Montesano Presbyterian Church Soft Open Guidelines ~ Policy Letter
Dear Montesano Presbyterian Church Family, we are pleased to announce that our Oikos family will be able to worship again as a church family.
The following are basic guidelines for in-person attendance:
Social Distancing — Based on https:coronavirus.wa.gov-compliance. Observe all signs posted for safety and social distancing, following the requirement of policy order NO. 2020-07. Follow the direction of the Welcome Team and Pastoral Staff for entering, seating and exiting.
Entry will be from the glass Foyer Entrance doors, follow the flow of traffic to the sanctuary (from east) and sit at first come seating sections as indicated by staff members.
Exit will be to the right thru the (west) wooden exit double doors to the parking lot. Unless you are in special parking area.
Face Masks—Masks are mandatory. The Welcome Team, staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks. We ask that everyone please bring your own face mask to use while on campus. Extra masks will be available at the entrance should you forget yours.
Please remember these recommendations are for your protection and your church family.
Seating Capacity—Seating capacity will be limited to 50, excluding church staff, due to reduced capacity with social distancing. We ask for your patience, and willingness to continue to experience our online streaming service at WWW.MONTEPRES.ORG if you desire to stay at home. We will continue to record the services and present them online.
Attendance Planning—Congregants will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and we encourage you to let us know if you plan to attend by calling Susan on Friday for an RSVP (with your name and contact phone number). This is a measure for everyone to see how close to capacity we may be so we can all plan accordingly. We may need to do two services which would be AWESOME>>>> I’d dig that…so please call. Susan or Patrick will be at the church all day and if you call on Thursday you can leave a message. Thank you.
Monitoring and Reporting – Under the guidelines of the administration we are required by law to have a plan in place for monitoring and reporting possible or confirmed cases of COVID19. In order to mitigate these circumstances, we will be utilizing an RSVP and attendance roster that will include where each and every person attending sat on the date they attended.
Under these guidelines are policies for sanitization. Church staff has sanitized all areas common to our worship area. They will be sanitized again after each service. This includes all bathroom and kitchen areas. Church staff has been trained and prepared through the guidelines of Grays Harbor County Health order NO. 2020-07.
At-Risk Worshippers—We ask that those 65 and older or high health-risk individuals PLEASE consider staying at home to watch the service on our website. ALSO, please call us to let us know how you are doing and what we can do for you. YOU particularly are our greatest concern. If you DO plan on coming…we will assist you and prioritize your movement in and out of the building with extra precaution.
Recovery and Plan of Action for Possible Infection – Should a member of our congregation be diagnosed with COVID19 we will ensure that all movement and directives will be reviewed and those in close proximity will be notified, in a manner appropriate to confidentiality of our institution.
Other Activities—Children will sit with their families. No childcare will be available until further notice.
There will be No coffee hour at this time. Plans are to resume coffee hour in late June.
An Official Celebratory Opening will be set after my family gets here so they can join in the celebration. During this event, we will celebrate moms, veterans, fathers and most importantly, the Easter Sunday we missed
From the bottom of my heart Montesano Presbyterian Church Family, I am delighted to be here, and I am looking forward to seeing you all in real time. You are a tremendously caring and thoughtful congregation and I look forward to serving you each and every day.
1 John 3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so, we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
You are beloved in Christ and our Oikos family looks forward to coming together as the Body.
Sincerely, Rev. Patrick E. Cobb
Pastor, Montesano Presbyterian Church
My Wednesday Devo for this week is a memorial. I am taking this time to reflect on the life and the ministry of a man who challenged me to think in extraordinary ways. What about? Mainly my Christian worldview.
Ravi Zacharias was born in Chennai (Madras), India, in 1946 (He passed today after a very short battle with cancer). So a little about Ravi. In 1946, the country was under British rule. However, for centuries, beginning in 1522, it changed hands from Portuguese to French, and, lastly, British control. You may remember from Sunday’s message how “Legend has it” the Apostle Thomas preached the gospel here and was revered as a saint. In this region of the world, the population numbers in the millions. And in 1946, Madras was under siege by Germans (who also attacked it in WWI), then again in World War II, it finally gained its independence in 1947.
Another side of this province is that Hinduism is the most popular of the many religions in the country, followed by Islam than Christianity. What I find intriguing to the story of Ravi Zacharias is how he came to know and love Christ when he was surrounded by a caste system of Hinduism, causing him to be an atheist at a young age. And as a teen, he was saved after a suicide attempt when a chaplain in a hospital read him John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live.” This quote and ministry changed his life.
This former skeptic and unbeliever would live his life for the ministry of Christ Jesus, the savior and Lord of all in many incredible ways. His ministry, formally known as RZIM, has connections all over the world and allowed him to achieve some unmatched encounters with leaders of all sides of faith, war, politics, and economic status. Beginning in 1971, he went into Viet Nam. He preached to troops during the war, and at the height of the OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom), he was invited to speak with Muslim leadership, where he spoke eloquently about the lives of all of the sons and daughters fighting a war where no wins. It made such an impact on both sides of the leadership, they agreed to diplomatic terms of peace.
Dr. Zacharias was definitely not a source of my seminary education used to teach me about faith, life, and the ministry. I stumbled on to him because my green 1972 Chevy Caprice Classic, which I drove for many years, only had an AM radio. My listening choices were KBUK classic country – where every hour I heard “I Go A walking’ after midnight” by Patsy Cline. WOIA – news radio that would put me sleep; or Christian radio – which I always enjoyed. As I listened, I heard all sorts of theologies and systems of belief. However, the one thing I took away was that my “worldview” was “Christian,” and If I was going to live as a Christian, I better live out my Christian worldview. This is the absolute number one challenge our world faces. First, they have not established a real “worldview.” And second, that the world has forgotten Christendom. Zacharias states that a coherent worldview must satisfactorily answer four questions: that of origin, the meaning of life, morality, and destiny. He says that while every major religion makes exclusive claims about truth, the Christian faith is unique in its ability to answer all four of these questions. He routinely speaks on the coherence of the Christian worldview, saying that Christianity is capable of withstanding the toughest philosophical attacks. Zacharias believes that the apologist must argue from three levels: the theoretical, to line up the logic of the argument; the arts, to illustrate; and “kitchen table talk,” to conclude and apply. Zacharias’ style of apologetic focuses predominantly on Christianity’s answers to life’s great existential questions with the defense of God.
I will miss listening and being challenged by this man on the radio. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“Wonder knows that while you cannot look at the light, you cannot look at anything else without it. It is not exhausted by childhood but finds its key there. It is a journey like a walk through the woods over the usual obstacles and around the common distractions while the voice of direction leads, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’”
“You can only learn so much from books. You can only learn so much from education. Ultimately, it is the wisdom of God that will carry you through in the toughest situations of life.”
“The Christian faith, simply stated, reminds us that our fundamental problem is not moral; rather, our fundamental problem is spiritual. It is not just that we are immoral, but that a moral life alone cannot bridge what separates us from God. Herein lies the cardinal difference between the moralizing religions and Jesus’ offer to us. Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.”
These are just a few of his very deep and theologically spiritual thoughts, they will stretch our spiritual muscles and allow us to think in different ways. I am thankful for this MOG (Man of God) and he will be missed. The choir of angles rejoice in high heaven today, as he is welcomed into the kingdom of God.
Blessings to you all in Christ, Amen <>< P. COBB