Our Return

Our Return – This Sunday
 
I know many of you have been clamoring for a return date to church at Heucks Retreat, and I’m happy to announce that this coming Sunday, June 21st, we will be making our return. This has been a delicate process that we’ve been very sensitive toward, wanting to make sure that your health and safety were top priority and that we took all the necessary precautions. If you’d like to find out more about what we’re doing, you can click here to see.
But let’s talk about what Sunday is going to look like. I do encourage you to read the entire article, as there will be important information that you and your family will need to know upon joining us this coming Sunday.
 
1.  We will begin our service at 10:30 am, as we always have. It would be wise to arrive closer to 10:15 to avoid any potential issues coming in. We don’t foresee any, but it’s just an added precaution as we do things a bit differently.
 
2. There will be an usher at the front entrance administering a quick temperature check. These checks will take no more than five seconds, won’t touch your body, and give us an accurate reading of your body temperature. If your body typically hovers a degree above or below 98.6, please let our ushers know. We don’t want to turn anyone away, but we do want to make sure those running a fever don’t put the rest of us at risk.
 
3. While not required, we do encourage congregants to wear a mask. This can help reduce the potential spread of Covid-19 and provide comfort to other members and guests.
 
4. Ushers will direct families to their seats. We will block off every other row to practice proper social distancing. If you have a larger family, even if you typically sit on the sides, we’ll ask that you sit in the middle so that we can properly space people between rows.
 
5. We encourage all members to follow CDC guidelines in regards to social distancing. You can find those here
 
6. There will be an overflow room available in the Ministry Center, for those who want to join us, but are still a bit skittish of being too close to others. If you choose to stay at home, we will still be streaming our services on Facebook and our website.
 
7.  There will be no Sunday School and there will be no childcare provided.  Our service will run until about 11:15 – 11:20 so little ones won’t become too antsy for you.  
 
 
Finally, there is one more thing that we will be doing to plan for our return.  In addition to all of the above, we ask that if you plan to attend this coming Sunday, that you fill our this quick form so we can judge how many are coming and how we should set up our Sanctuary to accommodate for that number.  For the first month, we will be sending out this short survey weekly to help our staff prepare for your arrival and make sure that we don’t overload any particular area, whether that be the Sanctuary or the Ministry Center.  Alternatively, you can also call the church office at 601-835-1821 or text the church phone at 601-757-4140 to get your family registered to be with us.
 
We’re excited to be back with you.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the church office and ask.  Thank you for being so patient with us as we’ve navigated new territory in our world.  We hope that being back together Sunday will be the first step in a return to normalcy. 


Online Giving at Heucks Retreat

With the Coronavirus disrupting our services for the foreseeable future, there has been a question posed to me countless times: what about giving?  As you all know, our church relies on the gifts of its people to continue to operate and minister to our people.  God calls each of us to give sacrificially to support His mission through the local body, but for many, it seems like an impossible task, not necessarily because of finances, but due to opportunity.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s message regarding the cancellation of our Drive In Easter Service (you can find that here), your staff see these obstacles as opportunities to reach people in ways we never could before.  It’s given us an opportunity to reexamine how we do things and what we can do more effectively to reach people with the Gospel message.  In regards to tithes and offerings, this has led us to explore Online Giving.

With Online Giving, you’ll be able to give your tithe/offering through a debit or credit purchase, or through a bank transaction.  This eliminates having to figure out how to get your tithe to us, as you can easily do it online from the comfort of your home.  For many, your tithe may be the only check you ever write, so this creates an opportunity to advance even this into the digital age we live in. 

Starting now, we will offer online giving through a web service called Tithely.  We chose this service because of their competitive rates and ability to have designated giving when we have certain fundraisers or offerings at the church, such as Annie Armstrong or Guatemala.  Tithely offers you two ways to give to Heucks Retreat.  First is through a debit/credit purchase.  If you choose this option, there will be a 2.9% transaction fee (plus .30 cents per transaction) charged to the church.  The second option is bank transfer, which will hold a 1% transaction fee with the same .30 cents addition per transaction.  You will have the option to cover these charges for us if you’d like, but this would not be recorded for tax purposes.  Your actual gift will be recorded and we will know the exact amount you have given.  For example, if you gave $100, we’d receive somewhere close to $97 of that, but our records would still indicate that you gave $100.  You have no need to worry about our records being wrong for your taxes.

While the transaction fee can be discouraging, from all we’ve talked to that have online giving at their church, they’ve told us it has increased tithing, not reduced it, so this fee is something we’re willing to eat for the betterment of our church.  Do not feel pressured to cover the fees, but if you do feel led, we’d appreciate it.

To all those who like writing a check and putting it in the offering plate (I am one of them!), you have nothing to worry about!  We’ll continue to have a time for offering when we’re back together and you can still drop off your tithe/offering at the church office in the mean time. 

You can currently access Online Giving through our website (you’ll find a tab at the top) or through our app (you’ll find it in the side menu).

If you have any questions, feel free to call the church office at 601-835-1821 and I’d love to answer them.  Thank you so much for all of your support and I pray that God will continue to use each and every one of you during this time.

In Christ,

Brett



About the Drive In Service

This past Sunday, I announced that Heucks Retreat Baptist Church was planning to do a drive in service for Easter.  While I know many of you were thrilled at the prospect, there were some stipulations that I mentioned that might put a damper on those plans: government, weather, and health.  For weeks, the deacons and staff had been discussing this plan and were excited to be able to gather, even if we were all locked in our cars, together for Easter.  When the Shelter-In-Place hit, we were worried that our plans would be immediately squashed, but that wasn’t so.  On Saturday, we received an email stating that Governor Reeves encouraged churches to meet in such a way and that we would be fine.

A day later, that message changed and churches are now being discouraged to do such meetings.  And while there would be no intervention, in the minds of your staff and deacons, this is a sign that the health risks for such an event would far outweigh the benefit of meeting.  Combine this with the fact that the current weather projection for Sunday is thunderstorms, and we’ve made the decision to cancel the drive in service and continue with our Live Stream instead.

I know many of you reading this are saddened by this news, but we believe it is for the betterment of our congregation that we make this decision.  Believe me when I say that it is not one that excites us, but one we know needs to happen. 

With that said, we have a great morning planned for Easter, one that we are praying will allow you to worship together as a family with all of your heart.  Though we may be separated physically, nothing can separate us from the love of God and nothing can separate us in spirit.  The current plan for us is to have a service just like we’d have if we were all gathered together, with a couple specials, worship, and an excellent Easter message from Bro. Daniel Hall.  I’m genuinely excited for this Sunday and I hope you are too.

As I close, I do want to acknowledge that many of you have limited data usage each month and bandwidth is a premium commodity.  First, I want to thank you for choosing to use it to be together with us.  But second, I do want to say that we plan to shorten our time closer to forty-five minutes each week as a courtesy to those who are limited, but want to join us and not sacrifice their ability to use the internet the rest of the month.  This will take place after Easter because we really want to blow it out of the water.  It’s Easter!  It’s a celebration!  We hope you can celebrate with us this Sunday at 10:30.

Thank you so much for being part of Heucks Retreat.  We are continuing to refine the ways we reach people with the Gospel, especially during this unprecedented time.  While this situation may feel like an obstacle, we’re taking it as an opportunity.  I’m so glad you’re along for the ride with us.  Look out tomorrow for another message from me regarding the state of giving for Heucks Retreat. 

I love each and every one of you and I can’t wait until we can gather once more.  Until then, may Christ be with you and guide your every step.

In Christ,

Brett