Southside Wesleyan Church
5300 State Hwy 23
Oneonta, NY 13820
Rev. Eric Santamont
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Oneonta has 2 colleges (SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick). It is a growing community with a mall, department and grocery stores, and several churches from various denominations.
Sunday Morning Worship
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Men's Bible Study
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Ladies Bible Study
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Women of Encouragement
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
<< New text box >>I understand those that listened to the service in their cars last Sunday had a “gap”. Apparently it was when we played a couple of worship songs at the beginning. Apologies….I was hoping one of the mics would pick up the sound and send it out. It didn’t! However, we got it worked out now. You SHOULD be able to hear everything this Sunday.
<< New text box >>Of all the messages I sent out I did forget one thing... If you plan on coming into the church arrive EARLY so that we can get you "checked in". We will probably be locking the doors at/around 11AM! Sorry for the late notice.
<< New text box >>We will be worshipping IN the church this Sunday!! We have had a “deep cleaning/disinfecting “ done on the building. All seating has been spaced out. All hymnals and pew Bibles have been stored. We have hand disinfecting stations around the building. We have disinfecting wipes available in the building and in the bathrooms. We’ll need to take the temperature of all congregants entering the building and a short questionnaire about your health and exposure to others during the week. You will be required to wear a mask. There will be no coffee machines available but you are welcome to bring your favorite beverage with you. There will be no nursery and no Children’s Church during the service. Your children will need to stay with you in the sanctuary. We are told to not have congregational singing. If you use the bathroom you will be expected to use a disinfecting wipe (provided for you in the bathroom) to wipe down ALL surfaces you touched or came in contact with. (Those wipes aren’t “flushable” so they’ll need to be tossed in the trash). No sitting around in groups talking in the church. You can, of course, visit outside in the parking lot keeping a little distance between others. IF you are not comfortable with returning and worshipping inside we will be transmitting on 93.7 so you can pull into the lot and listen, If you want you could wait for church to be done and visit with others when they exit. Thank you for your support and understanding as we make this transition. We know it can seem to be a lot. We understand, it’s a lot for us too but we can make this work, safely, for everyone involved. God bless.
<< New text box >>The weather forecast looks better now. Low chance of precipitation, no thunderstorms expected at least between 11 AM and 1 PM. So, “Praise in the Parking Lot” is on!! See you tomorrow morning for a little “socially-distant and safe” outdoor fellowship.
<< New text box >This is about the point in the week when people start asking about Sunday morn service in the parking lot. Checking the Sun AM weather forecast …. From 43 – 51 percent chance of precip and/or thunderstorms between 11 AM and 1 PM. So, stay tuned. We’ll see how the forecast shapes up tomorrow and we’ll make the call.
<< New text box >>Looks like we are ON for "Praise in the Parking Lot" tomorrow. They have consistently been forecasting a nice day!!! So, we should be OK! See you there, I hope, 11 AM!!
<< New text box >>The question on everyone’s mind is “When does the church re-open?” First…the church was never closed, the church continued throughout the crisis. Now, the question correctly framed – “When will the church building be open for worship services?” J Well, easier asked than done! First we had/have limits – only 10 people then it was increased to only one quarter capacity. Let’s say (for the sake of “argument”) one quarter capacity is do-able. We have to have a “deep cleaning/disinfecting “ done on the building before we re-occupy it. Many cleaners are busy and some won’t do it. I did find one. But, they are busy. We have an appointment confirmed for 4 PM Saturday! Great! Back in? Nope! All seating has to be spaced out. All hymnals and pew Bibles have to be stored. All flyers, magazines, hand outs need to be picked up and disposed of. We need hand disinfecting stations around the building. We need disinfecting wipes available in the building and in the bathrooms. It can be hard to get any quantity of these supplies at present. IF the store has them I can’t easily stock up. Purchases are still limited. We’ll need to take the temperature of all congregants entering the building and a short questionnaire about your health and exposure to others during the week. The thermometer has been ordered. I don’t have it yet. You will be required to wear a mask. When you come back the experience WILL be different – no coffee machines available, no sitting around in groups talking, no after church coffee and chat, no “pot-luck” dinners. We can’t have everyone handling all the same utensils. There will be no nursery and no Children’s Church during the service. There will be no bulletins, sermon notes, Have A Nice Day/Church Around The World, or Vista handouts. As mentioned above all hymnals/Bibles will be stored. We are told to not have congregational singing. If you use the bathroom you will be expected to use a disinfecting wipe (provided for you in the bathroom – when we can get enough) to wipe down ALL surfaces you touched or came in contact with. (Those wipes aren’t “flushable” so they’ll need to be tossed in the trash) Then between the services on Sunday the church will need to be cleaned again. All surfaces that could be touched by someone will need to be wiped down with disinfectant. Which leads to another issue. We will need volunteers to clean, every week, without fail. So, you see, being told you can use a building isn’t quite as easy as some may think. You can see what we are “up against”. If you can be part of a health screening team or a cleaning team please let me know.
<< New text box >>Sorry for short notice - looks like we are ON for "Praise in the Parking Lot" tomorrow. Have to keep an eye on the weather. They have consistently been forecasting a nice day!!! So, we should be OK! See you there, I hope, 11 AM!!
<< New text box >>I was in a Zoom meeting all yesterday morning. I listened to some Pastor's that were struggling with this social isolation - what it means to the church and to them personally. One said that at first tithes and offerings were SO bad he started looking for another job! (It bounced back, thankfully) There was a church that had (had) two locations. Down to one and now the future of the one is in question. Leaders were leaving one church. Another Pastor told the story of a meeting in which one newer leader felt they had been left out of a decision - although the board had met and came to the decision in the "usual" way. We haven't dealt with ANY of this and we (Char and I) have ONLY felt support and encouragement. Giving has been solid given our circumstances. There is a desire to do more parking lot events but there is also a need to keep the online presence going. The tough part is accommodating both at the moment. The online portion would be recorded while Sunday morning is "live". Two separate set-ups, two different times - basically doing everything twice. Charlotte thinks she might have a solution but we have to test it. Those sentences kind of sums up the bind. IF we abide by meeting and distancing rules we can't have people here making it happen. Which means Char and I have to put our heads together and see what, if anything, can be worked out. I typed all of that to only say this - people have been supportive, understanding, and patient in the midst of all this confusion and isolation. Thank you, again, for being the people, the Christians, the church you are. You, led by God's Holy Spirit, have made the experience of dealing with all of this much easier than some of my peers have been experiencing. Thank you for being the church - thank you for being "our" church. I'm going to "steal" some words from the book of Hebrews (I'll admit slightly out of context!), Hebrews 6:9 "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case..." You have done and are doing the "better things". Thank you for making all of this easier on your church, your Pastor and his wife.
Wesleyans believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Savior of all men and women who put their faith in Him alone for eternal life. We believe that those who receive new life in Christ are called to be holy in character and conduct, and can only live this way by being filled with the Lord's Spirit. We believe in the Bible and seek to establish our faith and actions on its teaching. We believe God wills for people everywhere to know Him and that the purpose of the Church is to tell the world about Christ through its worship, witness, and loving deeds.