As we have stated in another notice, the church is still very much alive, although the building is, temporarily, closed to meetings. The fact that we are not having our regular meetings does not mean that we are inactive. We continue to worship and to serve.
Everyone should be aware that we have been livestreaming the worship service and are encouraging everyone to join on line, if you have Internet service. Those meetings on line are at 10:30 on Sunday mornings, just as we normally meet. You may find us on Facebook or at the church web site: www.emporiaavenue.com. This week we also added a conference call phone worship at 9:30. That will continue until further notice, for the benefit of any who do not have Internet. To join that group, call after 9:15 to be added. The number to call is: 856-799-9016. If you are using your land line you need to add “1” at the beginning, as it is a long-distance call. If you use your cell phone, it will be free, as the weekend is free on most, if not all plans. If you get a message that “all circuits are busy” or a busy signal, hang up and try again repeatedly, until you are joined to the group. There is a time for visiting on the call until we begin the worship. The sermon in that worship is a shorter version of what will be in the 10:30 period. Just hang up when the service is completed and any announcements are done.
There is also a devotional offered by Jed Sikes at 6:00 on Sunday evenings. To be part of that call, use a different number: 744-267-7572. At 7:00 p. m. on Sundays, Jed will meet with the teens and they have been supplied a number to call for that gathering.
An OPEN LINE gathering is scheduled to begin on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., using the number above for the 6:00 p. m. Sunday night meetings. This will serve the members who are at home and wish to share some time with each other. It is deliberately at the time the Thursday class would be meeting, if things were normal.
Later, we will likely announce an evening OPEN LINE for those who still are working and desire to catch up with others and have a class or devo.
ELDERS MEETING, REACHING OUT
The elders are meeting more than (perhaps) ever before, but are doing so by conference calls, so as to keep the “shuttered” and social distance requests suggested strongly by our governmental leaders and medical personnel. Last week, the elders began calling each household to check on the bell-being and needs that might exist within the membership. Not all those calls were accepted and in some cases when messages were left, there have not been replies. We beg that you take calls or at least respond to messages left, asking for contact and information. One thing we need is to acquire the e-mail address of everyone who has that service, as it would help greatly in communicating announcements and information that is needed to be shared. If when you are called this week, please be prepared to share your e-mail address or send a message to the church e-mail so we can have access to your address. That will help.
The elders pray for the church at each meeting and name those who are known to need prayer in a special way. If you have needs, please communicate with an elder and ask to be included. If you need:
More communion supplies. You can come to the church office on Wed. each week between 9:00 -12:00 or we can arrange for someone to be at the building on Sat. morning to supply you. Still, if you cannot come for the supplies, we will deliver to your porch or front door.
Groceries or prescriptions you have ordered. There are those who will go to your store or pharmacy to get things you have arranged to be picked up (prepaid, preferably). You may call the office or Jed Sikes for those needs.
As of now, we know that Gerald Smith and Juanita Wheeler have had surgeries postponed to an indefinite date. Joyce Botts has been suffering from pneumonia. Others have been treated for colds, but none among us have been tested positive for Covid-19. Gradually, we learn more and more about the “invisible enemy” but it is not curbed, by any means. Thus, we encourage you to keep every “rule” suggested as to hand washing, avoiding social contact outside your home and family. The latest projections are being moved out in time, now to possibly June, when we may have relief as to our “house arrest”. In the meantime, be safe and stay well. May God bless us all to survive this crisis, without the loss of one!
We will try to keep you apprised. You help us know what needs to be known by all. By the way, if you had difficulty yesterday when the worship was livestreamed, it is now posted. I listened Sunday afternoon on FACEBOOK and the video and audio were then perfect. It is archived under "VIDEOS" and can be found here, too.
GOD BLESS US ALL
-W. E. Hamblen, Minister