I trust that the audio and video recordings that many of you have been receiving have been helpful. After the April Newsletter went out, I received several requests from people to be added to the email list. I felt like there was more response to that one newsletter than any newsletter that has gone out during the 15 years I’ve served the church as pastor. I know recordings are not the best way to communicate, but it is better than printed word or getting nothing at all. I have learned that this needs to continue once we are back together. There are people who have been connected to our church that have not been in the building in a good while and frankly, some have never even been to Richmond. For those of you who cannot get to the building at 2010 Carlisle Avenue on a regular basis, you have told me this is an important way for you to stay in touch. I also know that some of our members have been good about calling others that they know cannot listen because they do not have internet. This has been a real blessing to those people. Thank you for all that you do to connect with people during this time of physical distancing.
Allow me to explain why a couple of things missing from the videos. There is no music because, in order to stream music, you need a special license to do that. The license we have to copy or project music will not suffice for streaming. Because we do not know how long we are going to be away from the church, it did not seem to be wise to make that investment. Many of you on computers can stream music from multiple sources. I have not included others in the videos simply for simplicity purposes. To include others from other locations takes cutting and pasting, in other words, production people. There are probably those who would have helped, but that takes coordination and time. It has just been easier for me to do the video all at once.
You may be wondering why we cannot meet when other places can have groups. I encourage you to go the website for the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty www.bjconline.org and read some of their articles or listen to their podcasts. They will explain some of the legal differences between shopping and gathering for worship. Again, I will listen to our government and health leaders as I give counsel to our church leaders about when we can physically gather and what that needs to look like. In all likelihood, worship will come first. We will probably have to learn how to do Bible Study while doing physical distancing. The same is true for meals. Just as restaurants will have to make changes to their dining rooms and even the way meals are prepared and delivered, so will churches. Those things will take more time than entering the sanctuary for worship. We did that pretty well the last time we met.
Finally, May 10 is Mother’s Day. For many celebrating that day is going to be very different this year. I want to wish all of our Mother’s a happy Mother’s day, but I also want to encourage children and grandchildren to keep these women safe. Continue to maintain physical distancing so that you do not cause your mother/grandmother to become sick. Remember that for now, the keywords continue to be Stay home… Stay safe.