MAY 14 UPDATE – REOPENING GUIDELINES
Grace and peace in the name of Christ. I am writing to encourage and update you in this unique season in our life together.
First, let me share from my heart. I have never been more grateful to be part of this community of faith. The creativity, compassion and connection we have shared these past months have been remarkable. Times of uncertainty are most often times of growth. We have grown in weekly attendance as our message has reached a wider audience. We have grown in times of prayer and through worshipping in new ways. We have grown in new forms of fellowship. Our online giving has grown by 80%. And we have grown in our appreciation for one another and our shared mission. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your faith and faithfulness.
Second, let’s recognize the losses we have experienced. Much has changed and even the good changes are hard. Some of us have been navigating real challenges. Some have lost jobs, had hours cut, or have been furloughed. Some of us have contracted the virus and have been sick. Some are at risk and are concerned. Many are isolated. Many are overwhelmed. Many have risked their lives for others. Some have worked harder than they ever have before. All of us have been scared at times. All of us have navigated uncertainty. And we have all done all of this without meeting face to face, hugging, shaking hands, or a million other reminders of our connection. I want you to know I see you. Your church sees you. Most importantly, God sees you.
And so, let me address a question we’re all asking. When will we return to in-person worship? Broadway’s Council met recently to discuss reopening and to review guidelines that came out last week from the KY Conference of the United Methodist Church and from the State of Kentucky Healthy at Work initiative. Links to these guidelines are included below:
A few highlights:
- Places of worship should, to the greatest extent practicable, continue to conduct alternative services…
- Social distancing requirements dramatically reduce the seating capacity of congregation’s worship and fellowship spaces (25% of pre- COVID-19 seating).
- Individuals should avoid services if they are over 65, have serious underlying health conditions, or have compromised immune systems.
- All persons attending in-person worship services must wear a mask throughout the entire service.
- Places of worship should avoid congregational or choir singing during services, as doing so creates a higher risk of spreading infectious particles.
- Youth activities should not begin before June 15.
- Other guidance includes information about cleaning, building usage, air flow, etc.
To be clear, we consider this decision to be the work of Christ-centered spiritual discernment more than simply following external governmental or ecclesial oversight. Foremost in our discernment is the health and safety of the congregation.
In response to the continued spread of disease and the requirements to safely reopen, Broadway’s Council was unanimous that we should not yet set a timeline for resuming in-person worship. I am grateful for their guidance. Council will meet again on June 13 and will evaluate reopening at that time. We think it is wise to watch how the disease is progressing in our community in the weeks ahead. We ask everyone to pray for our community and for those affected, including Broadway members.
- We reflected on what it means to love our neighbor and considered our responsibility to the most vulnerable among us.
- We weighed the quality of experience of meeting in-person with very strict guidelines in contrast to the intimacy, safety and quality of experience in our homes—worshipping like the early church did.
- We expressed a high value on unity—of all of us being in this together. We would be concerned that a large portion of the congregation would not be able to come if we open our doors too soon.
In the weeks ahead, we will prayerfully consider our next steps. We will also be sending a survey to the congregation next week. This will better help us determine our next steps as we listen to your needs and concerns. Watch for this survey and please take a moment to give us your feedback.
In the meantime, there is important spiritual work to be done in this season. In our podcast, On Grace, Pastor Wayne discussed his cancer diagnosis in the months before his death. He reflected on how the path of fighting cancer wasn’t one he would have chosen. And yet, he said, “There is treasure on this road, too.” I think he was right. The treasures he left us during that time are just that—priceless gifts of faith, hope, and love.
There is treasure on this road, too. We will continue to find it together as we:
Worship in Spirit and truth in our sanctuary homes.
Wear masks, wash our hands, and stay at home whenever we can.
Persevere in faith.
Pray for our church, for our community, and for our world.
Trust that God is doing things in this season.
In fact, would you pray this silently as you finish reading? … joining with me and with your church family in continued trust of our faithful father…
God,grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
MAY 4 UPDATE – A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR ADAM
APR 17 UPDATE – NEW WAY TO CONNECT
Zoom Rooms: Missing seeing your friends in worship each Sunday morning? Starting this Sunday you can chat “face-to-face” with people from your usual worship service via Zoom! To learn more about when your service will be gathering and to sign-up, click here. We hope to see you there!
**NOTE: RSVP by the end of day on Friday to attend on Sunday. If you miss the cut off, you will be included the next week.***
APR 3 UPDATE – WORSHIP SCHEDULE & COMMUNION
As you may know, we have been asked to refrain from large gatherings through April 30 at the earliest. Broadway will comply with these guidelines and will be offering worship online throughout April. Our Maundy Thursday service will be offered online, Thursday, April 9 at 6:45. Easter Sunday will be April 12 at 10 am. All services can be found at bumconline.org.
In response to guidance from Bishop Fairley, United Methodist Churches in Kentucky will refrain from serving communion at this time. Broadway will follow this guidance and will find other ways to unite us in prayer, solidarity, and care. For more on this recommendation read the letter from Bishop Fairley here.
MAR 24 UPDATE – FUNERALS
The pastoral staff at Broadway remains committed to providing a loving response when an person connected to our church family passes away.
MAR 22 UPDATE
You can find below a schedule of our online broadcasts designed to help the Broadway family engage with one another throughout the week.
MAR 12 UPDATE
I am about to say something you never expected your pastor to say: “Don’t come to the church on Sunday.” This grieves me to say, as I know it does you to hear. But I am asking us all to stay home as an aggressive and necessary attempt to slow the spread of a global pandemic. I can say with certainty they didn’t teach us about that in seminary. Still after days of prayer and reflection, let’s make this a teaching moment. There are strong biblical reasons to take this step.
Wisdom: Proverbs 14:8. We will trust the experts, and they are all saying the same thing: don’t host large gatherings. This is not coming from media hype but from specialists and leaders whose numbers are in my cell phone. I trust them. It follows the Biblical wisdom tradition to listen to them. It follows Biblical admonishment against folly to ignore them.
Respect for authority: Hebrews 13:17, Romans 13:1-7. We have been asked by our leaders at the state-wide level not to gather this Sunday. We will respect this recommendation and invite other churches to do the same.
Concern for the least of these: Matthew 25:40. It is our ethical responsibility as we minister in the name of Jesus to care for the most vulnerable among us—in this case, those who are older or with underlying health issues. The make-up of our congregation presents a particular challenge in light of the known and unknown nature of this disease. We are an inter-generational church. Many of us will likely be fine, but over half of our adult population is over the age of 50. These are not hypothetical people. We know their names; they have a long-standing relationships with our church; and it is the responsibility of the entire body of Christ to care for and protect those most vulnerable in this situation.
Body of Christ: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 This is a time for unity. There are times to debate and discuss and share opinions. This is not one of those times. In the weeks ahead, we may decide this was too drastic. I hope so. But that evaluation comes later. Now is the time for us to join together as one. Now is the time for us to lean into connection and community. Now is the time for us to be the church and discover new ways of building community with Jesus as our center.
Faith over fear: Isaiah 43:1 This is a faithful response. There are some right now who are equating a strong response with a fear-based response. I appreciate this concern, but the two are not the same. Truthfully, it would be easier in this moment to do business as usual. Fear easily leads to panic on one extreme or inaction on the other. It takes faith to respond appropriately in this situation. Responding this way is an act of faith, and I am asking you to join me—in faith.
Here are the details:
- Broadway will gather for worship ONLINE in our homes at 10 AM for two Sundays, March 15 and March 22 Worship will be led by people from both campuses and each worship venue. Laura and I will preach together. This is a temporary measure. We will evaluate after two weeks. You can find our live stream at bumconline.org, which is easily accessed and excellent quality. You’ll receive instructions in the next few days to help answer your questions. We aren’t canceling church. We ARE the church.
- Growth groups, KZ, youth activities, and all groups will stop meeting until March 22. The church office and ELC will remain open at this time. Church staff will be encouraged to work from home when possible.
- You will receive frequent communication from the church with discipleship tools, discussions for your household and ways to connect to Christ and each other. We will guide you through this.
- Care and connection with our congregation will need to change for a short amount of time. Our pastors and staff will be reaching out to those who may be isolated. I would invite you to do the same. Make more phone calls. Set up a group text for your small group. Setup a weekly call with a spiritual friend and ask “how is it with your soul?” If you need pastoral care you can call the church office at (270) 843-3942 and press “0” to speak to someone or leave a message for the on-call pastor.
- Finally, begin to think like the church in Acts. They often met in homes, in smaller groups, with strong lay leadership. Discipleship happened in a very organic way. Households were centered in Christ, worshipping, praying, breaking bread, and enjoying God’s favor. People grew in their faith during this time. The church grew exponentially during this time. Start thinking about what God might do with us during this unique season.
Now more than ever I am thankful for the people called Broadway and sincerely expect we will be stronger through the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. I love each one of you and count it all joy to serve Christ with you.