Check this page regularly for any updates on church activities in the coming weeks.
As we have recently seen in our morning series in the Epistle of 1Peter, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1Peter 1:3-5). We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Thus, we continue to rest, even rejoice, in His good providence.
If you have questions or concerns, you may certainly contact any of the Elders or Deacons. Pray that the Lord would continue to be merciful to us and that He would give us the grace to show His joy and peace in a world that is perennially in upheaval.
Starting June 7 we will resume normal worship services with the exception that we will not have a choir. As we transition back to more “normal” worship in June, what can we all expect?
First, we do not expect attendance to be immediately “back to normal”. The last Sunday before the lockdown, attendance was low even in the morning service. The last two Sundays have been under 100 people, so we do not expect everybody to return at the same time. Let us stress again that we do not want anyone to feel compelled to come. Some will continue to be very guarded of their health, and others cautious out of concern for family members. We encourage you all to use your own mature judgment. If you or someone in your home feels ill, please DO NOT come to church.
If you feel it is safe to come as long as there is social distancing and no singing, the Fellowship Hall will be set up to provide that option. If FOR ANY REASON you feel it is not prudent to return, please continue to avail yourself of the online option.
Second, we will continue to have no Wednesday evening meetings, no Bible studies and no Sunday School. We will evaluate this in coming months, but we normally take a break in the summer from many of these activities anyway. Also, restarting certain aspects of church life is taking a bit of preparation, and is not as simple as “flipping a switch”. We appreciate your continued patience.
The Deacons have determined that the nursery may be used for parents who wish to go there with their own children, who are comfortable being in there with other parents and with their children being around other children; but there will continue to be no “staffed” nursery at this time.
Pastor, Fellowship Presbyterian Church
Lord willing, we are approaching an end to our “social distancing”, with numerous industries beginning to reopen this week in South Carolina. The Lord alone is sovereign over how all of this unfolds in coming weeks, and we know that He will continue to be wise and good in all that He does.
Pray especially for the Session in coming days as we begin to consider how to best “come out of lock down”. All services will still be confined to “online” this coming Lord’s Day, but the Session will be discussing how to guide the congregation through the various phases of reopening as they unfold.
I pray you all continue to do well and that the Lord is using all of this for your continued encouragement and edification.
Pastor, Fellowship Presbyterian Church
In light of the most recent guidelines we are receiving from federal and state authorities, all physical services and meetings are canceled for the month of April. We will continue to monitor the situation and bring further information in a timely manner.
Starting this Sunday, April 5, we will begin live-streaming both the morning and evening worship service. Please plan to join us at 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM by clicking “Worship Online” on the homepage, fellowshippres.org.
A Sunday school service will continue to be available each Sunday.
Maundy Thursday (online only)
We will have a modified and abbreviated Maundy Thursday service to be live-streamed at 7:00 PM on April 9. We will have no Lord’s Supper in this service but will have several readings, musical reflections, and a brief homily.
Thanks so much to all those who worked to pull off our first online services, as well as all the encouraging and constructive feedback we have received from so many! We had a number of viewers for both the Sunday School lesson by Tim Taylor and the worship service, so fantastic overall participation. Remember that we have new equipment we expect to install this week, so with better equipment and experience we expect the quality of what we place online to continually improve.
I mentioned in the announcements at the beginning of the online service that we would try to place some helpful links and resources on our web site. This afternoon let me encourage you in a few. First, while we have not yet ramped-up to our goal of both a morning and evening service, there are numerous churches that are already “up to speed” and offering a Sunday evening service. We have placed links here to Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville and First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. We would encourage you to consider these options as a way to close the Lord’s day in worship of Him.
Also, as many of us have a reduced workload right now, or at least can structure our work at our own discretion, this is a wonderful opportunity to spend more time in God’s Word. Ligonier Ministries is making all of their material available free online, and they have a variety of resources that will come up if you search on “Bible Reading Plan”. Many take you through the Bible in a year; but if you have struggled to read through the Bible, consider one of the plans that gives you an overview of the high points of Scripture. This link provides access to several plans for your consideration: Ligonier Bible Reading Plans. Click here to access the free teaching series library at Ligonier Ministries.
We pray the Lord would continue in these days to grow us in His grace, to show us blind spots and conform us to the image of Christ!
Yours in Christ,
The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God… And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” None of the events of recent weeks are a surprise to Him; in fact, they are divinely ordered both for His glory and our good!
In order to continue to serve our Savior, to respect His ordained civil authorities, and in an effort to protect our neighbor as best we can, the Session met last night and decided the following:
- We will have no physical meetings for the next two weeks. The Session and Deacons will continue to monitor the situation and assess weekly.
- We will make available on the church web site an online worship service at 11:00 AM this Sunday. We are also looking at live streaming and an evening service as we get up to speed, but we’ll keep things simple to start.
- We will also make available a Sunday school lesson at 10:00 AM.
- We will be testing weekly live updates on the Fellowship Facebook page.
- I am compiling a list of online resources to encourage us as we structure our time in “social isolation”.
- The Deacons are working on an online giving option. Until that becomes available, we ask that you be diligent in sending your contributions through the mail, dropping them off at the church, or arranging for a friend or Deacon to deliver it to the church.
- If you would be available to help some of our older members with errands or supply runs, or if you have a personal need, you may contact the Deacons at diaconate@fellowshippres.
- Because the core office staff is less than 5 people, you can still reach the church during office hours.
Check your email and the church web site regularly for updates as we have them.
It has been such a blessing to see how so many have already stepped up and taken the initiative to encourage and care for their brothers and sisters in the body, as well as the numerous ways the Lord is providentially using this “interruption” to focus His people on what is truly important. He is truly faithful, sufficient and good!
Grace and peace,
Pastor, Fellowship Presbyterian Church
Due to health concerns, the following FPC events have been canceled:
- This Wednesday’s supper, service, & all activities (March 18) has been canceled.
- This Thursday’s Men’s Fellowship and Bible Study (March 19) has been canceled.
- The Ladies’ Tuesday Bible Study has been canceled through the end of March.
- The Bridal Shower for Julie McCullough (March 26) has been canceled.
- The Ladies’ Spring Tea (March 28) has been postponed.
- Sunday Children’s Choir rehearsals have been canceled.
- Wednesday Choir Chimes rehearsals have been canceled.
The Session is currently evaluating the status of our Sunday meetings.
The Ladies Spring Tea scheduled for March 28, 2020, has been postponed to a date to be determined in the future.
While our hope remains in the Lord and not ourselves, the Session, in consultation with the Deacons, has moved to take the following actions in light of the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
- We are not canceling any of our stated services at this time – that includes Sunday school, Bible studies, etc. – though we continue to monitor the situation and will make changes if we feel appropriate.
- We are canceling the Lord’s Supper this evening and will be evaluating how to observe it in April in the safest way possible.
- Instead of passing an offering plate, a box will be placed in the narthex into which you may place contributions.
- If you are feeling sick (and this goes for any illness), you are urged to remain at home, to seek appropriate medical attention, and to not attend church services until you are well and do not pose a risk of infecting others.
- Exercise vigilant personal hygiene – wash hands frequently, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and use hand sanitizer – along with any other “social distancing” you feel to be appropriate.
- If you are in a “high risk” category – those over 60 and/or with other underlying factors that put you at risk – please use prudent judgment as to whether you attend any group gathering.
- We will direct our cleaning staff to be as thorough as possible, but this should not be considered a replacement for vigilance in personal hygiene.