Bellamy News & Worship October 4th

Dear Bellamy Church Family, 
As we move into a new month we are excited that this week we will return to the sanctuary for our Sunday worship at 10 a.m. Moving to the sanctuary will present some differences to our routine that we must pay attention to. As always I will try to provide as detailed an email as possible to hopefully answer some questions you may have. 
The first question no doubt is seating. Because of social distance practices, the seating in the sanctuary does not dramatically increase our seating capacity. In fact, we are prepared to welcome 50 guests to worship with a capability to increase to 60 if need be. 
The entrance doors will remain on the side of Fellowship Hall, and we add the Handicapped accessible ramp on the East side of the building. These are the only two entry points. The temperature check and health screening will remain a required point of entry for all guests, and masks are absolutely required by all persons on church grounds at all times without exception. 
The best way to let us know your intention to worship is to fill out a health screening BY NOON on Saturday. You can find the form at  https://www.evc.vaumc.org/open/worshipregistration/Page1.cfm   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.. 
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. 
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 without exception. 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 or if needed the Handicapped spots on the East side by the Education Wing. Greeters will guide you to the entrance you need.
3. After putting on your mask, the ONLY entrances will be the double doors to the Fellowship Hall or the door to the Education Wing. 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 restrooms, nursery, and classrooms in the Education Wing will be restricted at this point. 
5. Parents of small children please be aware that there continues to be 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 Sanctuary 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 still  prohibited from engaging in congregational singing. Responsive readings are permitted. 
8. The service this Sunday 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. We will return to monthly Communion.
9. The Safe Area to adjust masks during the service, or a place should a person suddenly feel ill will now be located in the last classroom on the right at the top of the stairs to the Fellowship Hall. 
10. Late arriving guests will be welcomed through the double doors receive a health screening and be seated. 
10. The only restrooms in use are the Women's restroom by Jennifer's Office, and the Men's restroom down the hall as you would head to the office. 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 back pews will be reserved for those guests with special needs. Following the service this back  row will be dismissed by an usher to their preferred doors for exiting the building.  
Bellamy Church continues to take this pandemic seriously, and the Healthy Church Team 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. 
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

Ruts

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

               I guess ruts are a part of life in a pandemic. They are a part of normal life, so it is no surprise we can find ourselves in a rut in this season of life as well. And it is easy to fall into a rut. With restrictions and warnings at every turn, with renewed advisories, with limits on things we can buy, cancelled plans, and general uncertainty about everything from kids going to school, singing in church, and upcoming holidays… yeah falling in a rut physically, spiritually, or emotionally can happen. We may even feel like we are in all three ruts! And it can overwhelm us.

               That is why it is so important to be aware of our emotions, our health, and our connections to God. When we find ourselves in a rut, things can get messy pretty quick.  We can feel like we have lost control even though in reality, we never really had control of much anyway. But the good news is that though we may have lost control, God never did.

               Even if we feel we are stuck in a muddy rut, God knows exactly where we are, because God loves us, and God never leaves us. And even sitting in a muddy rut, God is already working on a plan to get us not only out of the rut and moving again; but we will even get cleaned up in the process!

               The verse above are God’s words spoken through the Prophet Jeremiah to a scattered and defeated people. The children of Israel were in exile, and their rut was a pretty severe one. They were defeated, their land destroyed, and they were carried off to a foreign land cut off from everything they knew and loved! Yet in the midst of that, here the Prophet of God tells them God has plans for them. Plans to get them not only out of the rut, but back home again! God can do that!

               It takes faith. Getting out of a rut may mean changing some things that may have gotten us in the rut to begin with. We need to be attentive to our daily journey, like how often we talk with God, call upon God’s name, and most importantly TRUST God when times get difficult. Ruts are a part of the journey in life. But we need not stay in a rut. We can change, we can get unstuck, and we can get going again. We just need to trust God. Because God knows where we are, and God knows where God needs us to be. We weren’t called to dwell in ruts, we have work to do. We can do this work when we seek God with our whole heart. There’s a future and there’s hope just beyond the rut. So let’s get going again! And let’s begin with prayer.

               Gracious God we are tired! The days are blending together and the changes and cancellations and restrictions are taking a toll on us all. Each day seems like the day before, and we hesitate to plan for tomorrow because we are tired of disappointments. Lord, we are in a rut and we need your help. Change us and transform us today. Give us Your hope, let us be a part of Your plan. We are ready to get moving again Lord! In Your Holy Name we trust and we pray. Amen.