Saturday, July 26

We are back in the building! There are a few changes and a few guidelines we need to uphold to be as safe as possible in these still uncertain times. First and foremost – if you don’t feel comfortable coming –don’t. We will still be streaming at 10 am. We want to see you when you are comfortable. You can still watch the service from the comfort of your pjs and couch.

If you are coming in person, we would love for you to register ahead of time at https://reopen.church/r/xgU0SqpS. This will allow us to keep track of our numbers and allow us to contact you if there are any changes. We will be sitting in a socially distanced sanctuary and gym with our masks on. The Children’s Center is closed at this time, but activity bags will be provided. 

We will be in two zones of 25% occupancy. The first will be the sanctuary and seating is in every other pew with 6 feet between quarranteams. The entrance and exit to church for the sanctuary zone will be through the main entrance. Restrooms will be the foyer restrooms. The second zone will be the gym zone. The service will be streamed from the sanctuary with a live emcee. Seating will be around appropriately distanced tables. Restrooms will be located in the FLC hallway. The entrance will be through the main entrance and exit will be through the Children's Center doors. Everyone in both zones will enter through the main entrance. Then we will ask you to pick a zone and ushers will guide you to your seat. When the service is over, ushers will dismiss row by row and we ask that you do not congregate in the church, but move to the parking lot and outside for any socializing you might care to do.

Safety is a priority. Masks will be worn at all times. Sanitizing stations will be located all over the church. Use them. One Quarranteam in the restroom at a time. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Stay home if you are feeling ill. Social distance. And rest assured, the building has been, will be, and is in the process of being sanitized.

To make the in-person worship experience safe for everyone, we are asking you to do the following 3 things:

1. Wear masks.

2. Practice Social Distancing

3. Comply with the CDC guidelines.

We are going as touchless as possible. No handshaking or gathering for prayer in the middle. No passing of the offering plates, we have drop boxes and online giving. Prepackaged communion. No coffee is being served. Doors will be left open as much as possible. Bulletins and connection cards are going digital.

The Children's Department is not open at this time. Children will stay with their quarranteams during and after service. Pastor Amy has made designated activity bags for each family that can be used during the service. After the service, please return the bag so we can sanitize them and fill them for next week. 

We know that that is a lot of information to process. Please be graceful to us and others as we all make this unprecedented journey together. Know that we love you, we pray for you, and are so excited to get to see you - when you are ready.

 

Saturday 5/23

May 23, 2020

Hello Manteno Church of the Nazarene!

It has been….too many days… of Shelter at Home. I cannot even remember what it is like not to Shelter at Home. 66 days ago we held our last on site church service. It has been 0 days since I haven’t thought about shooting the cardinal outside my window!I hope you are managing better than I am or cardinals and pastors everywhere are going to get shot!

Myself, and the rest of your church staff thank you for trying to stay connected with each other. Please do not quit these efforts. In fact, try to include even more people in your circle in the coming days! Have any of you made new friends and have been able to encourage people in your neighborhoods?

The Church Board, myself and the rest of your church staff also thank you for generously supporting the church with your tithes and offerings. Giving is down but steady. We know some people in financial difficulties cannot give right now but those who can have been and we appreciate it. The easiest way to give is to online. Please go to our website, www.mantenonazarene.org, and click ‘Give’ in the upper right-hand corner.

Thank you for your support and for trying to stay connected with each other.

I have two items I want to share with you. 

First, we have the opportunity to help feed children and families that need help at this time. Manteno Public Schools have been feeding kids every day during this Shelter at Home. That stops Friday, May 29th. Eight churches in Manteno are joining together to pick up that service. On Monday, June 1st, we begin. We need volunteers and we need money to pay for the meals. There are two ways to help pay for these meals for families. 

  • Go to our website, www.mantenonazarene.org, click ‘Give’ in the upper right hand corner and then contribute to the fund ‘Kids Meals’. 
  • Text the words ‘MCN GIVE’ to the number, 77977 and then follow the link. Contribute to the fund ‘Kids Meals’.

To volunteer, go to our website, when the banner scrolls across the screen, click on it to sign-up to volunteer.

Lastly, we all look forward to being able to safely gather again in corporate worship. Being together matters! But we all want to know we are safe and that others are safe to be around. I will not venture into the political debate on this. I do not and your Church Board does not make decisions for the future of our church according to political debates. We are listening to the CDC, medical and science professionals, our Church of the Nazarene officials, and our government officials at all levels. 

Each day we act responsibly moves us one day closer to being able to re-open up new areas of our lives again. Each day we think about the other person, we move us one day closer. I am not worried about my rights. I am thinking about how I impact others with my attitudes and decisions. 

Our Chicago Central District Superintendent, Dr. Larry McKain, issued a statement on May 23rd concerning our churches. It is posted on our website under VIRUS Updates. 

Below is a diagram that we are working on as we cooperate with the CDC, Church of the Nazarene, State of Illinois, and Village of Manteno. Hold on. Be diligent. If you can’t hold, call me or someone else and say HELP. We need to be here for each other!

Hold on! Help someone through this!

Pastor Ken Garner

Church Gatherings Schedule 2020

Saturday 5/23

unnamedMay 23, 2020

To the Chicago Central District:
 
President Trump issued a statement on Friday, May 22, that deemed all houses of worship as “essential” and should be allowed to reopen as soon as this coming Sunday. We so appreciate our President’s regard for religious freedom and recognizing the vital role each of our churches play in the community. As you can imagine, this has raised many questions for our pastors, leaders, and congregations about if, and when, we can reopen. While we all want to be together as soon as we are able, we probably won’t remember years down the road which Sunday we resumed meeting together. But a church that gathers too soon without taking proper precautions may be seen in a negative light in the community if our actions unnecessarily spread illness and death.
 
For this reason, I, along with the unanimous support of our District Advisory Board, am recommending that churches not hold in-person services at this time. Continuing to hold online services or drive-in services is encouraged while we remain in Phase 2 of the Restore Illinois plan. We encourage every church to be taking steps right now to build their reopening plan for the next 3-4 months so that, when the day comes, they will be ready to gather safely and responsibly.
 
The decisions we make are not based in fear, but in love. Our goal as pastors, church boards, and congregations is to preserve the unity of the church. These are challenging days, but we will make it through together. Hebrews 12:14 reminds us to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” In these days, let us be known as a people of peace. Let us lavish grace on one another when we don’t see eye to eye. Let us be known for our kindness and care, so that by our actions, others may come to know the joy, love, and hope of Jesus Christ. Thank you for serving so well. Love and appreciate you all more than you know.
 
Larry McKain, Superintendent
Chicago Central District

Wednesday 4/15

From Pastor Ken's Barber's Chair...

I bribed Pastor Jack McCormick for it!

Read Luke 24:13ff about the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus joined their walk. It reminds me that no matter how strange this Easter was and this roller coaster pandemic is, that the Resurrected Jesus joins our Road any and every time we journey with people.

Jesus said that every time we take care of someone, we take care of him. He said where 2 or 3 gather in his name, he is there is our midst.

Every time we take the time to be with people, we take the time to be with Jesus.

Call someone today. Text them. Something. Let Jesus join you and someone else on your journey today!

Seriously, call someone right now!

Together in Christ!