Bellamy News & Worship September 13th

Dear Bellamy Church Family,
As we continue to grow into the Fall season we are excited that this week the Women's Community Bible Study began their Fall Season with in person Bible Studies on Wednesday mornings. Additionally, the Healthy Church Team has recommended a return to the sanctuary for worship on October 4th. There are still a few details to work through but our church is adapting and returning to some of the spiritual activities that we have longed for. Our next big hurdle will be our Annual Charge Conference which will occur on October 19th via a ZOOM meeting. 
We are also considering a return of adult Sunday School for those classes that choose to meet. The Healthy Church Team will be addressing the logistics for safely returning to Sunday School for adults and will update the church when we project an opening date.
For this coming Sunday we will once again offer worship at 10 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The seating is limited to approximately 50 guests because of safe practices and we request that if you desire to worship please either call the church office BEFORE Friday at Noon. Or you may let us know your intentions by filling out the Health Screening Form at https://www.evc.vaumc.org/open/worshipregistration/Page1.cfm  The form should be completed PRIOR to NOON on Saturday. Once at the web site click York River District, Step 2 click Bellamy Church, Step 3 and 4 are the Health survey questions.
Please note this form must be filled out each week as our health changes day by day.
We must also be aware that if we have worshipped and develop symptoms following the service, we need to notify the church office or the pastor immediately. This helps us stop the spread of the virus.
As always I want to offer some basic reminders for our safe practices at Bellamy Church:
1. Face Masks will be required to be worn by all persons at all times while on church grounds. This includes children over the age of 2.
2. We ask that worshippers park in the large West Lot which borders the stand of pine trees. Greeters will guide you to the entrance.
3. After putting on your mask, the ONLY entrance will be the double doors to the Fellowship Hall. At the foot of the access ramp you will have your temperature taken and the Health Screening Form either filled out or turned in.
4. Once inside the entrance doors, the offering basket will be available to receive any offerings that may be brought. There will also be a hand sanitizer station located in this entry area. PLEASE NOTE access to the building, restrooms, nursery, and classrooms will be restricted at this point. We do anticipate a return of Adult Sunday School in the Fall.
5. Parents of small children please be aware that there is NO CHILDCARE and NO ACCESS to the NURSERY. Your children must remain with you and must wear a mask. At this time children under the age of 2 are not permitted in the church because of CDC regulations with regards to wearing a mask.
6. Once in the Fellowship Hall an usher will direct you to the seating area. Seats are grouped accordingly to ensure social distancing. While the joy is to finally be able to see friendly faces, we are required to maintain social distancing inside the building.
7. The worship service will include familiar elements but we are prohibited from engaging in congregational singing. Responsive readings are permitted.
8. The service will conclude with Holy Communion. The liturgy will be read, and the elements will be given to worshippers as they leave the Fellowship Hall. A Gluten Free option is available.
9. Once the service begins, the double doors into the Fellowship Hall will be closed, and the entry doors will likewise be closed. This area will be a safe area to adjust masks during the service, or a place should a person suddenly feel ill. Once the service begins, late arriving guests will be welcomed through the double doors that face towards the cemetery. There they will receive a health screening and be seated.
10. The restroom in the Fellowship Hall kitchen is available for use. An usher will be able to assist you.
11. At the conclusion of the service ushers will dismiss worshippers by rows starting in the back. The front row will be reserved for those guests with special needs. Following the service this front row will be dismissed by an usher using the front doors that served as the entrance.
Bellamy Church is striving to safeguard all who enter our building. There are many requirements, and I know these restrictions are challenging but we must follow them. I greatly appreciate your patience during these times. Certainly none of us desire church life in this manner, but it is what we must do. Our goal has always been to "Do No Harm" and to strive to "Do Good" as we "Stay in Love with God." John Wesley's three simple rules make sense to us.
Thanks for reading this.
Peace and Good Health,
Pastor Ken

The Mid week Top Off

A New Feature every Wednesday....The Mid week Top Off

Sanctuary

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”             Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

               It’s my place of peace. Even in the early days of this pandemic, when everything was shut down and uncertainty reigned, this was the place I would go. The sanctuary at Bellamy Church was my shelter. As the days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, this place was still the place I would seek. As the time passed I wondered when would we ever worship here again as a community? The reality is that worship in the sanctuary is soon upon us for God has heard our prayers!

               As we prepared the sanctuary for our return in October I began to think of the word “sanctuary” and the place that is a sanctuary.  A sanctuary is a special place, and it is a very personal space. A sanctuary may be found anywhere. Perhaps it is in your car as your drive and the world zooms by. Perhaps it is on a golf course, or at a fishing pier, or a beach, a mountain top, a trail through the woods, a bench in a quiet place. A sanctuary can be a room in your home, or even a time of day when the world is quiet. To me sanctuary is a place but also a feeling. A feeling of rest, of solitude, and a nearness to the Lord.

               The words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel are words of sanctuary to me. How often have I felt weary and burdened? How often have I needed someone to lift my load and help me along? How many days have I simply needed rest? And where did I turn? I turned to Jesus, and physically I would sit alone in this place, and I felt God nearby. We all need a place like that. A special, set apart place to come into God’s presence, to speak honestly, to cry, to laugh, to pray. As much as prayer and worship are vital to the believer, so is the need for sanctuary. We all need respite from this crazy, uncertain, and fast moving world. Let’s make sure we find our sanctuary, and let’s make sure we go there often. We all need to release our burdens. We all need peace. We all need rest. Let’s find sanctuary with Jesus.

 

Gracious God, thank you for giving us a Savior who calls us by name. Thank you for providing us a sanctuary from our hectic world. Help us to find our place with you everyday. We need your blessed rest. We need your comfort. We need Jesus! Thank you for His life and love that gives us peace. Amen.