In A Nutshell | March 19, 2021

Snapshot of a Growing Church

For many years, USA Today has published a “Snapshot” poll in the lower left corner its front page. The poll measures the preferences of Americans on a particular topic each day. Last week, the newspaper published a poll about what activities Americans have missed most during the pandemic.

Not surprisingly, restaurants topped the list at 59-percent. After all, who doesn’t like to eat out, right? Going to movies and concerts was a distant second at 39-percent. Going shopping was third at 20-percent, although our shopping habits have certainly changed during the pandemic.

I was surprised and pleased to see houses of worship next on the list at 19-percent, finishing just ahead of fitness centers (16-percent) and grocery stores (15 percent).

I’m not sure that 20-percent of our nation’s population even attends worship services anymore, but it is nice to know that the yearning for such services is still relatively high among our citizenry.

There’s nothing quite like in-person worship. The fellowship, the spontaneity, and the connection combine to give us the feeling of community on Sunday morning. Activities during the week give the church additional vibrancy and purpose.

We are hopeful that by late spring or early summer, everyone will feel comfortable coming back to our Sanctuary and worshipping with us. We miss all of our members and friends who have been unable or uncomfortable worshipping in person.

In the meantime, we will continue with the livestream through the pandemic and far on into the future. In fact, we’d like to continue that service in perpetuity for those who are homebound, those who may be traveling, and even those who might sleep in on a Sunday morning but still want to worship, not to mention those who might randomly tune in on their own. Our thanks to Tom Rife for his efforts to get us up and running with a very professional video presentation each Sunday, and Jen Moser for her guidance and assistance along the way. We are very grateful, and we are reaching people through this medium that we never would have reached previously.

Whatever happens moving forward, we can and will continue worshipping together, but we have another very important responsibility along the way — we need to grow. We need to invite others, particularly young people with young families, to plant seeds for the future of the church. Our ancestors, who invested so much in Oak Chapel, never would have envisioned a day when we would close our doors, so let’s make sure that we not only stay open, but that we also flourish and thrive.

With spring rapidly approaching, it’s time to shake of the chill of a bitter cold winter and move forward with an active and comprehensive plan for vibrancy in our church. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions for new programs or other initiatives, or if you would like to join any of our existing activities or mission efforts, please let us know.

An active church is a growing church. We invite you (and anyone else you would like to join you) grow with us in the year ahead.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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