April 29, 2020 Update:
KBC Family – Please watch this important State of Affairs update video from Pastor John Tracy (transcript below).
Hey Church Family! It’s time for an update on the State of Affairs at Keystone.
#1 – WE ARE ENCOURAGED
First of all, I just want you to know how encouraged your pastors and deacons have been by your response during this season of time caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The way that you have leaned in and stayed connected while we have been in separation has been such a blessing to our hearts. The way that you have given to meet the needs of our ongoing ministries and responsibilities and especially the specific needs of some of our own who have been particularly suffering over the last few weeks has been such an encouragement to us. And, while we are speaking of encouragement, I also can’t tell you what a blessing it has been to hear your testimonies when you have called and texted about how the Lord has been encouraging your faith through our various online content resources that we have diligently worked to provide over the last couple of months. Thank you for faithfully engaging as best as you could, even as weird as it has been to go online for literally everything. When this all started, we had to adapt quickly as a church family, because none of us saw this coming very far in advance… And, there were a lot of unknowns as to how to best stay connected with each other. But, I have to tell you that the way that you have attended and shared our Sunday Live Stream Worship Service; the way that many of you have continued to engage with your Life Group digitally; and, attended our weekly online Keystone Classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights; the way that you have connected for our live Noon Prayer on Mondays and Midweek Morning Encouragement on Wednesdays; all of the teens who have tuned into the Wednesday Zoom hangout with Pastor Anthony, and parents who have made our Sunday children’s discipleship resources a priority; all of this has been such an incredibly encouraging reminder, that we are still connected as the body of Christ at Keystone, and that we are intentionally striving to be and make disciples, even though our circumstances have been a little different than usual. God has still been working in and through us, and using us to advance His mission as we live out the gospel within our sphere of influence, both in-person, and online during these unprecedented times. And, nothing that we have experienced recently has surprised or deterred the sovereign purposes of God. It’s all part of His orchestrated plan.
So, first of all, I want you to hear me say that your leaders are very encouraged by what we’ve seen in you!
#2 – THE PLAN AS WE GO FORWARD FROM HERE
Secondly, I want to talk to you a little about where we plan to go from here. We’ve done our best as a leadership team to navigate this season by balancing our missional mandates from Scripture with love for neighbor and submission to our governing state and national authorities, as obedient followers of Christ. And, that has obviously meant that we haven’t been able to physically meet together in person now for a total of 7 Sundays. That’s been so difficult. But, I’m happy to report that we are nearing the end of this time apart.
Here’s the plan: On Sunday May 10th, that’s not this Sunday but the next, we plan to begin a slow transition back to normality. We recognize that some of you are eager and ready to put this whole thing behind you immediately and rush back asap to being together, while others may feel a little more cautious and concerned. So, here’s what we plan to do. A week from this Sunday, May 10th, there will be a live service at our Odessa campus. All of you, from both congregations, are invited to attend. It will be a simplified, streamlined worship gathering that will last around one hour. You need to know we do not plan to reestablish our nursery or children’s ministries quite yet. So, parents, please be aware, that if you choose to attend on Sunday, May 10th, all ages (babies on up) will all be together for one service in the Odessa Worship Center. Lord willing, we will be able to reengage all of our ministry programs and youth and children’s initiatives in the near future, but we feel that this intermediate step is a prudent way to slowly transition back. We have also assembled a task force of individuals from within our church family who are developing a plan to help us abide by the CDC recommendations for health and safety in large crowds, and we will do our best to abide by those procedures for the foreseeable future. Please help us along those lines by doing what you can to accommodate what could be viewed as frustrating policies, recognizing that we are just doing our best to be good responsible stewards of the health and safety of our church family. Since a single service with no child-care won’t accommodate all of you very well, and since we understand that some may not be comfortable venturing out at all this soon, we also plan to Live Stream all Sunday Worship Services that take place at Keystone, starting May 10th. Additionally, all of our current online Keystone Classes and weekly digital hangouts will also continue for now. By the way, since May 10th is also Mother’s Day, let me just put in another plug regarding the announcement that you’ve already received to send in a couple mother’s day photos. We plan to use those for a special Mother’s Day presentation to honor our Moms both on online and in person on that day. The deadline to submit your pictures is this coming Monday, the 4th.
#3 – PROJECTS COMPLETED, IN THE WORKS, AND HELP NEEDED
Okay, there’s one more thing I have to share with you. We’ve been hard at work at the building while you’ve been away on a number of different facility projects. Some are still in the works, some are nearing completion, and some we could use some additional help with. For example, let me give you a few status updates:
You will recall that our Christmas Offering was designated toward the Worship Center Lighting Project. Many of you gave to help fund that initiative. We praise God that about half of the funds came in, but we are waiting on the Lord to provide the reminder before proceeding with the installation.
I am glad to tell you that our new Communication Center that we have been working on in the lobby is nearly completed and should be fully functional on or near May 10th when we restart our Sunday gatherings. This is going to be a tremendous tool to keep us well informed and connected with Groups, Studies, and Serve Teams, as well as our various events as we live life together at Keystone.
I’m also thrilled about some great work that is being done on the playground outside. We’ve replaced broken handles, components, and hardware, to ensure that the playground is safe and attractive. There are a few additional updates that we want to do out there, but it is coming along quite nicely. We can’t wait to see it filled with smiling kids in the near future!
I also need to let you know about the ongoing situation with our roof. When we moved into the building in 2018 most of the roofing materials throughout our entire building were replaced. However, a couple areas were untouched because we believed that the roofs in those areas were dependable. However, one area where that has proven to not be the case is the lobby. We continue to have leaks even though we have attempted multiple minor repairs. After much research and investigation the deacons and pastors believe that the time has come to replace the lobby roof, before we move into the worst of the rainy season. We are currently soliciting bids, and plan to engage in that project from our Capital Funds budget that was approved at the Family Meeting in December. We’ll keep you posted on the schedule for that roof installation as we gain more details.
Finally, our deacon of facility maintenance, Jack Duffy, has compiled a lengthy list of about 10 internal and external facility projects that we could use volunteer help with. If you or your family find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, we could really use a little sweat labor on any weekday or Saturday that you could volunteer. Please reach out to Jack or any of the leaders to let us know if you would like to learn more about what projects you could help with.
Thanks for hanging with me through this entire update. I know it’s been a long one. But, let me close by just saying again that if you are hurting or struggling in any way due to the trial that we have endured over the last couple months, we want to know about that. If you’ve suffered loss, we want to pray for you and do whatever we can to minister to you and your family. So, don’t hesitate to reach out and communicate if you are suffering. Keystone family, we have mourned the loss of our physical gatherings, but, how sweet it’s going to be to resume very soon. You are missed and loved! Let’s pray that God will continue to lead us forward, together, in this next season of time, as a God-centered, healthy community of faith, making and maturing disciples who are becoming like Jesus Christ. I can’t wait to see you soon!