Big Fred's Bytes

Big Fred's Bytes - May 13, 2020


NEAL, PASTOR FRED HeadshotHello Harvest!

We are excited to be working diligently toward the reopening of all our facilities for some level of services.  I do believe that, as America faced this crisis collectively, we responded as appropriate with the little knowledge we had available.  I respect the fact that some may differ on that thought but my hat goes off to those who had the courage to lead through such uncertainties. But as we have learned how to take some new steps to help mitigate the potential spread of this virus, I am overly excited to see America building plans to return to a reasonable level of activity.  We will still need to include some (what was at least at one time) unusual habits in our daily activities.  We can get by with that.

So, starting Sunday June 7th, we plan to open our buildings and begin the process to reassemble corporate worship in groups.  We have a lot of details that we will be working through.  Things are continuing to change at a rapid pace, so look for more information closer to the date.  In the meantime,  you can put that date down as our reopening.  While this will not be a step everyone is ready for, especially those with underlining health challenges, we are walking down the road to reopen (not running). ALL online services will continue as they are today via our website and Facebook live.  We will just add a service option to the weekend.  We will not restart Harvest Kidz or CRAVE at this point.  Community Groups can meet any way in which members are comfortable:  in person, in the backyard, Zoom online – what your group thinks is appropriate. More details in a couple weeks.

Overall, the church has remained active and continued meeting the needs of many people through the last couple months.  Staff has continued to work and, in some cases, has added many additional hours to support the methods we had available.  We will be expanding our office hours to 9AM to 3PM starting next week.  Call 724-548-5643 ext. ‘0’ or email if you have a need to speak with a staff member.

Our NEXT initiative concluded April 30th and thanks to the generosity of our church family, we exceeded the two-year commitment by about $80,000.  We will share more with you when we are together in person, but God has continued to bless and prepare us to present the Gospel in exciting ways in the years to come.  We have temporarily paused the construction plan to allow us time to reevaluate our position in the next few months.  For now, we are continuing with the paper planning and permitting but holding off on actually breaking ground.  Thank you again for your generosity!

A Brighter Day Learning Center will reopen on May 18th with many additional protocols in place to care for those clients as safely as possible and keep the facility clean.  We are also implementing  plans for a small day camp at the Kittanning Campus for about 20 kidz with an age range to 12 years old.  This will be an 8-week program starting in early June. 

Our three families in our 10:16 are back in town for the summer and will be interacting around all campuses, so look for an opportunity to have a lunch with them and catch up on how things were moving along in their mission field before the COVID developments. 

Have you joined the “Thank a Hero” campaign that we are participating in?  You may go online and select the special designation and contribute in $5 increments.  We will bless front line health care workers with a special lunch voucher for their use, along with a specific “thank you from your church”.  Take that step before May 19th if you would like to participate.  We so appreciate their work during this pandemic and would also love the opportunity to worship with them as we return to our facilities.

Are you part of our Media Team at any of the four campuses?  We have a special online training conference that we are connecting our team members to in Chicago next week.  This training conference is normally in person, but because of COVID, we have an opportunity to send you to this training at a substantial cost savings.  The workshops can be viewed over and over by participants, so if you are part of those who serve (or are willing to commit to serve) in our audio, our video, our lighting, or our production teams – talk to your campus pastor ASAP to participate.

SAVE THE DATE!  Harvest Camp Meeting scheduled for July 24, 25, and 26th.   We are finalizing our plan to hold a Harvest church-wide camp meeting at the Dayton Fairgrounds on those days.  Lots of food, fun, fellowship.  Music and preaching to go with it too!  You can come and go or come and stay – camping options are being planned for tents and trailers.  Pastor Mike has been known to sleep under the stars in his hammock, so let’s see what he does this year.  We will not be having our service in the park or our summer pool picnic this year, but this weekend will include all of those activities including baptisms.  Pastor Kevin is inviting David Crowder, but we have not heard back from him on that.  Either way, it will be lots of fun.  SAVE THE DATE!  And if you would like to be part of the teams to pull things together, look for our online volunteer link to be active before Memorial Day.

I have so much to update you on but we will space things out and give you a chance to digest these updates first.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.  Stay safe, redeem this time to grow personally, AND build the health and size of God’s Church everywhere.