The Pastor’s Garage September 25th, 2020

Hi everyone,

If you have not watched the video update from this week please do so when
you get a chance. You can still find it here:

As I tried to state in that video, we are at a point where we need to up
our game as far as COVID-19 related guidelines for our gatherings. Now, I
don’t expect everyone to read through the government’s guidelines (you can
if you want!), but I would like you to take seriously our best attempt at
highlighting and simplifying the important points in those guidelines. They
are applicable for any and all gatherings in the church. They are:

– *stay six feet apart*
– *sanitize your hands*
– *stay in your seats*
– *sing with a mask*

One way we need to be doing a little better is maintaining that distance
when possible, especially at the close of the service. I really don’t want
to have a “dismissal” time but if you want to fellowship please remain in
the sanctuary. Please don’t fellowship in the foyer. Let those who need to
exit, make a clean exit.

The other thing we really have not pushed, and I’ll take responsibility for
part of that, is the wearing of masks when singing (except for whoever is
leading). When we first opened after the shutdown our numbers were very low
and there didn’t seem a need to make it a big deal. But now that our
numbers are rising (and with the potential for COVID numbers to rise in our
province) I think it’s something we need to do a better job of. Now, I know
that for some of you it’s no big deal – you’ll just wear them if you want
to sing.

For some of us though, it is a big deal. Now, we are not going to be
policing the wearing of masks. We’ll make mention of it, but we are not
going to police it. But what should you do if wearing a mask just really
bothers you? I could sit down with you and we could hash out your thoughts.
I could share with you my personal thoughts and perhaps play the devil’s
advocate with you a bit and perhaps we could come to a consensus. If you
want to talk I am open, but before you do I am going to ask that you take
it up with Lord first and ask yourself a question from 1 Corinthians 8:1
which states “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all
possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” Here’s
the question:

*Is my stance on wearing a mask something that puffs up or builds up? *

– Puffing up puts me versus another. Puffing up puts someone on a higher
plane – you are correct, they are not. Puffing up creates
hierarchy in our
community. Puffing up polarizes. Puffing up puts a strain on the
community. *Puffing
up is built on knowledge*. For those who struggle with not wearing a
mask, we often base our stance on “we know better.” How do I know that?
Well, that’s me. I have been there!
– Building up puts others before me. Building up creates and
encourages. Building up happens when I sacrifice. Building up wants the
best for others. *Building up is based on love.*

Maybe this just makes things more murky or confusing. Maybe not. At the
very least it may stir your heart and thoughts. Read the rest of 1
Corinthians 8. It sounds similar to some of the struggles we are working
through. Maybe this mask thing is a test for our hearts?

Finally, for those who are using or have used RightNow Media, I’d like to
get your feedback on how much you use it and what kind of value it is for
you. We are approaching our yearly renewal date and I think it is wise at
this time to assess any spending we are doing. Please, please let me know
if it is something of value and how much you use it. If it is of value, we
will continue to pay for it, if not, we will let it go for now.

Blessings and have a great weekend.

Pastor Dave