CVIRUS

Email on May 28, 2020

Beginning next week, June 6-7, Fellowship will start

worshiping in person as one church with six services

on three campuses, and we invite you to join us!

 

Upper Valley campus // Saturdays 6:30PM // Sundays 9 & 11AM  

Spring Hill campus // Sundays 9 & 11AM

Digital campus (fellowshipchristian.org/watch) // Sundays 10AM

As we are preparing to reopen our facilities, there is so much planning and care that go into making sure that we are loving our neighbors well. We are aware that there is a wide range of viewpoints and opinions concerning how we should handle a broad range of topics related to reopening. To ensure we are exercising due diligence, please know that we have prayed and prepared by assembling a team with expertise in numerous areas, and by researching and implementing best practices and industry standards—then we prayed some more. Below are several guidelines we are following as we reopen and re-gather.

  • First, please plan to arrive a little early to avoid bottlenecks at the entrance. We will have spacing guides on the floor to help ensure safe distancing between families.
  • Please avoid hugging and handshakes. A friendly wave will let others know that you are glad to see them.
  • There will be no Children’s Ministry during this initial phase of reopening; instead, we will worship together as families. Children don’t always know how to keep a safe distance, and we want to protect them and our volunteers.
  • There will be no paper bulletins or coffee during this initial phase.
  • Pre-packaged communion elements will be available for you to pick up as you enter the building. 
  • Wearing masks is highly encouraged. 
  • Offering baskets will not be passed. Instead, please look for the locked receptacles at the sanctuary door to give tithes and offerings.
  • There will be designated restrooms at each campus. We ask that you refrain from using areas of the building that are cordoned off because areas of the building used during worship will be thoroughly cleaned afterward.
  • Ushers will be dismissing families after the service to prevent bottlenecks on the way out. We invite you to visit and have fellowship outside after the service dismisses. 
  • Finally, we ask that you gather your trash and dispose of it in the trash cans after the service. The crew will then sanitize the sanctuary and prepare for the next service.


If you have any questions about what regathering will look like, please email us at and let us know. We would love to clarify any areas that you might have questions about.

~Your Fellowship Staff


Email on May 19, 2020

Peace and Presence …
 
I had a fanny pack that I once wore while riding my bike.  Cycling down a hill, I felt it unclasp, and I thought, "I need to grab it before it comes off and falls into a wheel."
 
I woke up an hour later in the ER.  I had performed the dreaded cycling endo into a faceplant. (Fanny pack swings into front wheel; front wheel stops and bike catapults; and Pastor Grant flies forward onto his face)
Graphic description but I recovered.
 
Many of us have a similar experience with the Covid crises.  Our economy was the best ever, your life was the best ever, and our church was the best ever.  There were a lot of 'best evers' in our lives.
 
A sudden stop!
 
The entire world does the dreaded endo into a faceplant!  Times of crises have existed forever but there has never been anything like this faceplant. I have Zoom meetings with Russians and Filipinos all talking about the same experience.
 
The Bible predicts worldwide 'endos' -- Jesus says in Matthew 24, "They were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage." Paul writes, "While people are saying 'peace and safety' calamity will come upon them."
 
Do three things:
1.      Change. If there is no change during a crises, there is no confidence of things getting better. I don't wear my fanny pack anymore; I have a cool small bag under my seat.  God does allow our endos and works then out for the good.  2021 will not be like 2019 because of what happened in 2020.  You will change, our church will change -- but the Kingdom will increase. Everything will be different but better.
2.      Start again.  My bike was totaled in the crash. I went out and purchased my dream bike and started riding again as soon as possible.  Our live have to re-start; our businesses need to restart; our churches must restart.  I could have another bike crash; we could have further difficulties with Covid but restarting has to happen.
3.      Be generous.  I'm not promoting the Fellowship financial offering.  God dealt with the biggest 'endo into a faceplant' crises in the history of the world (Adam and Eve in the garden) by sending Jesus to die on the cross. Peter encourages us to follow the example of Jesus.  How can you give more than ever?
 
Sitting too long;  Grieving too long;  Isolation too long; Shuttered businesses too long -- does not ultimately solve this crises.  Not changing my cycling gear; not riding my bicycle again; not living my life generously allows the cycling accident to win. 
 
Something has been taken from us.  Faith and hope challenge us to grow and increase and learn.
 
I would never … ever … want to experience another endo into a faceplant but I enjoy riding my new bicycle. It is my dream bike and much better than my crashed bike.
 
I'm anticipating our church … your church … gathering together again.  I think we will find the church of 2021 to be better than the church of 2019!
 
~Pastor Grant


Enews May 14, 2020

We are considering plans to reopen our buildings for worship the weekend of June 6 & 7. The team working on the reopen plan is addressing how we can love our neighbors well by meeting together in a safe and healthy way. Information on specific details will be available soon, so please be watching for further updates. When we reopen our buildings, we will continue to meet online also, so you can decide for your family the way that you would like to worship with us.

Food Pantry

Fellowship Food Pantry will be distributing food to those in need on Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 10AM to noon at our Upper Valley campus (2301 Valley Loop Road, Springfield, OH 45504)

Email sent March 31

Fellowship Family.
 
We have recently been made aware that one of our missionaries, Joshua Davis, tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Joshua and his family participated in our Taste of Missions on March 11, prior to his knowledge of having the virus. The Ohio Department of Health has recommended that if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your local health department – in Clark County, that number is (937) 390-5600.
 
We ask that you keep Joshua and his family in your prayers.
 
Your Fellowship Staff
March 31, 2020

Email sent March 20:

 

Good evening from Fellowship.

We want to share some important updates with you.

If you drive by either Fellowship's Upper Valley or Spring Hill campus, our buildings look quiet as most of our staff has been working from home. But don't think for a minute that God isn't still using Fellowship to impact Springfield. There is still so much happening.

This Sunday we will be live-streaming on Facebook at 10AM. Join us for a full worship service including worship led by Chris Lemaster and Olivia Willis, a God story, a family time with Pastor Greg that includes receiving the Lord's Supper together, an opportunity to give your tithe and offering, an encouragement from Pastor Grant, and Pastor Jeremy will continue our message series titled 'It's Who We Are'.

It's going to be different than our usual weekend services becuase you will have an opportunity to ask questions – it’s Facebook LIVE! Our staff will be standing by to respond to questions and comments as they come in. All you do it type a comment or question in the comment section and we will respond to you. It's also a way to worship together - all services meeting together at one time, yet separated in a way that is safe and healthy. If you don't have Facebook, send us an email at and let us know; we will send you a link right before the service start to watch it online with us. Or if you miss it, you can check the website under the sermons tab later Sunday afternoon.

This weekend, we truly urge you to check in with someone you usually see at church. Text or call and ask how they are. Stop and pray together. Encourage each other as we go through these uncertain times together. For some, our church family is their primary social circle and they need to hear from you. Then reach out to someone from our community who doesn't go to Fellowship. Show them love and grace, like Christ has done for us.

If you haven't checked out Fellowship’s Facebook page this week, you might want to take a look. Find us at facebook.com/fellowshipspringfield. We are posting activities for you and your family, resources to grow your faith, and scripture for daily encouragement. Like and follow our page so you see what we are posting. Also, share them with friends who might be interested.

Have you download our Fellowship App yet? We just created a new banner called COVID19 Response where you can sign up if you need prayer. you can also click there to volunteer to run to the grocery or pharmacy for someone who can't physically go, or pray with someone who has requested prayer. While on the app, you can also watch some God stories or past sermons or read the Bible. If you haven't downloaded the app yet, just go to where ever you get your apps and search for 'fellowship springfield'. It is super easy and only takes a minute or two.

Finally, if you need to talk with a staff member, please call the office and leave a message or send us an email. We check the messages regularly and are here and ready to serve you.

See you Sunday at 10AM. And don't forget to invite a friend.

Your Fellowship Staff


Facebook post from March 15: 

https://www.facebook.com/fellowshipspringfield/videos/516483419295251/

- the men’s breakfast scheduled for March 21 has been cancelled;
- baby and child dedications scheduled for March 22 and 29 have been postponed;
- the SALT Progressive Euchre party on March 27 has been cancelled;
- the NewU class called Holy Spirit In, With, and Upon scheduled to begin on March 30 has been postponed;
- the SNL Leaders Retreat on April 2 has been postponed;
- the Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for April 4 has been cancelled;
- Youth group has been cancelled through April 6;
- AMMO Kids Worship Academy has been cancelled for the year;
- all Bible studies and all Champion City Sports (that includes all Pickleball) have been cancelled through April 6.

Letter sent March 14:

Fellowship Family,

While many churches across the nation have cancelled weekend services, we have prayed and feel as though we are supposed to keep our doors open this weekend. We will be here to serve you and our community. If you choose to stay home, we fully support that decision. You have our blessing to do what you think is best to keep your family safe and healthy.

Here is the link to this week's sermon, if you would like to watch it from home instead of attending one of our weekend services. 

On Friday, President Trump declared tomorrow to be a National Day of Prayer. Pastor Jeremy made that his first 'call to action' in the sermon. Please join us in earnestly praying tomorrow. If you would like a prayer guide, you can find one here.

We are committed to Praising God through this current situation. He is sovereign and faithful. We will continue to pray. We will continue to serve. We will continue to impact Springfield, and through Springfield the world. Because 'It's Who We Are'.

Peace be with you,

Your Fellowship Staff


Video posted on Facebook on March 13:


Email sent on March 12:

Dear Fellowship Family,

As COVID-19, or coronavirus, continues to dominate the news and is a cause of concern and uncertainty, we wanted to take a moment to address how Fellowship, as a church, is planning for the weeks ahead. We believe wholeheartedly that God is in control. We know that he is sovereign, yet we also want to make every effort to pray, think, and plan practically during this unpredictable season. 

At this time, we are not planning to cancel weekend services. 

We are, however, here to serve you and want to tell you and your family that if you want to stay home, it’s ok. We support you and your family doing what makes sense to keep your family safe and healthy. We will be making some changes for the next couple of weeks:

  • Children will be staying in the service with parents. The reason for this decision is two-fold. First, many of our Children’s Ministry volunteers live with or are in a risk category. They may be over 65 or have an underlying chronic health concern that puts them at risk. Second, children (especially young children) are more apt to share sickness with other children through their close contact. Activity bags will be provided for the kids during weekend services.
  • Coffee and donuts will not be provided for the next few weeks. We encourage you to bring your own travel cup filled with your morning beverage.
  • Last weekend the teens, serving on a local mission trip, thoroughly cleaned the church and wiped down all the hard surfaces, including every table, chair, and pew with Clorox wipes and our cleaning crew will continue to be vigilant in the thorough cleaning of our facilities.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been made available throughout the church. Please be accommodating to anyone who does not want to shake hands or hug and greet them with a warm smile.
  • Communion will be served from pre-filled communion cups that come with the wafer sealed on the top of the sealed juice this weekend and next. The elders are discussing the longer-term plan for communion until we get past the cold/flu/Corona virus season.
  • Youth group and AMMO Worship Academy are cancelled for March 16. This will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.

If state and local health officials announce closure recommendations, or if our church leadership feels it’s in the best interest of our church family to cancel services, we will communicate updates with you through various channels: enews, website, emails, Facebook, and the Fellowship mobile app. We will post updates as we have them at www.fellowshipchristian.org/cvirus. If you do not currently receive our enews and would like to, please subscribe here. 

On Thursday, March 12, Governor DeWine closed schools and places where 100 or more people gather. He excluded, however, places of worship. We want you to know that we will be here for you. If you choose to stay home until the governor gives the all-clear, again, you have our blessing and sermons are available online here.

Our leadership team has been praying, learning, and talking, and we recommend the following steps: 

  • Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray for those who are sick. Pray for those who are anxious or scared. Pray for those who are tired or stressed because of the extra stress this pandemic has caused. Pray for our leaders. Pray for revival. Pray for opportunities to serve those in our city affected by the Coronavirus. Pray for those who are affected economically by the spread of this disease. Pray that doctors will find a vaccine.
  • If you or an immediate family member are sick with any communicable illness, please do not attend services or events until you are better. Stay home, rest, and take care of yourself. The CDC recommends waiting to return until at least 24 hours after a fever or signs of a fever. 
  • If you are a in high-risk category or have concerns about potential exposure, please use your own judgment about attending services or events. Please also feel free to contact us if you need any help, assistance, or prayer. We are here for you.
  • Please check on neighbors who are elderly or chronically ill that may have to be confined to their homes. They are the most vulnerable and may need your help.
  • Please remember to give at this time. In fact, give more if you can. Doing so will help immensely during this time, to not only continue the ministry but to help others as the needs will surely arise. You can easily give online, or by mail, if you are absent. We need you at this time.

As always, to help prevent the spread of germs, please:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you sneeze, or cough into your elbow. 
  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, and encourage everyone in your home (especially your kids!) to do the same. 
  • Get in the habit of not touching your face.
  • Refrain from hugs or handshakes for the time being.  Pastor Grant has always recommended fist bumps in place of hugs.


A few final points and resources: 

Our facilities team also wants to assure you that we already take steps to keep our building clean. Frequently touched surfaces in the sanctuary, bathrooms, and classrooms have been and will continue to be regularly cleaned and sanitized. The products we use are designed to kill both flu and corona-class viruses. For your reference, and also to help you in knowing what to use for your own home, the following link takes you to a page that includes all cleaners that are known to the EPA for use against Coronavirus. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf

 
Please pray for those around the world who have been infected and affected by COVID-19, and pray that this uncertain time may be an occasion for Gospel proclamation. As we stated at the beginning, God is in control and COVID-19 is not a surprise to him. Remember we serve the one who rose from the dead and overcame death, hell, and the grave! Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Our prayer is that we utilize this (and every) opportunity to spread hope and PEACE, not fear, to Springfield and our community.

Your Fellowship Staff