Church Update

Staged Reopening of MBC

Just like you we long for the day that our Church Family and Guests will be able to visit our church campus again. As we continue to navigate this time as responsibly as we can, our Elder body has appointed a “Task Force” to help identify and recommend reopening steps. Here are the general “Stages” of our reopening plans. Please continue to check back for additional updates.

Our Current Stage:

Task Force Evaluations

Elder appointed Task Force working to evaluate and recommend to the Elders reopening of ministries and operating measures around campus.

The large venue reopening of our Sunday services in the Worship Center building only.

Reopening Sunday morning Life Groups for all ages around campus, and limited ministries throughout the week.

Reopening our Wednesday evening activities and other ministries.

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CHURCH SCHEDULE UPDATE SUMMARY

SUNDAY WORSHIP

We are continuing to suspend all church ministry events and worship services on our campus at least through May 31.  That includes ministries during the week (with the exceptions noted below) and all evening activities as well.

  • Live stream will be available at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM. Web, Facebook, Youtube
  • Online giving will be available, US Mail acceptance, and drop-off locations on campus. Learn More

WEEKLY DAY/EVENING ACTIVITIES  

We are suspending all church ministry activities during the week, including all evening activities until further notice. Includes Wednesday evenings.

CHURCH OFFICE

Monday—Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

SFCA

Based on the recommendation of the Florida Department of Education, Southwest Florida Christian Academy will extend its closure until May 31, 2020.  Our teachers and staff will continue to provide a high-quality Christian education virtually until that time. CLICK HERE to visit SFCA.

MELA and THE LEARNING COVE

Normal class schedule this week.

Letters from Pastor Russell

May 7, 2020

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters!

Early last week, the Elders appointed a Task Force to start putting together a plan to reopen the McGregor facility for worship and other activities.  That group met several times in recent days, and prepared a draft report, which was submitted to the Elder Body last night, Wednesday the 6th.  That report was adopted by the Elders.

Here’s a quick summary:

The church’s facility will reopen in stages.  The first stage will be use of the Worship Center only on Sunday mornings, beginning sometime after the State of Florida is acknowledged to be in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan.  For the Worship Center, we will follow the “Large Venue” guidance from the state and federal governments, so things will look and feel a bit different, especially at first.   We’ll have more to say about that as we draw closer to reopening.

Our second stage will involve reactivating Life Groups on campus.  That stage, of necessity, includes our Preschool and Children’s Ministries, our Student Ministry, and essentially all parts of our campus.  Because of social distancing guidelines for these smaller rooms, this stage of our reopening will occur within Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. 

Other on-campus ministries will involve careful, case-by-case examination and consideration sometime after on-campus Life Groups have been reactivated.

While AMAZING connections have been maintained virtually, and the Body of Christ has been incredible to continue in love for one another during this pandemic chapter, it will be good to see this time of separation and isolation end!

I know that we long to be back together.  Nobody feels that more strongly than your Elders.  You and I have both heard of other churches that will be reopening right away for gathering.  We wish them well, and we pray that the Lord will bless them.  However, the process of getting our facility ready for our return, and getting our Body of Christ up to speed on new guidelines and new ways to use our facility is neither simple nor easy.  None of your Elders would claim to be infallible in how this process is being designed, timed, or executed, but we do own the responsibility to proceed prayerfully, wisely, lovingly, and resolutely.

There will be a whole lot of additional detail coming out in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, we ask for your prayers and careful attention as we prepare to, once again –  literally – be #McGregor Together.  You are loved and prayed for!

By Grace,

Pastor Russell, for the MBC Elders

 

April 6, 2020

Greetings, Church Family

Last Thursday evening, the Elder Body met, and we’ve reached the conclusion that it’s best for our church to continue suspending our regular on-campus ministry events and worship services for at least the remainder of the month of April.  We will continue to maintain office hours for our staff Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Both the McGregor Early Learning Academy and The Learning Cove will continue to be open, while SFCA is continuing to provide a robust online education for its students.  All of this is in line with both national and state guidance.

Meanwhile, we’ve undertaken two new ministry initiatives.

Loving Lee is a food drive that our church is doing during the month of April to collect non-perishable food items and personal care items in an effort to bless the families that are in need in Lee County.  To comply with social distancing guidelines, we have actually ceased the distribution that normally happens in our Food Pantry near downtown, so now we are mobilizing all our church family to be a blessing by meeting some tangible needs in Jesus’ name.  I would encourage you to participate as you are able. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Bless Every Home now has more than 1600 households being covered by the prayers from our church members for their own neighbors that live close by.  This is a great way for us to intentionally pray for and engage our neighbors during this difficult season.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

Also, if you are able to donate blood on Wednesday, 4/8/20, please call our main church number at 239-936-1754.  The Lee Health Bloodmobile, which will be on campus this Wednesday, requires sign up in advance in order for you to donate.  The need is very great!  If you are healthy and able to participate, please consider doing so. 

My brothers and sisters, the Lord continues to show His faithfulness during these days.  Ministry is ongoing.  The love of Jesus for His people and through His people has not diminished!  I know that the pain of this pandemic and its effects are widespread and deep, but this is also a Gospel opportunity.  1 Peter 3:15 says we should live “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

Please know that you are loved and prayed for, and may we all look forward to celebrating the resurrected Christ on Easter Sunday morning.  

By Grace in the Storm,

Pastor Russell

 

March 18, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Monday evening, I wrote to you about what was then a two-week plan for the Worship Gatherings at McGregor.  However, I also said that things were subject to change without notice.

In the last two days, governmental leaders have restated and amplified their guidance.  The Lee County School Board has made important decisions regarding schools.  Even more churches in our community have announced that they won’t be assembling. 

The Elders met again tonight.  In that meeting, after painful discussion and heartfelt prayer, we reached the following conclusion:  We are suspending all Sunday Morning activities on the McGregor Campus, along with the other weekday and weeknight activities that we already suspended. 

We don’t know how long this suspension will last, and to a man we are greatly burdened by this decision.

We’ll be webcasting a service, yet to be planned, at the usual 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM on Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future.

As a counselor, and a brother who loves you, please give me the freedom to encourage you with this:  We were not extraordinarily brave before, and we’re not cowardly now.  In the other direction, we were not foolish before, and we’re not suddenly wise now.  We are just shepherds, seeking to love and lead this church well, while following the guidance of the Lord and His Word.  I quoted from Hebrews 10 on Monday night, and while neglecting to assemble is discouraged, we are also directed to submit to the worldly authorities God has placed over us (Romans 13:1-2), and to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39 and others).

There are other details I look forward to sharing with you soon, so I’ve asked our Media and Communications teams to be ready to work with me tomorrow as I shoot and post a video talking about some additional matters.  The Elders will also be sending a letter out to the membership of our church with more details.  But for tonight, I wanted you know of this important decision.

Jesus loves us.  Jesus has us in His sovereign hand.

Pastor Russell