Good morning, FCC!
I just want to start to this update by celebrating. Last weekend was was such a great time together worshiping. We had people join us in person for the first time in a year. We also had people join us for their first time in a church in a very, very long time. Friends, neighbors and family members were invited. There was great joy—clapping, shouting and great singing! The Spirit was moving, Jesus was glorified, and our Father was honored.
And we get to do that again this Sunday! I look forward to being with you online and in person!
This Sunday we are starting a series on 1 Corinthians, a letter penned by the Apostle Paul to a church that was going through some of the challenges we are facing today. Part 1 of this series is entitled “Is Christ Divided?” The answer, of course, is “no!” We will seek to learn from Paul in the Scriptures and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to increase in our unity as a church with grace and humility.
Find the sermon and conversation guide online with the option to download and print at fcchudson.com and also on the app.
As we continue to join together in person, we have some great opportunities to connect and serve:
As communicated last week, the Elders of our church have reconsidered our various COVID positions and policies in light of the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision to strike down the Emergency Order the governor had placed upon our state. The purpose of this communication is to inform you of changes we will be making and providing the biblical basis for them.
The Elders have earnestly, carefully and collectively considered the teachings of Scripture as we have determined the direction for our church during this challenging time. Now that we are no longer under a governmental order, we are revising our policy for how we gather to worship on the weekends. Our new policy will be effective on April 18, 2021. We intend to use the coming week to communicate well the changes and our reasons for them.
Beginning on April 18, we will be creating two sections in our worship area. One section will be a “Mask Required at all Times” section. The other section will be a “Mask Optional” section. We will also be kindly enforcing this change. We are taking this approach because of the change in the governmental order and because we desire that all who gather with us to feel safe, welcomed and cared for. At the same time, we also remain fully committed to following biblical principles and reflecting the virtues of humility, love and obedience to God the Father that Jesus’ life and teachings represent.
A deep concern the Elders have about this approach, even though the intention is to be loving and caring, is the visual division it imposes on our worship gatherings. We understand that we risk judgment, division, quarreling and gossip within our body as a result. The church is not to be divided, rather we are to be one in the Spirit. It is the biblical calling of each of us to inform our consciences in a way that this outcome is avoided. The Elders encourage everyone to guard their hearts and have provided teaching in this regard in the attachment provided below. Additionally, in God’s providence, our previously set preaching schedule is now discussing “Is Christ Divided?” Praise God! We will all have occasion to grow in the coming weeks as our pastors teach us the Bible’s wisdom about this topic.
We are making minor changes to our policies regarding our Next Generation ministries. These ministries have only a few weeks remaining in their Spring calendar. As we move ahead, we will align with the Hudson School District policies which include masking indoors, no masking outdoors and a three-foot social distance guideline. We will reconsider this position for Summer and Fall ministries at an appropriate time.
In closing, the Elders know that masking and social distancing is a divisive topic. Please know that we earnestly desire unity. Attached below is a detailed biblical explanation to our approach. We know that our judgements are not infallible, however, we are directed to humbly exercise authority in our local church. We do not want to tear down the church over this matter as we guide our body during this difficult time. We encourage everyone to stay engaged with us. It is ok to disagree. But if we do disagree, let us disagree in love, humility and obedience to God, as we know that God uses trials for our good. We encourage everyone to use this trial to grow their faith. Please also know that our online services can also be a tremendous blessing during this challenging time. This is true whether you find our approach too restrictive or not restrictive enough. Your continued growth and encouragement is vitally important. You matter to God and you matter to us.