Gracepoint Church Meeting Guidelines
Friday, May 15, 2020
Due to the risks associated with the Corona Virus, Gracepoint has followed SC State guidelines and have not had services in our building for the past few weeks. SC has now started to reduce restrictions and allow for some businesses to open again with some social guidelines to be enforced.
With these new guidelines, Gracepoint Church will start having services once again, but following State guidelines and others to ensure a safe worship experience for our church family. Those wishing to personally attend services may do so under the guidelines below. In addition, the recorded services will be posted on the Church Web Site. The goal is to allow everyone to meet and worship but also to remain safe.
- On Sunday, May 17th we will meet once again in the church building at 10:45 AM for worship service. No Sunday School meeting will be held this Sunday. Children will need to attend the Worship Service with their parents. The following guidelines will apply:
- Do not attend if you or anyone that has been near you has shown any symptoms of illness. i.e. Fever, Coughing. Sneezing etc.
- As a precaution and as a courtesy to others, it is recommended that those coming to attend services wear masks (any covering you have will do) and sanitize their hands at the entrance door. If you don’t have a mask, we will gladly provide one.
- Social Spacing is to be observed at all times. (6 ft distance) o The Fellowship Hall and Kitchen areas will be closed during Sunday Services.
- Chairs in the Worship Hall have been arranged so that no one will be seated on each side and in front of everyone.
- Music team will be limited to maintain social distancing also. o No coffee or snacks will be available.
- Socializing must be done respecting the 6 ft personal spacing and should be done outside the building.
- High risk individuals (Over 65 or those with pre-existing conditions) may want to consider taking further precautions or continue to worship via online services, until sometime in the future.
- Wednesday Night Bible Study will be held by Pastor Ben starting May 20th at 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall.
- The above guidelines apply.
- Tables and Chairs will be sanitized before using.
We know people will have different situations and risk levels, and they should participate in a way they are comfortable and still worship. We will keep you informed of any changes or updates and please feel free to make any suggestions that you believe would make for a safer and better worship experience at Gracepoint.
We look forward to once again being able to meet as a church family and worship together.
Ben Hill – Pastor
Ron Ortscheid – Church Administrator
As home lockdown, social distancing, self-quarantining, and isolation continue, we are looking at ways to continue to connect at GracePoint.
In an effort to continue to grow in our Faith, and to dive into a deeper understanding of his word, all while keeping safely separated, we are looking into some alternatives to our Sunday morning time together.
I would like to start by offering a Discipleship E-mailing.
I know first-hand that E-mail overload is a real thing, so I would like to make this an “opt-in” opportunity.
Should you choose to participate you will receive a weekly E-mail with the Study of the week, questions, and comments. Replies are an encouraged part of participation. If anyone has suggestions on how we can improve our discipleship study time together, please send me an e-mail, phone call, text, or letter. I would love to hear about any ideas you may have.
Our First Study will be a Brief Summary of the Books of the Bible
To receive the Discipleship E-mail: send an email to Waltcalled@gmail.com Subject: Disciple
p.s. I miss you all
GracePoint Church WILL be having our normally scheduled services. In response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), GracePoint Church will be taking the following actions:
- Placing hand sanitizer at the front door.
- Providing a place to pick up the newsletter, instead of handing it out.
- Providing a place at the front of the Worship Center for tithes and offerings to be placed in lieu of passing the offering plates.
- We encourage everyone to be proactive and use hand sanitizer or wash hands frequently.
- For more information on the coronavirus visit the SCDHEC website here: https://scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
Luke 2: 8-10
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Don’t you just love the story of the shepherds in the Christmas story? There they were, one of the lowest class of people in their society, living in squalid shacks out in the countryside. They have noisy bleating sheep that smell bad, and because sheep aren’t really very bright, they need constant care. So, the shepherds stay far away from the city. They are themselves probably unwashed and disheveled and just hanging out for a long night trying to get some rest.
But God had another plan. An angel appears first by himself to make an announcement that would change the course of the world and then is joined by a multitude of other angels making a heavenly ruckus shattering their silent night. Isn’t it something that when God chose to make history’s most important announcement, the heralding of His Son’s birth…He didn’t send the angels to Herod’s palace, or to the Chief Priests, or the Sadducees, or the Pharisees, or the Levites…He didn’t give it to some person of high repute or someone special…He gave it to the lowliest of the low… societal second class… the shepherds.
This Christmas, think about this: It doesn’t matter what kind of reputation you have, either good or bad; it doesn’t matter whether you have a lot of money or none; it doesn’t matter if you are, or think you are, on the bottom of the pecking order; or what kind of clothes you wear, or car you drive, or house you live in. No, it really doesn’t matter. The shepherd’s Christmas story speaks to all of us and says: If God can make the announcement of all announcements to the lowly shepherds abiding in the field with their flocks by night…don’t you think that His message can come to you? Because it does. Right here. Right now. God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son…for you.
Yep, consider those shepherds!!
When looking at and thinking about the Christmas story, it is understandable that we go first, and rightfully so, to the Gospel accounts of the birth of Christ found in Matthew and Luke. After all they spell out in detail the facts of the miracle of the Virgin Birth of Jesus, The Son of God. Matthew begins the story by laying out the genealogy of Christ, demonstrating the sequence of generations as Israel anticipated the birth of David’s Son — the Messiah. Luke, striving to lay out “an orderly account” of the events concerning Jesus, begins with the excitement of John the Baptist’s birth and then pays great detail to telling of the virgin conception of Jesus.
Matthew gives particular attention to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Like the virgin birth, birth in Bethlehem of Judea, the anger of Herod and the subsequent massacre of babies, the escape to Egypt, and the role of the forerunner John the Baptist; all specific fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy! So, the Christmas story doesn’t begin in Bethlehem, no, Israel had long been promised the Messiah. As Luke reveals, when Simeon saw the baby Jesus in the temple, he clearly understood this infant to be “the Lord’s Christ” — the Davidic Messiah! The Christmas story did not begin in Bethlehem, or even in Jerusalem… so where does it begin?
To answer this question, we need to turn to the text from Sunday’s message: John opens his gospel with the following: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” [John 1:1-3] John draws from the language of Genesis, in the beginning… in other words, where does the Christmas story begin? With God, “in the beginning”, before the world even existed! We must be careful not to equate the story of Bethlehem and the manger with the beginning of Christmas. Why? Because if the Christmas story begins at the manger, it would seem as if the incarnation of Christ, the coming of the Baby Jesus, was God’s “plan B” after the fall of man and sin. BUT nothing is further from the truth! Jesus was before the world began, eternal, He has always been. Before a single atom was formed God had planned to come to His creation in saving Love!
When viewed in that context it would seem to me that the majesty and the miracle of Christmas is all the more displayed! God’s love, His perfect love, precedes even His Divine creation! Wow! Merry Christmas!!
Luke 2: 10-12
“ 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Indulge me for a moment… Put down your phone, turn off the news, get off of Face book, just turn off the screens. Ok? Good…
Now, think for just a moment all the wonder and joy of the Christmas season. Not the junk you hear from the news or the “whatever” online…. just the simple wonder and joy of Christmas.
Now, think about what it would be like if Jesus was never a part of it. If the personified love of God did not come down, the virgin-born Son of God did not miraculously arrive that first Christmas night. Not a pre/y picture is it? This world would be in such turmoil. Sin would be unchecked… even much more rampant than it is even now. And at this 2me of year that is approaching there would be no Christmas trees, no ornaments, no presents beau2fully wrapped. We would not have a church to go to or be able to call one another brothers and sisters. We would have nothing to look forward to a4er we die. We would not even have the somewhat widely accepted ‘golden rule.’
I shudder to think about it! I actually have a hard 2me even imagining what it would be like. But Hallelujah! You know what? He did come! He did dwell and live among us! He did take all of our sins to the cross and then, just to put icing on the cake, He rose from the dead and gave us life, everlas2ng life, and light and love and a host of other “good things”! His Word! His Spirit! His grace and mercy! Aren’t you glad Jesus was born?! Ok, now, before you go back to what you were doing… conjure up your best Linus voice (from A Charlie Brown Christmas) and read the Scripture again: “ For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!”
Yes, it definitely IS the most wonderful time of the year!
In HIS Love,