Life of the Church
SUNDAY MAY 24, 2020
Statement Regarding Reopening from the Board of Elders
The Board of Elders had a good, thoughtful, and constructive 3+ hour meeting Wednesday night, the majority of which was dedicated to conversation regarding reopening the church for physical attendance at Sunday worship services. We listened carefully to members of our Medical Response Team and our Reopening Work Group. The Board of Elders decided to maintain online streaming as our only avenue for corporate worship for at least the next four weeks. Although we are working toward reopening, any reopening will not be a return to “normal.” Given the current guidelines for creating a safe environment, we estimate that we can only accommodate approximately 130 people in the sanctuary, all of whom will be required to wear masks. We cannot hold children’s classes or nursery or have a coffee hour after the service. Given these limitations, most of our community will continue to participate in Sunday worship through online streaming even after the sanctuary is reopened. For that reason, we are encouraging smaller groups of our community to build connections around Sunday worship (e.g. a virtual meet-up after the service, possible in-home small group gatherings for worship, etc.), and we aim to provide resources for you accordingly. God has been deepening us in new ways through this strange time, and we trust that He will continue to do so.
The Board of Elders will meet in two weeks to continue our discussion and reassess this dynamic situation. Each passing week enables us (and our medical team) to know and understand more. As soon as we have more information about the next phases of the transition, we will share them through this Thursday e-news. Thank you for your understanding and your prayers.
Giving towards the Ministries & Operations (M&O) budget is currently lagging behind last year by 1%, though the 2020 budget assumes a 14% increase in gifts from last year. For Missions the situation is somewhat better with giving ahead of last year by 8%, but with an assumption of 10% growth this year. Please remember that all gifts to Missions must be specifically identified as a Missions gift. The Deacons Fund balance continues to be robust.
Thursday Night Outreach (TNO) Expanded Hours
Park Street Church’s Thursday night response to the needs that face our vulnerable neighbors on the streets of Boston is TNO. They are continuing their work throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In response to increased needs they are now serving on Saturdays from 12:00–2:00 PM in addition to serving on Thursday nights.
To serve responsibly, they are operating with volunteer rotation schedules. If you are interested in joining, you are welcome!
Covid-19 Response Teams
Volunteer with Enable Boston
Volunteer to chat and pray over Zoom or Facetime with Zach McLeod! Traditional opportunities to interact with individuals from our congregation with disabilities is currently limited. Nevertheless, we are thinking creatively about supporting our Enable Boston participants. Please contact Leslie Bodkin for a conversation on how you can be involved.
Tea & Story
God has made us for story—to be part of his and to hear each other’s. One woman shares a time when God was very present to her, also shares a Bible verse that relates, then we have a brief time of silence, then we are placed in random breakout groups, each of which has a leader, and we share from a few presented questions (not pressure to share). Then we go back to the main room and have a brief closing. We aim to be vigilant about keeping to 1/2 hour.
Global Missions During the Pandemic
Boston Fellows Program
SEP 2020-MAY 2021. What does God have to say about my work and daily life? Boston Fellows is a nine-month program for young professionals to cultivate the insights and spiritual habits necessary for meaningful vocation, with like-minded believers, spiritual leaders, and professional mentors. JUL 1 application deadline. Contact Kelly Madden, Executive Director of Boston Fellows, with questions.
"Perspectives" Missions Course
FRIDAY EVENINGS at Park Street, AUG 28-DEC 18. Learn about missions firsthand in this extraordinary course. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a 15-week course designed around four “perspectives” on Missions – Biblical, Historical, Cultural, and Strategic. You will have 15 instructors with a breadth of global experience. Registration is now open. Contact Yuyu Song for more information. First two classes are free!
Small Group Resources
We believe that no one should be alone during these times of increased anxiety and physical isolation. If you find yourself on this journey without a support system, we desire to connect you with people who can walk beside you through virtual community. Please fill out this form and let us know how we can contact you.
Park Street Church staff and leaders are working to equip our small groups with resources to help them stay connected to each other’s spiritual, physical and social needs. If you have specific questions about your small group, please contact Pat Chen. Learn how to setup remote meetings.
Prayer & Praise
Pray for the Congregation
- Praise the Lord who rejoices in doing good for his people (Jer. 32:41);
- Set your focus on the only true God (Jn. 17:3);
- Love your neighbor, pursuing what leads to peace and mutual edification (Rom 14:19);
- Seek and find, when you search for the Lord with all your heart (Jer. 29:13).
Pray for the People
- For missionaries near and far, an outpouring of God’s Spirit for advancement of the gospel;
- For the Elders, ripening of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, God’s wisdom on reopening and on shepherding the church during pandemic, and deepening of relationships among the Elders;
- For the Staff, attentiveness to God and reliance on his grace;
- For the graduates, blessings of body, mind and soul in celebrating God’s glory and service to his kingdom;
- For families, God’s grace and joy for flourishing of children and parents;
- For all feeling overwhelmed, the assurance of God’s love and promise to remain with and provide for his people;
- For all grieving loss of many kinds, God’s comfort and hope;
- For all healthcare and front line workers, divine help and hope to meet extraordinary physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Pray About the Pandemic
- God’s presence and healing among those infected with the virus;
- Blessings on leaders to care well for their people during reopening;
- Divine inspiration for developing effective tests and treatments.