Update on Resuming “In-Person” Gatherings

We will NOT be meeting “in-person” at St. Andrew’s this Lord’s Day, May 10, 2020, but will continue to meet this Lord’s Day, as we have, via Facebook Live at 10:30 am.   

Our Session will meet Tuesday, May 12, to review our plans and procedures for resuming in-person gatherings, both for worship and for smaller groups, such as Bible study.  Please pray for your elders as we meet.

We will consider what must happen before we reopen: what our procedures will need to be implemented for social distancing, and what aspects of worship will be affected by contact precautions.  St. Andrews has also given us some guidance and requirements regarding the use of the facility that we will need to honor.

Furthermore, we are also working to be technically ready to continue live streaming for those who need to be more cautious about returning. 

This past Monday, May 4, Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson released “guidance” regarding the resumption of “in-person” gatherings for Houses of Worship and other large venues.  This guidance encourages churches resuming “in-person” gatherings, to practice some measure of social distancing.  Here is a link to the Governor’s recommendations.

It is important to note, as did the Governor, that this is just guidance.  While we are not bound by it, it is reasonable guidance and will not be considered lightly.  

Our move to on-line worship was not required by or in response to any directive from our civil magistrates.  We, as a Session, elected to do this out of Christian prudence and  a responsibility to properly care for one another.  (See citation from the ARP Directory of Public Worship below)   We will seek to continue to respond in a way that provides the best spiritual and physical care of our congregation.

If you have questions, concerns or comments, please speak to me or one of the elders as we prepare to meet next Tuesday. We are thankful for God’s favor to provide for and protect our congregation during this time.  We pray for wisdom as we continue to grow in His grace together.

In Christ, Pastor Wheeler

Certain matters or circumstances concerning worship have not been fixed by a definite rule in the Holy Scriptures, such as the order of worship which is to be followed, the appointed time or place for the gathering of God’s people…. In such matters or circumstances, the church must be guided by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.  The service of worship shall be under the authority of the minister and the session.  

ARP Directory for Public Worship, II.3, 5.