June 7, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Wow, there are a lot of things happening right now, and so I feel the need to update you on a variety of things.  The Governor revised the Phase 2 response to the Corona-virus to include churches.  The requirements are fairly restrictive, but will allow us to open the church for live services soon. 

Our current status is as follows:

  1. We are planning to live-stream our worship service this coming Sunday, 6/7/20.  It will start at 10:30 just as if we were in a normal service.  We will also be pre-recording the worship time and sermon (just in case) since this is still a system we’re learning about every day. 

    1. The live streaming will be available on our Facebook page, I am also hoping to link it to our website, but I’m not sure that can happen yet.

    2. Pastor John will have to discontinue being available on the church’s Facebook page on Sunday mornings since he’ll be involved with live-streaming the service. 

    3. The recorded service will be available on our website, just like always.  That’s at bccharstine.org

    4. We’ll also be sharing in a “virtual” communion this Sunday, so if you would like to participate, be sure to have your bread and drink ready to join me Sunday morning.  I’ve never done this virtually, so I have no idea how well it will work.

    5. We will continue to offer virtual services even after we are able to be “live.”

  2. We are currently working on plans to reopen the church for live services under the Phase 2 Restrictions.  We are tentatively trying to start services again on Father’s Day, 6/21/20.  Note that things will be a little different from normal.

    1. We will be limited to about 30 people present in any given service, and we will be working to maintain social distancing.  Based on congregational feedback we’ve received, it appears that we will need two services.  

      1. Facemasks have generated a lot of conversation recently.  Note that the Washington Department of Health recommends the use of facemasks as you enter the building, while in the building, and as you exit the building.  The church leadership will not be taking on the responsibility of policing compliance.

      2. Therefore, if you are uncomfortable being around people who are not wearing masks, I encourage you to remain at home and join the service on-line.

      3. Note that there will be singing.  Concerns have been raised over the spread of the virus through singing, so I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this.

    2. We will not be offering refreshments on this first Sunday since there are so many untested things going on at once.  This will be reevaluated by the Deaconesses after the 6/21 services.

    3. Christie Johnson is talking to the Sunday School teachers to determine if and how we’ll handle Sunday School for the children.  If we offer Sunday School for the children, we anticipate it will need to be held outside, which then makes Sunday School weather dependent.  I’ll try to keep you posted once more information is available.

    4. There will be no nursery offered, although parents are certainly welcome to sit with their infants in the nursery if they would like.  This will likely remain the case until we are in Phase 4.

    5. The Leadership Team will be meeting on 6/12/20 to work through all of the details, once those are set I’ll send out additional information.

  3. The Thrive Youth Program remains on hold until we are in Phase 3, the feasibility of restarting the program will be reevaluated at that time.  Contact Christie Johnson if you have any questions or suggestions, HIMyouth@outlook.com.

  4. We are now “live” during our Wednesday prayer meeting at 4:00.  Weather permitting, we’ll meet outside.  Otherwise, we’ll meet in the sanctuary.

  5. This Sunday will be the last of the “Zoom” (that’s live streaming) Adult Sunday School study on how we got our Bibles.  Thank you to Dan Holcomb for doing this, and best wishes and love from all of us as he and Cyndi move to California to be near the grandkids. 

    1. The status of Adult Sunday School after the 7th remains undecided.

Other issues to be aware of:

  1. In terms of church finances, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your faithfulness!  We finished the month of May with giving exceeding spending by about $3,000.  This really helped after the significant shortfall we saw in April.

    1. Tithes, offerings, and gifts, can be made to the church through our website, www.bccharstine.org, or they can be mailed to Bridge Community Church, at 500 E North Island Drive, Shelton WA, 98584, or Pastor John will be at the office most of the time and you can drop offerings off there (we’ll maintain “social distancing” J).  Call ahead and make sure he’ll be there if you want to drop your offerings off at the church.

  2. Note that, much to Christie Johnson dismay, Vacation Bible School is officially cancelled for this year.  

  3. If you have an encouraging testimony you would like shared, send it to Pastor John and he’ll share it with the congregation.

  4. One thing we would like to encourage each of you to do is to reach out to five people from our church every week to help people remain connected.

  5. The Elders (or in some cases an assigned delegate J ), and Pastor John, are continuing to call everyone on a periodic basis.

  6. Our prayer network is keyed up and ready, contact Carol McGraw at cmcgraw741@gmail.com.

  7. If you have specific needs, please call Pastor John and we’ll see what we can work out, the number at the church office is 360-426-6352.

We will continue t0 keep you posted as things develop. 

Pastor John J

Office: 360-426-6352

Cell: 303-881-7006

Home: 360-427-0764

May 5, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Here’s an update on where we are right now based on what Governor Inslee said on 5/1/20:

  1. All Sunday church services remain suspended through the month of May.

    1. it is possible that a county based variance could be issued since the number of cases for Covid-19 was so low in Mason County.  

      1. Even with that, it does not appear that we would be able to resume normal worship services.  “Phase 2” only allows gatherings of five people.  The Elders will continue to monitor the situation and try to keep everyone posted as things change.  

    2. We are continuing to record the sermon in audio alone, as well as with video and audio, and posting it on this website.

      1. We’ve had some technical challenges over that past couple of weeks.  I believe these are now resolved.  

        1. The worst case scenario, I have the sermon study notes and manuscripts if you would like a copy.  Just let me know and I’ll send them to you.

    3. The Worship Team and the Audio/Visual Team are also video recording weekly worship; thank you to the Worship Team and the AV Team for doing this for us.

      1. These are also being posted on our website and Facebook page.  

    4. We are working on live-streaming a full service but are having technical difficulties getting the new equipment up and running.  We’ll keep you posted regarding when that will happen.

    5. Drive-thru worship services are now allowed.  The Elders will be discussing how this might look for our church.  We’ll keep you posted.

    6. Pastor John will continue to be on our church’s Facebook page Sunday mornings from 9:30 – 11:00 for live discussions on whatever topics come up.  

    7. We are also “Zooming” (that’s live streaming) the Sunday School study on how we got our Bibles.  This is on Sundays at 9:30.  If you’re interested in joining, send Dan Holcomb a note at thechaplaindude@gmail.com.  It will help if you go to zoom.us and download their software in advance.

  2. All church sponsored Youth/Thrive activities remain suspended.  Contact Christie Johnson if you have any questions or suggestions, HIMyouth@outlook.com.

  3. The prayer meeting on Wednesday evening is now held at 4:00 PM and will be handled through Zoom video conferencing.  If you’re interested in joining, send an email to johnmartin052@msn.com and I will add you to the list.

    1. Once we move to phase 2 we will be able to resume face-to-face prayer meetings, although we may need to divide into two groups.

  4. At this point most of the Life Groups continue to take a break.  Currently, the only exception is Carolyn Vivian’s group, which is meeting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 P.M. using Zoom.

  5. Men’s Breakfast and the Ladies’ Fellowship gatherings remain suspended.

  6. Pastor John will continue to work from the church in order to be available for people needing help from our pantry, as well as being a point of contact if anyone needs help.

  7. Pastor John and the elders will continue calling all of our people each week (or at least periodically) to make sure everyone is OK.

    1. However, if you need something, please do not hesitate to call the church office and we’ll do what we can.

Other issues to be aware of:

  1. Pantry: our pantry is currently well stocked.  Surprisingly, its use has gone down during the lockdown, which is not what we were expecting.  At the same time, your generosity has been remarkable.  Thank you.

  2. In terms of church finances, April was not a good month for the church.  God remains faithful, and the church is healthy, but a chunk of money had to come out of our reserves to cover some of the April expenses.  

    1. Tithes, offerings, and gifts, can be made to the church through our website, www.bccharstine.org, or they can be mailed to Bridge Community Church at 500 E North Island Drive, Shelton WA, 98584, or Pastor John will be at the office most of the time and you can drop offerings off there (we’ll maintain “social distancing” J).  Call ahead and make sure he’ll be there if you want to drop your offerings off at the church.

  3. Our prayer network is keyed up and ready, contact Carol McGraw at cmcgraw741@gmail.com.

  4. If you have specific needs, please call Pastor John and we’ll see what we can work out, the number at the church office is 360-426-6352.

  5. If you have an encouraging testimony you would like shared send it to Pastor John and he will share it with the congregation.

We will continue to keep you posted as things develop. 

Pastor John J

Office: 360-426-6352

Cell: 303-881-7006

Home: 360-427-0764

March 31, 2020

Dear Church Family,

The spread of the coronavirus continues, as of Monday there were five confirmed cases in Mason County.  As most of you are already aware, the restrictions on gatherings have been tightened to a shelter at home proclamation by Governor Inslee.  Here’s an update on where we are right now:

  1. All Sunday church services are suspended.  Based on comments President Trump made on Monday, it is likely this will continue through the end of April.  The Elders will monitor the situation and try to keep everyone posted as things change.  

    1. We are continuing to record the sermon in both audio alone or video and posting it on our website, bccharstine.org.  We are also posting it on our Facebook page.  Dan is working hard to make sure the sermon is available by Sunday Morning.

    2. The pastor provides a short review of the sermon each week under the “Pastor Says” heading on the website.

    3. Pastor John will continue to be on our church’s Facebook page Sunday mornings from 9:30 – 11:00 for live discussions on whatever topics comes up.  

    4. We are exploring the feasibility of “Zooming” (that’s live streaming) the Sunday School study on how we got our Bibles.  Details are being looked at, and we’ll keep you posted.

    5. We are also exploring a “Zoomed” live streaming study in Galatians sometime during the week.  More details to follow.

  2. All church sponsored Youth/Thrive activities remain suspended, again, the Elders will monitor the situation and try to keep the affected people up to date.  Christie Johnson, our Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries, is working hard to stay in contact with our young people.  Contact her if you have any questions or suggestions, HIMyouth@outlook.com.

  3. The prayer meeting on Wednesday evening is rescheduled for 4:00 PM and will be handled through Zoom video conferencing.  More details will be sent out on this. 

  4. At this point all of the Life Groups continue to take a break.

  5. Men’s Breakfast and the Ladies’ Fellowship gatherings are suspended.

  6. Resurrection Sunday services and all the events around that remain in question.  We are exploring live-streaming the worship service and sermon, but there are some audio details that still need to be investigated.  We’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

  7. Pastor John will continue to work from the church in order to be available for people needing help from our pantry, as well as being a point of contact if anyone needs help.

  8. In addition to Pastor John calling people to make sure they’re OK, the Elders will also be calling on our church family to make sure you are OK.

Other issues to be aware of:

  1. Pantry: our pantry recently received supplies, but we are still in need of canned meats and vegetables.  If you can help that would be great.  As you might expect, we are beginning to receive requests for toilet paper and toiletries.  If you have extras, the panty can use them.

  2. Giving: Many in our congregation have been faithful in continuing to support the church, THANK YOU!  A couple weeks ago the situation seemed pretty grim.  I am praising God for your continued faithfulness.  Tithes, offerings, and gifts, can be made to the church through our website, bccharstine.org, or they can be mailed to Bridge Community Church, at 500 E North Island Drive, Shelton WA, 98584, or Pastor John will be at the office most of the time and you can just drop offerings off there (we’ll maintain “social distancing” ☺).  Call ahead and make sure he’ll be there if you want to drop your offerings off at the church.

Church Support available:

  1. If you are uncomfortable going into town, or if you are ill, and need help getting prescriptions or groceries, contact the church at 360-426-6352 and we’ll make arrangements to get what you need picked up.

  2. Pastor John is still available for visitation although we would need to discuss the risks to you before he makes a visit.  If you would like a visit please let him know, and we can talk about how best to do this.

  3. Our prayer network is keyed up and ready, contact Carol McGraw at cmcgraw741@gmail.com.

  4. If you have specific needs, please call Pastor John and we’ll see what we can work out, the number at the church office is 360-426-6352.

We will keep you posted as things develop.  We’ll be communicating through Facebook, our website, and email.  It is conceivable that this will be going on for some time, let’s take advantage of the time to renew our relationship with the Lord.

Pastor John ☺