Hillside Herald

Who would have thought that almost a year ago that our church would be shut down with no in-person services for almost three months. Things were canceled, plans for weddings were changed, and we lost great men of faith in our church to this virus.
Suddenly we were in unchartered territory learning to communicate via email and doing You Tube and Zoom services. Thank goodness for technology for we were able to still have some sort of services even though we couldn’t meet in person.
Fast forward almost a year later and we are now planning to go back to one morning worship service and resume our Bible School classes and Children’s Church. Along with this comes some apprehension. There will be many questions and concerns. Can I wear a mask? Do we still have to social distance? Is it safe to have everyone together?, etc. For those that aren’t comfortable having that many together we will be live streaming the service. Please know that you must do what you feel is best for you.
We will still be doing some of the things that we have been doing recently due to Covid such as: offering boxes will still be at each door and communion will still be the juice/wafer together in one package which will also be located at each door in trays. Also, the sanitation practices that were put in place will also continue to be done to keep everyone safe.
There will be many different opinions and feelings about reopening. So please, remember not everyone will feel it’s okay to be among a lot of people, some will feel they need to wear a mask and others won’t, some will shake hands and others will not, some will be hugging each other and others will prefer you don’t hug them. All of this is okay. As we move forward on resuming services please keep these things in mind and let’s respect each other’s opinions. “God wants us to grow strong in giving grace to others” Titus 3:2.

Coming Together as a Church

Paul rebuked the church at Corinth because when its members came together in one place, it was not for the better but for the worse (1Cor.11:17-18). When they came together as a church the divisions and dissentions among them became very evident. One source of division among them was related to economics for some people in the congregation had very little while others were well off. This division was not only evident, but also exacerbated when they came together to eat the Lord’s Supper. In the days of the early church, communion was often observed as part of a meal known as the love-feast. It was something like the modern-day potluck dinners we have at church. Believers brought food and drink for the feast to share with one another. At Corinth some were bringing a lot of food and drink, but were not sharing with those of more meager means. The picture Paul painted is not pretty. Those with much food and drink were feasting together while those with little or nothing were not included. Those with means were despising the church of God and shaming those who had nothing (1Co.11:22). They were coming together for the worse!
We have not come together as a whole church since March of 2020! If there is one thing people missed during this time, it was gathering together as a whole congregation. Finally, we are coming back together as a church! Let’s purpose to come together for the better, not for the worse. That which divided the Corinthians was most evident when they all came together. We are resuming our regular schedule of services (March 7): Sunday School at 10:00 followed by the morning worship service at 11:00 including Children’s Church for kids 4-8 years old. From the middle of June through February we conducted two worship services, in part because we were following the guidance regarding capacity. In going back to one service, there will be challenges. Obviously, we do not have the space to spread out as we did when there were two services. This might lead to frustration for some, and the temptation to lash out at those who may not be “keeping their distance.” So, let’s be patient and love one another through this time of adjustment. Let’s come together as a church! But let us come together for the better… not for the worse.