April 29,2020

April 29,2020

Dear Friends,
 
I need four minutes from you.
 
Here in Arkansas, we’re about to take the first steps toward reopening our state.  This week, the Governor announced that campgrounds in state parks will reopen for self-contained RV units for Arkansas travelers only this Friday.  Cabins and lodges will open up in two weeks. 
 
Today, the Governor announced that restaurants can open their dining rooms in a limited fashion a week from next Monday.
 
And later this week, we expect to hear recommendations for hair salons, gyms and other businesses.
 
And we expect to hear recommendations for churches this week too.
 
The elders have been meeting regularly via Zoom over the past six weeks.  And we’ve been talking about when and how we will re-open Redeemer.  We’ll be paying attention to what the Governor says this week.  And we’re interacting with other local churches to see what their plans are for weekly worship services, small group get-togethers and other church gatherings.
 
And we want to hear your thoughts.  That’s where the four minutes comes in.
 
We expect as we re-open Redeemer, there will be some people who will choose to continue to worship with us from a distance.  We support that option for those who are in the higher risk groups.  The last thing any of us want is for someone from Redeemer to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
 
Others of you are ready to re-gather, but want to be sure we’re being smart about what that looks like.  And we know there are different thoughts about what’s okay and what’s not when it comes to getting a group together.  Some will think other people are being too cautious.  Others will think that friends are being reckless or unwise. 
 
As we think and pray and talk about how and when we re-open, we want to hear your thoughts.  So we’ve designed a couple of 10 question surveys for you to fill out on line.  They are easy and quick to complete.  Survey #1 is for everyone who regularly attends Redeemer.  We’re asking that one person in your household be the designated driver for filling out the survey, representing your family.    
 
Survey #2 is for one parent to fill out.  It asks for your input regarding re-opening our children’s and youth ministry.
 
You can access Survey #1 by clicking here
 
And you can access Survey #2 by clicking here.
 
You can fill out the survey on your phone, tablet or computer.  And just to be clear, parents with kids at home will be filling out both surveys.  Those without kids at home will only need to fill out Survey #1.
 
Please take a few minutes in the next 48 hours, talk about who in your family will complete the survey and click the link(s) above.  We need your input. Thanks.
 
Once again this week, here’s a simple cut and paste invitation you can share with friends via email, inviting them to join you for worship this week:
 
Dear ___________,
 
I wanted to let you know that, like a lot of other churches are doing right now, the church I attend is live streaming our Sunday morning worship services each week. 
 
The live video stream opens at 9:45 AM central time.  The service begins at 10 AM. If
you’d like to check it out, you can view the service on the church website  (www.redeemerlr.org/livestream), on Facebook live, or by using the BoxCast channel on your Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV device (Find out how to use Boxcast here).
 
If you decide to check it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the sermon or about the service in general. 
 
You may be wondering about our finances.
 
I saw this report earlier this week that indicates that a lot of churches are experiencing a decline in giving over the past two months.  Here’s the data:
 

For some churches, the decline is significant.
 
As the elders met this week and reviewed our financial giving at Redeemer, we spent time thanking God for His provision of our needs through you.  During March and so far in April, our giving has been on track with our budget projections for the year.   So many of you have been diligent to either give on line or to mail your contribution to our PO Box 26677.  Thank you for your faithfulness in making sure our ongoing needs are met as a church.  We are glad to be part of the 27% who can report that giving is steady. 
 
 This Sunday, we’ll be back in John 5, looking at how Jesus responded to charges from the Jewish authorities in His day that He was teaching people to violate God’s law.  And we’ll see why His response made those Jewish leaders so angry with Jesus that they wanted to see Him dead.
 
 See you (on line) Sunday!
 Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob
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April 22, 2020

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