Temporary Office Hours
During the duration of the current situation, the Church Office hours will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Note- the weekly newsletter is suspended until church face to face activities restart.
Worship services have been suspended in the Sanctuary, but are available online.
To remain faithful during this time of uncertainty, you can continue to support your church and it's outreach through our on-line giving by clicking the give button,
or you can mail your giving to
P. O. Box 541, Bainbridge, GA 39818.
Online Interactive Resources
Sunday Worship - March 29, 2020
REFLECTIONS - A Note from Pastor Melissa
March 25, 2020
Sabbath Lessons in a not Sabbath Time
One suggestion of how to approach this time of “social distancing” is to think about it like the Sabbath. Take the time, we often say we don't have, to experience true rest. After all, the bible commands us to rest one day in seven. Old Testament Scholar, Walter Bruggeman writes powerfully and often about Sabbath. The Sabbath had a powerful purpose for the people of Israel when they were enslaved in Egypt. When you are a slave, your value is derived only from what you produce. How many bricks can you make? How much can you build in day? How much can you harvest? The practice of Sabbath reminded the people of their inherent value to God just because of who they are, not what they do or produce. The Sabbath is also the great equalizer, the one who makes $5/hr is worth exactly the same as the person who makes $500/hr when they are both at rest. I lived for a time in a Jewish neighborhood and got to observe something my Christian teaching on Sabbath never taught me. Sabbath is also about community. When the whole neighborhood was at rest on the same day, neighbors enjoyed one another's company. All the kids made it to the front yards, so there were enough players for fun games.
While giving into rest may be a good way to grow spiritually in this time, it is also important to notice how this time is not Sabbath. Sabbath is about the whole community resting. I am very aware that while some people have much less to do, others will work much more in more difficult circumstances. Sabbath is also intended to be done in the midst of work: one day in seven. Rest just enough to remind yourself that the earth will not stop spinning and your family will not descend into chaos if you take a time to rest. Sabbath is a gift from God to help us feel loved for who we are: God's children. Sabbath is also a time to draw the community together for the enjoyment of life. An extended period of forced rest in isolation is not Sabbath time.
Yet, maybe we can learn some lessons of Sabbath in this not Sabbath time. Everyone will react to this time differently. Some will struggle to remain productive. Some homes will never agian be as clean as they are now: floors mopped and vacuumed, closets cleaned, drawers organized. Some parents feel the pressure to keep kids meeting academic goals. Perhaps it is important, to learn some Sabbath lessons in this time. Resist the urge to create business in order to feel worthy. God loves you. You are enough exactly how God created you. God loves you for who you are, not what you do. Allow yourself some time to truly rest and trust God with everything else. These are the Sabbath lessons. Maybe if we learn these lessons in this time of forced stillness, we will be able to know how to rest in God when life returns to normal. This would be a true gift.
REFLECTIONS - A Note from Pastor Melissa
March 19, 2020
The Work of the People
The word “liturgy”, another word for what we do in worship, means “the work of the people.” I have preached, taught, and written countless times, that worship is not something you watch, but something in which all are active participants. When I teach confirmation class, I have the youth create a list of all the people who make worship happen. This list gets pretty long: the secretary who makes the bulletin, the custodian who readies the sanctuary, the choir, the preacher, music leader, musicians, ushers, greeters, acolytes, the person leading the children's sermon, and lay readers. The point of this exercise is of course to help the youth realize that weekly worship takes many gifts and skills and offers many places to serve.
Since Saturday, I keep thinking of this idea of worship as “the work of the people.” I appreciate so much the notes of appreciation for the video worship for last Sunday. However, you should also know how much your presence was missed during its creation. So much of worship is what all of you bring to it: Your desire to seek God's presence, Your singing, Your smiles, Your sharing of the concerns of your heart, Your prayers, Your energy, heart and love for one another.
The message has certainly hit home this week that the church is not the building, but the church IS the people. We are working on ways to connect people during this time. One of the ways we will do that is through the ZOOM video conference call system. I know some of you think you are not “tech” savvy. That is ok. You do not have to be tech savvy to use ZOOM. I've been on Zoom this week with Sally Bates, Martha Hatcher, Ida Cooksey and many more. ZOOM is not a type of social media. ZOOM is a tool like a telephone line that helps groups talk together when they are apart. I'll be sending more detailed instructions later. But I encourage you to try it. The need for connection will be greater the longer this goes on. I know I have been blessed and excited to get to see you as I have helped a few people this week. I will begin teaching Adam Hamilton's Unafraid Bible Study next Wednesday on Zoom. We will also offer youth and children's ministry through this platform. We'll have plenty of time to try it out this week, because we want everyone with us. Dear friends, know I love you and miss you and am committed to keeping us connected. It's not church without YOU!
A Word from our Pastor - Church Office Hours & Staff Info
March 18, 2020
First, let me say thank you to all of you who have reached out with words of appreciation, encouragement and support to staff in the last few days. Your feedback, suggestions, and kind words help immensely. I also want you to know, if you didn't already, that we have an incredible staff. We are all working together to do things we have never done before. We will continue to be creative, adapt, and do our best to continue ministry with our church family and community. Here is what is happening now: :
For this week and next, the church office will be open 11-4, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. We are working to forward the church phone to staff phones and do some things to enable us to work remotely. We will adjust these hours according to the needs of the congregation and staff. Please begin to shift to communicating with staff through their cell phones and emails.
Of course, the only one whose work is not affected by all these changes is our financial secretary. The bills will continue to come in and must be paid. In consultation with the Staff Parish Committee, we are committed to paying our great staff including our hourly worker during this time. To do so, we are counting on your continued gifts. If you are not experiencing financial hardship, please continue your giving through the give button at the top of the page or through the mail (P. O. Box 541, Bainbridge, GA 39818). If you are able, you are encouraged to give to the Altar Fund, which helps people in our church and community who are experiencing financial hardship. If you have a need, please let me know.
Your staff is here for you. We know that needs will change as days go by. We are glad to adapt to meet those needs. Call on us. We love you.
Grace and peace,
Food Bank Schedule
The Food Bank is open during our regular schedule of Tuesday mornings, for one hour from 9:00 a.m. until 10: 00 a.m. The Food Bank operates out of the Adult Sunday School Building, 232 W. Shotwell Street.
Christian Fellowship Dinners
CFD's have been suspended until future notice.
Christian Fellowship Dinners usually meet at 6:00 p.m. in the J. O. Smith Building.
Children up through age 3 – no cost Children ages 4-10 - $5.00
Ages 11-64 - $7.00 Ages 65 and over - $5.00
Immediate Family limit - $22.00
Mother’s Morning Out / The Learning Corner
Mother’s Morning Out/The Learning Corner is on break until the Decatur County Schools restart on Monday, April 6. MMO serves children ages 12-24 months on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. TLC serves children ages 2-4 years old on Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Our TLC Program serves as an educational playschool.
Cub Scout Pack #519
Regular Scout activities are suspended until the school system starts back. At this time, we are still planning to have our Pinewood Derby on April 9, so continue working on your cars!
They usually meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The Pack is open to Kindergarten through 5th grade boys and girls. For more information, please contact the Church Office. Click HERE to go to the Scout page.
Join the 12:19 prayer movement
The coronavirus is also known as COVID-19. This has led to discussion among churches and pastors about inviting us to pray together at 12:19 p.m. each day. Let us join together in praying for: the researchers who are working for a cure, the medical personnel who are on the front lines of this fight, those whose jobs are in jeopardy, those in particularly vulnerable groups, the business owners who are living with financial uncertainty, and our churches as we seek to bring hope through Jesus Christ. Wherever you are at 12:19 p.m. each day, Bishop Bryan and the Cabinet ask you to join us in this prayer movement.
For more information, click here to go to the Youth Ministries page.