Email from Pastor Cliff
My Dear People,
It was so good to see many more people in our Sunday’s service. In fact, we had 147 people in attendance which is the most since we reopened. Our next step is to get our full Sunday morning program up and running again. To be honest, I have vacillated back and forth, and it has been hard trying to determine when to “pull the trigger.” At first I was thinking wait until August, but just this week, I am learning more churches are using Father’s Day Sunday to reopen their Sunday School classes. So, I now believe we must restart Sunday School sooner than I originally thought. I am now asking that we all pull together to make it happen Sunday, July 12. I know some of you are “chopping at the bits” to get together for Bible Study. Perhaps others of you are not ready to come back. Let me assure you that is fine and no one will criticize you for staying home a little longer.
Last week, I was talking to Tim Darst about how COVID has impacted our churches. Tim nailed what I have been observing at MBC when he said, “Pastor Cliff, we are seeing in our people COVID fatigue.” That is exactly what I have been observing at MBC. COVID fatigue has been setting for several weeks, and the past two weeks it has grown to a fever pitch. Now I am only speaking of those coming to the services. They do not mind letting me know they want to regather and when they do they want to shake hands again and give hugs. Now, I full understand some of you may not be comfortable coming in a more free atmosphere to church, you may want to stay home. Let me say, you can come and if it is your choice to practice physical distancing, you can do that. Everyone just needs to exercise common sense. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, that is fine, but no masks are required. We want everyone who comes to be safe and feel comfortable. But, I must say, I feel it is impossible to please everyone on these issues. I only want to say one thing about the Sunday evening program. All of our staff agrees that we must get Sunday morning back up and running before we attempt doing anything with the Sunday evening program.
On a personal note, our family will be going on vacation together Monday, June 22-Sunday, June 28. In my absence, Robby Pollard, Pastor of the Village Park Church will preach Sunday, June 28. I asked Robby to preach here because I want you to get to know him. Through the years we have developed into being good friends. When he first began pastoring we would have lunch together and I was impressed with his desire to learn how to be a better pastor. I appreciated his teachable spirit and it is so good to see how he has developed into a more seasoned minister through the years. Pastor Scott will be in charge of presiding for the service and will be in full charge of the church staff while I am away. Our family is looking forward to spending this quality time together. We will be attending services at Fellowship Church of Huntsville, June 28. Our oldest son, Cliff and his family are members there. It may interest some of you longtime members that your former Worship Pastor, Joey Stroud is on staff there. We look forward to meeting Joey and hearing him sing.
In closing, I want to ask each of you to pray for our police officers nationwide. These fine men and women who serve to protect us are under attack like I have never seen before. My entire life I have had a high level of respect and appreciation for law enforcement officers. Through the years I have done ride-a-longs with police in Little Rock, the Arkansas State Police, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol. In recent months I have asked to do ride-a-longs with Precinct 4 Constables, but was told they are no longer allowed due the dangers officers now face. As you can imagine I have had only a glimpse of what police officers have to put up with, and I am convinced 80% of American men and women would lack the courage it takes to be a police officer. Our officers today certainly do not deserve the disrespect they are forced to tolerate. The lack of support they are getting from the public is bad enough, but to not be supported by their Governor, Mayor and Chiefs is not only disgusting, but it makes their jobs even more dangerous. During this strange time we need to show our highest level of appreciation to our local law enforcement officers. When you run into one out on the street or wherever, let them know how much you appreciate them and that you are praying for them.
I hope to see even more of you this Father’s Day Sunday. It is going to be a very special day and you will even get to see me stirring the baptismal waters!!!