Greetings to you, Bath Church Family, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
This month begins the Lenten Season for us. It often sneaks up following Advent and Christmas. Now, we again are in a period of waiting and watching and preparing. Preparing for those traumatic days of Holy Week with Christ's betrayal and crucifixion. Then, drastically, we are swept away with the joy and praise of Easter morning! It can be a season of faithful whiplash! It's a good time to ask questions, to put it all out there, to bring to God anything that has become a stumbling block to our faith. Bring the "whys" that are weighing on our hearts to our lips and lift them in prayer.
I have been asked several "whys" lately by many of you, and I figure if some are asking, there are many others who are not asking but would like to know.
#1- Why do we do home communion? - Communion is a sacrament of the church, and for we Presbyterians that means it is a time to celebrate our Christian community as well as be united with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. For those in our community who are not able to fellowship with us in communion during Sunday morning worship, it is still important to keep connected to the church body. So, I and an Elder bring the actual Elements that were used during Sunday worship as well as the bulletin and essentially reenact the service of Holy Communion in a person's home. We are a connectional denomination, Home Communion is all about fostering those connections and ensuring that we all stay united in the Spirit even if illness, injury, weather, etc keeps us from connecting on a Sunday morning. Home Communion, is NOT last rites. Home Communion is NOT charity. Home Communion is NOT a bother. It is an extension of the joyful feast of the people of God...to go!
#2- Why did Session decide to re-key the church? Safety. As Session wrestled with the reality of church shootings nation-wide, items going missing from the church, wi-fi usage going over our monthly budget, unknown persons entering the church upstairs while an event was going on downstairs and the inability to give our insurance a list of who had keys to the church because we had no idea. This was not an easy decision. We did not want weapons on the premises, we did not want to keep guards at the door during church events guarding who comes and goes. This is God's church and should be welcoming and available to all, yet we need to ensure we are not being naive in our safety due to the incidents listed above.
So, the cheapest and simplest solution was to re-key the church and distribute keys to those on an approved list. This ensures nobody is in the building alone, since the pastor or member of Session will be there to open and close the building. There have been keys issued to non-Session members because these persons minister within the church in a way that requires frequent church access. If you feel your ministry has been over-looked, please bring this to our attention. I have heard that feelings are hurt by this decision. Please know it's not personal and nobody in particular was targeted. I hope this adds a little clarity to the reason for the decision, if not, come talk to me and the Session. We're not always right. Bath is a small church and only works because everyone pitches in and are partners in Christ's service. Please know that everyone's contribution to this community is valued and appreciated greatly!
Stay warm! Join us for our Ash Wednesday service, February 14th @ 7pm
Peace be with you all,