Dear Rockport Family and Friends,
Blessings and peace to you this week! I pray that you are staying safe and healthy as we anticipate this holiday weekend.
This week, we have been busy preparing for transitions and making plans for a safe return to in-person activities. Rockport Early Childhood Center is reopening on Monday, July 6. Small groups have begun to return to in person activity, and we are continuing to plan what a return to worship will look like. Stay connected with us for more information in the weeks ahead. The Reopening Team is grateful for your feedback on our Worship Preferences Survey and will be using that information to aid in our planning when we next meet.
As a reminder, last week's email outlined some of the responsibilities for groups that are returning to in-person activity. The basics are here as a reminder: all groups must be scheduled with the Church Office and on the Calendar. Everyone entering the building (or outdoor area) must have their temperature taken, abide by social distancing, (if you can touch with your arms outstretched, you are too close!) and wear a mask.
If you have stopped by the Rockport website (www.rockportumc.org) you may have noticed that we have a brand new website! If you haven't yet stopped by, we invite you to check it out - there's lots of great information there, a calendar you can subscribe to (it's on the Events tab), and information about our ministries and activities. Our Children's and Youth Ministries have their own pages under the "Ministries" and "Christian Educations" tabs - keep an eye out there for more information as we plan programs and events. And you'll notice that our Sunday Children's Lessons are still available on a password protected page there. (The password is RockportKids!).The Children's Lessons are fun to color, begin conversations, and help the smallest among us engage in worship... but they aren't just for the kids! I sometimes color the sheets too as a prayer practice!
One of the biggest benefits to our new website is our ability to share our online worship content directly on our website. When you visit, you'll notice the countdown ticker at the top, telling you when our next worship service will be live. If you click the "Worship" tab at the top, you'll be able to see what our worship video player looks like (and watch worship from this past week, June 28, 2020). When worship is happening on Sunday mornings, there are a few tabs on the right side that you'll want to take notice of. One is a "Chat' tab, where you'll be able to participate in conversation if you are watching live. (If you're watching later, then you'll be able to see the conversation, but won't be able to participate.) The second tab says, "Order of Worship" and as you might expect, clicking on that tab will allow you to see the Order of Worship right next to the video. You can scroll down to follow along and participate with us. The "Playlist" tab will show you most recent worship services, and the "Give" button at the top of the page will direct you to our online giving platform through Tithe.ly. I hope and pray that you will consider joining us for worship on the website, so that we can chat, worship, and pray together in real time.
And if watching on the website doesn't work for you (I know some of you put us on your TVs through YouTube!) don't worry - Facebook and YouTube are still options for you!
This Sunday, (July 5) will be our final joint worship service with St. Thomas Episcopal Church as they prepare to move back to limited in-person worship. That doesn't mean it will be the last time you see Father Dave, however! I suspect (and he's offered) to help Rockport continue with worship. Beginning on Sunday, July 12, 2020 worship will move to it's new regular time (but will still be online for the time being!) at 10:00am. Mark your calendars for this change and plan accordingly! (As always, online worship will be available to you after that time too - but without the opportunity to chat in real time with me and other members of the congregation!)
Dear friends, as we continue our life together (even while we are apart), please know that you are in my prayers. We invite you to continue giving to Rockport, supporting the Take What You Need Cabinet, and keep the staff, our childcare, and our church family in your prayers. If you are in need of pastoral care or conversation, please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone (216) 264-6044 or by email (email@example.com).
In Christian Love,
Rev. Lorrin Radzik
Pastor, Rockport UMC