our salvation, Jesus, does not
If you are planning on coming to the 9:00 am Sunday worship: (1) we’d love to know! Please let Marjorie or
me know, by calling the church (520-682-4201) or emailing (office@MaranaDisciples.org or
pastor@MaranaDisciples.org). And, (2) we will need extra help during this time, especially if eventually we
wind up going to two indoor worship times. If you would be willing to help with set up or clean up, or in other
ways, please contact me at the email address above, or call 520-665-1545.
In Christ, Pastor Dave