One-on-One with Pastor Jerry is a weekly report on family news and church and community activities, events, ministries and missions. Visit this page each week, sign up to receive it weekly in your inbox, tune in on Thursdays for Pastor Jerry's Facebook Live, or watch the video recording anytime.
October 15, 2020
Book 6, Volume 26
Last Sunday we held our first indoor worship since March. There was much gratitude expressed by those who attended. The experience was somewhat different since we encouraged people to hum instead of sing, keep their masks on throughout and we asked take conversations outside. But the weather was warm, and the parking lot became our narthex. The music was still powerful with an eight-person ensemble in a Sanctuary with great acoustics and the pipe organ. We had 67 at 8:30 worship and 69 at 11:00 worship. We were near our max capacity at the 8:30 service with just a couple of pews unused. But because the 11:00 service was comprised of larger families, we had a larger attendance with several pews left over. So we can probably hold more than 75 at that service. We still had the overflow plan in place in Whitcomb Chapel with a livestream monitor and will continue to do so. For now, let’s still plan on making reservations for Sunday worship using the Save Me a Seat buttons at the top of NoblesvilleFirst.com. It will ensure we are ready to host you well each Sunday.
The livestream is now easier to access as we are using our new Boxcast software to stream directly to our website. But if you want a more interactive experience during the 8:30 and 11:00 livestream, tune in via the Noblesville First Facebook page where you can comment during the service. That will connect you with other viewers and will help us know if our content is engaging. Pastor Matt will serve as our online Facebook host at both services this week.
Tuesday’s staff meeting was full of helpful insight and great plans in the works. Pastor Matt Hantelman had attended a Summit for Online Church Engagement the previous week and he offered some suggestions that would enhance our livestream experience. He also offered thoughts about how we can better engage people when our in-person gatherings are limited. One of those insights is that the pandemic has been healthy for the Church in that it teaches us our ministries should be about engaging people, not gathering people. The goal is not church attendance but engaging people with the Gospel in a way that leads to transformation and service. I like this challenging quote, “Church online is not about delivering content, it’s about connecting people to people.” One immediate practical step which came out of Matt’s sharing is that the pastors promised to review each other’s messages before Sunday and offer suggestions on how to verbally engage the online congregation as we preach. It is certainly a new mindset, but a necessary one if we want the online experience to be less passive and more engaging.
Ally Hall, our new Associate Director of Family Ministry, shared the plans developed by her and the Family Ministry Team for the launch of our new weekly 9:45 am Family Worship which starts on November 1. This experience will involve:
- Emailing at-home materials and family discussion questions prior to the service
- High energy music as people arrive and in the livestream
- A game
- Worship songs led by Joe Coy and the Praise Band
- Pastor Jill and a Bible story/message
- Family breakout discussions on the story
- Wrapping up with another game and take-home activities for the family to live into the message throughout the week
We will gather in separate pods in Celebration Hall for safe social distancing and/or you can gather your family at home and experience the livestream.
We are looking for candy donations for the church’s Halloween Parade to be held on Sunday, November 1. Candy donations can be dropped off in the church office during the week or on Sunday morning. We are also looking for adults who are willing to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme for a procession that will leave the church at 5:30pm and parade through Noble Manor apartments, then through the church parking lot for church families and the community. You can also choose to walk with the parade to pass out candy to kids along the route. Parents and grandparents, be sure to bring your kids in costume that evening (social distancing and face coverings will be required) to watch the parade and collect candy! Printed fliers will be posted around Noble Manor and sent home with our preschool students, to further extend our reach for this event.
On Monday, I had coffee with Chris Denari, who is the TV announcer for the Indiana Pacers’ broadcasts on Fox Sports Indiana. Chris has some ties to our congregation and graduated from Westfield High School. He does a lot of speaking for charitable organizations and he has agreed to help us launch our Generosity Campaign on November 8. We will pre-record an interview with Chris to get his take on generosity and how vital it is during this pandemic. If you are not a fan of the Indiana Pacers and thus not familiar with Chris, click here for NBA website bio.
Katy Rogers shared her update for the Teter Organic Farm. She reminded us the Farm Stand will continue to sell fresh produce from 9-12 on Saturday mornings through October 31. Our donations are now up to 7,016 servings and we'll continue to deliver produce to the Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank up until Thanksgiving. We are seeking volunteers who can help us mitigate invasive species from 9-12 on Thursday, October 22. No experience necessary but bring gloves and water as you will be working in the Conservation Reserve acreage. Katy has set October 24 as the deadline for submitting recipes and Teter pictures for the Teter cookbook which will be available in time for Christmas! Find your best recipes that incorporate produce grown at Teter and put “RECIPE” in the subject space of your email.
Bonnie Zickgraf launched her Daily Prayer Time this week on our Noblesville First Facebook page. If you tune in or watch it later you will discover she has created a very calming space with some background music while she shares some scripture, a song and looks for your prayer concerns in the comment section to pray over. If you are someone who appreciates being guided through your devotional time you will enjoy Bonnie. She has never done this kind of thing before, but she seems like a natural. Bonnie offers the Daily Prayer Time at 8 am on Mondays and Wednesdays, noon on Thursdays, and 7 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Alivia Pavich is working to build her Sunday Media Team for the live worship we are now offering. Alivia says no previous experience is necessary as she will train you. The team wears masks, practices social distancing when possible and has partitions in place when distancing isn’t possible. She will be glad to use you when you are available. Email Alivia at .
We continue to seek Branch Facilitators for The Vineyard to connect every person in our church family in some fashion beyond Sunday morning worship. Branches can connect via phone, email, texting, Zoom gatherings or in-person. If you already connect with a group or with several individuals in the church, consider being a facilitator. Email Pastor Jerry or the Pastoral Care Team to learn more about The Vineyard and/or join our monthly Zoom meeting on the 4th Monday of each month at 7:00 pm. Our next meeting is Monday, October 28.
Joe Chimbanda wanted me to share that we received another $300 donation through the church office so the final tally raised for the CROP Walk was $11,810! Thank you again to Joe & Anna Chimbanda, Linda Davies and Alivia Pavich for all their work to create the Hamilton County Virtual CROP Walk this year.
This weekend the pastors continue to offer some pastoral messages for the series Beyond the Election. We know this election season has been hostile and divisive. We anticipate no matter who wins or loses the Presidential election nearly half of the U.S. population will be upset and angry. We hope these messages in October will bring the hope and assurance only God can provide. This week we are using John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules to challenge and inspire us. In preparation read Philippians 2:1-8, Luke 8:4-8 and Jeremiah 17:7-8.
Thursday Worship is available tonight via Zoom at 6:30pm. Indoor worship will gather in the Sanctuary (Door 1) on Sunday at 8:30 and 11am. If indoor worship doesn't fit into your plans, be sure to access the Livestream Worship at NoblesvilleFirst.com. You'll find links there to watch at 8:30 or 11:00 from the website or from Facebook where you can connect with others through the comments section or watch the recordings anytime.
Be sure to check out the Opportunities to Serve and share your Prayer Requests using the links at NoblesvilleFirst.com or on the Noblesville First mobile app. And share your pastoral needs by emailing or calling the 24/7 Care Line at 317-773-2590.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Jerry Rairdon