In January, the staff and church council began exploring new options for managing St. Philip’s membership roll, the church directory, email lists, and contribution records. Since 2016 the church office has used a church management system called PowerChurch, which while robust in it’s own right, had limitations for multiple users. Pastor Laura introduced a newer church management system called Breeze.
One of the highlights of Breeze is that more than one person can use parts of the system at a time, which means regardless of where a staff member or volunteer is working – home, office, or on the road – the information in the database can be accessed. Another exciting feature of Breeze is that congregation members can also create an account and access a church directory straight from their phones or computers.
What can congregation members do with Breeze?
- Access church directory information on a computer at https://stphiliplutheran.breezechms.com or download an app for Android and iPhone by searching “Breeze CHMS.” (The icon looks like a sailboat).
- Update their own information as soon as it changes.
- Search for contact information for other active congregation members.
How does it work?
- Once you access Breeze either by computer or by app, create an account. The church’s id is stphiliplutheran. If there is a profile in Breeze that matches your name and email address, Breeze will sent you an email with an invite link. (If you do not receive your invite link and have more than one email address, please check with Laura Latham in the church office to be sure we have your preferred email address on file.)
- Go to “People” and search for your name.
- Once there, edit your information (if needed) by mousing over or placing your finger on the grey box that says “Main” and “Contact.”
- Upload a photo of yourself and a photo of your family!
- For individual photos, click on the profile image, select the photo you’d like to use from your device, adjust the photo as needed, click “set as profile picture.”
- For family photos, mouse over the grey box that says “Family”” and click to edit section. Upload photo as above.
- (Please only upload photo of you and/or your family. These images will be seen by other members who may need help connecting faces and names.)
- Search for other active congregation members by going to “People” and searching their name.
If you have any questions or need help navigating this new service for the church, please contact Laura Latham at email@example.com or 540-929-1804 (personal cell while telecommuting). If there is information in your profile you can’t edit and would like to have changed, please contact Laura about that as well.
Dear St. Philippians,
We miss you all! While we give thanks for the gifts of technology that have allowed us to gather virtually every Sunday during this Pandemic, we lament not being able to connect in our traditional ways. This time certainly has not been easy for any of us. Once a month on the second Sunday, rain or shine, you are invited to drive to the church parking lot where we will worship together and share in the sacrament of communion. The next drive up worship is July 12 at 11:00am. Please note that Open Doors online worship will continue to be offered at every Sunday, including the drive-in Sundays. The drive-up service will be an abbreviated version of that Sunday’s Open Doors worship.
Please note while we are looking forward to this worship opportunity, social distancing will still be observed. Below are some guidelines for the service.
- Parking attendants will help direct worshippers to a parking spot. Please park in a way that allows you to see the font entrance of the church. This is where the worship leaders will stand.
- Worshippers may attend the worship service while seated in their cars. All cars may roll down their right-side windows. This will allow for cars to have fresh air, but maintain distance between one another’s open vehicles.
- Worship will be streamed on the frequency 92.9FM using an FM transmitter so that all worshippers will be able to tune into the service audio from their cars.
- A worship bulletin will be emailed to the congregation the Thursday prior to worship that they are invited to print at home and bring to worship. For those unable to access email, bulletins will be provided at the church.
- During the passing of the peace, worshippers who are wearing masks are invited to exit their vehicles and stand by them to wave a greeting of peace to the community. Social distancing is to be maintained during the passing of the peace. Worshippers not wearing masks should not exit their vehicles.
- Communion will be celebrated at the drive in worship service. Worshippers are asked to bring their own communion elements with them to worship. Worship elements include bread or gluten free bread or cracker and either wine or grape juice.
- The pastors will lead the service and walk by cars to greet worshippers. The pastors will practice social distancing while leading and interacting with worshippers.
- Parking attendants will guide cars in exiting the parking lot after the service.
- The church building will be open for emergency bathroom visits. You may enter the building, masked, one person at a time, through the side entrance and follow the cleaning protocols listed in each restroom. (For bathroom protocols, please see here.)
We are looking forward to celebrating this service together. To experience the joy of seeing one another’s faces and to give thanks to God for abiding with us in this difficult season. If you have questions about this service, please contact one of the pastors.
Pastor David and Pastor Laura
Starting July 1st you are invited to join Pastor Laura and Pastor David in doing the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge Challenge. This challenge is particularly designed for white people to consider issues of race and racism in a purposeful way. After 21 days, we would love to unpack that experience with those who participated. For people of faith who value all of God’s creation, the systemic presence of racism painfully contradicts God’s kingdom promises. This challenge is one way we might be a part of healing for our hurting world.
Wonderful St. Philippians:
The St Philip Covid Preparedness Team is seeking your input. As you know, currently we have weekly online worship as well as our recently initiated monthly drive-in worship with communion. As we make plans for how worship and fellowship can continue to happen in our congregation, we would like to know how you feel about returning to some type of in-person worship in the sanctuary.
We are asking you to take a moment and complete a very brief online survey, but first please be aware of some specifics of what resuming indoor worship in the sanctuary would look like:
- Based on calculations of 6-foot distancing in our sanctuary space, only 36 worshippers could attend a given service.
- Masks would be required at all times when inside the church building, except for brief removal when taking communion.
- The service would have NO SINGING due to the increased risk of transmission of the coronavirus that accompanies singing in an indoor space. There may be some instrumental music, but no singing of hymns or liturgy.
- There would be no physical contact between congregants and pastors or amongst congregants. This includes shaking hands, hugs, or any other forms of physical greeting during arrival at the church, passing of the peace, and departing the church after worship.
- Communion would be offered, but in a format that minimizes physical contact between pastors and congregants.
- The nursery would not be available.
- Let’s Café would not be held after service.
Given this information, please click this link to complete the 2-question survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZPMJ3L8
The Covid Preparedness Team will use your responses as we continue to discern the safest path forward for St. Philip. Thank you so much in advance for your participation, and we hope to see many of you at the “Congregational Picnic—pandemic style” on July 11th! (see July newsletter for details)
From the St Philip Covid Preparedness Team: Marlene Craig, Dan Horine, Shannon Radmacher, Nancy Shadix, Donna Wright, Pastor David, Pastor Laura
We are excited to be back at St. Philip for worship even if that is in the parking lot! We miss you and care about every single one of you. Our plan is to worship in the safest way possible and our preparedness team is trying hard to think through logistics with that goal in mind. As you come for drive-in worship it is of course best for you to have used the bathroom at home before arriving, BUT if you need to use the bathroom at St. Philip we would ask you to follow the directions below:
- Please use the door at the side of the church under the portico. As you enter, we are encouraging people to use the automatic door opening button by pushing it with your elbow.
- Use the hand sanitizer immediately inside the church building then proceed straight to the bathroom.
- When finished in the bathroom, wash your hands, as well as using a sanitizing wipe to clean the toilet handle. Take the sanitizing wipe with you to exit the bathroom using it to open the bathroom door and dispose of the wipe in the trash outside each bathroom.
- As you exit the building, again use the automatic door opener by pushing it with your elbow.
We know these protocols add steps to everyday processes, but it is important that we protect others. We truly appreciate your participation as we seek to put safeguards in place.
Dear, St Philippians,
As faith leaders, we are heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd, but we know that people of faith cannot remain silent in the face of injustice. As part of the baptized community of faith, we are called to renounce the devil and all forces that defy God. We are called to renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God, and the ways of sin that draw us from God. The white supremacy present in our society defies the world God intended. Racism rebels against God. Our knowing or unknowing complicity in systemic racism draws us from God.
As we celebrate the festival of Pentecost today, the celebration of the Holy Spirit being breathed into creation, the hard irony is that we, as a community and a nation, are grieving the murder of George Floyd, a black man who repeatedly said I can’t breathe while he died under the knee of a police officer. Our hearts break for the Floyd family, for communities of color who continually live in fear, and for how deeply racism is embedded in our society. While our service was recorded before the tragic events this week came to light, we still wanted to speak to the sins of racism and white supremacy from the perspective of Pentecost.
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, a black EMT worker killed in her own bed, and Ahmaud Arbery a young black man killed on a jog in Georgia, are truly heartbreaking and infuriating, but perhaps the most painful aspect is that there are so many more Ahmauds, Breonnas, and Georges whose stories go untold.
Racism is a deep rooted sin in our world and in our country. It is not a past historical concept, it is not something we have moved on from, but a painful, ever-present daily threat for our siblings of color. It may have been brought to bare for us this week in the national news, but people of color know this to be a daily reality.
The festival of Pentecost celebrates the wondrous moment of people of all kinds of languages and cultures coming together, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, they are able to understand one another. This is a powerful lesson for us in our present time. We are called to listen. Despite our own reluctance or discomfort, we are called to truly listen to the voices of people of color. Hear their experiences of systemic racism and oppression in this country.
Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to commit ourselves to the kingdom work of first acknowledging the racism we hold in ourselves, to ask God for guidance and forgiveness. We are called to pray for our siblings of color and for the dismantling of systemic racism.
As faith leaders, we felt that it was important to speak to these tragic deaths, and the racism that caused them, because we believe that all people are created in the image of God. Tragically, due to the sins of racism and white supremacy, not all bodies are seen as God-created. We commit ourselves to the proclamation that Black lives do indeed matter. We commit ourselves to hard conversations about racism, and learning more about ourselves. We know the complications of COVID and social distancing makes all of these things more difficult, but as people of faith, we are called to be about this work. As on that first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is indeed blowing and moving the church to more fully proclaim God’s love for the world.
As part of this ongoing work, on Sunday, June 21, we will hold a service commemorating the Emanuel 9, the members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC who were murdered in a hate crime during Bible Study. We invite you to join us online for that service, to reflect on the lives of these saints, and how God is calling us to live more fully into anti-racism work together.
Even as tears flow, as they have for us, the promise of the resurrected Christ is that new life is not only possible, but is inevitable. It is the Spirit of the Living Lord breathed onto, and into, and through us that makes the work ahead work that is steeped in hope.
Pastor David and Pastor Laura