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How’s Your Faith? Pastor Jay Hackett talks about faith, COVD19 and these times of crisis [Podcast]

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Pastor Jay Hackett, Peachtree Corners Baptist Church

How does a church ministry work when you have to practice social distancing? In this special
episode of Peachtree Corners Life, Rico Figliolini video chats with Pastor Jay Hackett from Peachtree Corners Baptist Church to talk about life, community, and keeping the faith during this
unprecedented time. Recorded socially safe in the City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Resources:

Social Media: #PCBChurch and @PCBChurch
Website: PCBChurch.org
Gwinnett Cares: ​https://www.cfneg.org/gwinnettcares/
American Red Cross: ​https://www.redcross.org
UNITE: ​https://www.uniteus.org/norcross-peachtree-corners/

“You know, I love the fact that, to me this is kinda like a moment in acts, you know, when the church was together, but then the church got scattered and it was when the church got scattered that things really started taking off and the gospel was spread. And so what I love is that we’re seeing the church be the church. And I think we’ve kind of had our hand forced in this. We’ve stayed inside the walls too long and now we have an opportunity to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Jay Hackett

Timestamp:

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:01:42] – Ministry amid COVID-19
[00:02:54] – Online Church
[00:10:12] – Activities in the Community
[00:13:23] – Smaller Groups in the Church
[00:20:35] – Making a Difference
[00:26:32] – Moving Forward
[00:32:26] – Closing

Podcast Transcript

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life here in the city of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County, Georgia. So I appreciate you coming out. We have a special guest today. Before we get to him and what we’re going to be talking about, which is going to be about faith and how in this COVID-19 world, how ministry works. What is happening, how faith is being challenged and all that. So, but before we get to that, just want to thank our sponsor, Hargray Fiber. They’re a company that’s out there willing to help you and help your employees work in this world remotely and they have free small business solutions to help your team stay productive and connected. So reach out to them. It’s HargrayFiber.com and that tip is stay connected with your neighbors, make new friends. Use, you know, live call or video chat and just say hi to your neighbor and see if they need anything. So now let’s get on to our guest today, which is our pastor Jay Hackett from Peachtree Corners Baptist Church. Hey Jay.

Jay: [00:01:37] Hey Rico, how are you doing?

Rico: [00:01:42] Good, thank you. Appreciate you coming out. Tell, tell us, tell us how is it out there in this ministry work that you’re doing right now?

Jay: [00:01:50] It has definitely changed. I will tell you that. And, you know, a lot of times we get freaked out by change, but a lot of times actually change pushes us out to new adventures and try some things a little bit differently than we have done in the past. You know, we have joked around here at Peachtree Corners that, you know, we needed to go online. We needed to live stream with everything that we’re doing, but we just waited and waited and waited to pull the trigger, and now we’ve been forced to pull the trigger. So, it’s been a little bit different for us to be able to do this and to be exclusively in this format, you know, as we go forward. Because you know, so much of the church is gathering, right? It’s being able to see your friends. It’s being able to connect with new people, and it’s really about community and being able to hug people, shake hands, and really be a part of that. And that’s been a part of this that has been a little bit more difficult for us as we navigate some of these new waters.

Rico: [00:02:54] Now you, I think you’re, if you told me correctly, I think this is like the fourth Sunday, you’re going to be exclusively online.

Jay: [00:03:00] Correct. So we kind of, when things started initially coming out that were saying that people needed to kind of distance themselves and have, you know, I think the number was around 250 when it first came out. And we currently are blessed to have a few more than that that show up on a Sunday morning. And so we as a staff kinda got together and met with our elders and just said, Hey, let’s be on the front end of this and let’s see how we can, you know, kind of go along with what our government officials are asking us to do, what our president’s asking us to do, and how can we go ahead and launch this. And so this Sunday will actually be our fourth week that we are now exclusively online with nothing happening here at the building.

Rico: [00:03:44] So how do you do that? I, you know, I’m sorry, I’m a little remiss in not having watched the last few that you’ve done, but how do you do that? Is it just you? Is the team there? How does it go?

Jay: [00:03:59] Trust me, we have a wonderful team of people that are behind us that they’re able to put this together. Andrew Howard runs our tech team and so a lot of conversations with him and Josh Felons who’s our worship pastor, and just trying to figure out. Hey, you know, what’s the best way that we can do this? Because, you know, it can be awkward. You know, most people like, let’s take singing for instance. You know, we usually have just strained or not even strained, but we’ve shown the message during the week, but we’ve never seen music. And, and that was one of the questions that we had. You know, you’ve got some people that don’t want to sing out, when they’re in a congregation. You know, cause I hear themselves saying, and now you’ve got a husband and wife sitting on the sofa at home, or you know, their family that’s kind of sitting there. Are people really going to engage with worship? And really, you know, kind of reach out and do that. And we kind of unpack that for a little while and we decided that, yeah, you know, we want in a time where there’s so much chaos, we want to try to bring a little bit of stability. And, and so basically, you know, and this is kind of what we’ve heard from our people in the last month, there’s just this makes it feel like we’re there. And so we, we kind of made the decision early on that we were going to do our service just like we would if you were here in person on a Sunday morning. And, and so I’m going to reveal a couple of secrets. Some people think we are live here on Sunday morning. We’re not. We do everything during the week. As a matter of fact, today we just got done filming, for this Sunday. And so then they take that and put it onto our web server and then everything goes streaming live at both 9:30 and 10:45 on Sundays.

Rico: [00:05:36] And you have music going on.

Jay: [00:05:39] We do, we start to finish, just like you were here, welcome and offering, you know, three or four songs, and then I get to jump up and preach to an empty room. So it’s a whole lot of fun.

Rico: [00:05:53] There’s that connection thing that’s missing.

Jay: [00:05:56] Well, it is funny because that’s kinda how I’m wired. You know, Rico, I feed off of the congregation. So you know, when you tell a joke and you’re like, I don’t even know if that’s going to land or not because nobody’s in the room to give me any feedback from that. And I don’t know if people are tracking with me. And so, you know, I, it’s funny, I kind of sit around on Sundays and on the platform that we use through live church, you know, you have the comments that scroll up and down. And so I’m looking for people to heart or a man or, you know, give me something that I would have typically gotten you know, from the room on a Sunday morning.

Rico: [00:06:31] Can you interact with them on that, on that feed also?

Jay: [00:06:36] So what we do is we have two to three of our staff members that are hosts for each of the services that we launch live broadcast at 9:30 and 10:45 on Sundays. And so they’ll interact back and forth, with anyone that’s there through a chat feature. Thanks for any questions. And it’s, you know, the hard part, like I said earlier about being a church is we need connection. And so this kind of gives us that opportunity to, to be able to say, Oh, you know, Rico’s here. And they have, it’s so good to see ya. You know, even though it’s virtually, it’s still a connection, which I think is what any of us want more than anything right now.

Rico: [00:07:13] Yeah. You want to be able to see that, that there are people out there actually listening and absorbing what you’re signing. So they would, they would find this on your website or can you also find this like as a live feed on Facebook or anything else?

Jay: [00:07:29] Correct. So, what you would do right now is through our website, we broadcast it live as well as through Facebook live at 9:30 and 10:45. And then it just goes strictly to Facebook, or on our website following that for the rest of the week. And so, you know, we kind of played with the idea, do we just show it at 9:30 and 10:45 or do we allow it to be seen throughout the rest of the week? And what we found is a lot of our members. Chime in during our normal worship times, just so they can see people and connect. But then we’re getting probably three times as many views outside, what’s happening at 9:30, 10:45 on Sunday. And so, you know, I don’t know if people are just starving for content when they’re stuck at home right now. You know, a lot of questions, a lot of things that people are wrestling with. And so there’s, there’s a heightened sense of going, Hey, I want to know some more. And so let me just kind of see what, who’s out there and what they’re saying.

Rico: [00:08:24] Sure. It’s almost like faith on demand.

Jay: [00:08:27] Correct. The hard part, and, I kind of addressed this a little bit Sunday. The hard part for us pastors is we know that anytime somebody gets in a habit, it’s hard to change. And so I think that’s one of the things that we are kind of wrestling with and talking about now is, you know, not knowing when this ends, you know, people are going to get out of the habit of attending, you know, in person. I don’t know. There’s people that say, Hey, as soon as we can get back, everybody wants to be back. And maybe there will be a little bit of that at first. But I’ve had people say, I love watching you from home in my pajamas, you know, didn’t fight with the kids, didn’t have to argue with the wife on the way to church, and it just made it so much simpler.

Rico: [00:09:07] I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a little bit of that. There’s like, maybe we can’t get there, but the good part is that we can watch here.

Jay: [00:09:14] Correct. And that’s the balance. I think that’s kind of where we’re walking through right now, going, okay, we’ll even, as we’re able to get back together, how do we, how do we
continue this? Because we are reaching you know, more people than we were able to reach actually in person. And so it’s, again, it’s a positive.

Rico: [00:09:30] Right? And you know what, if certainly your message is themed for each of these random. So some of them may want to go back and just re-listen to it. Cause you know, sometimes you want to do that and you want to, you liked what, what Jay said, maybe, and you want to hear it again because you might have missed something. There’s a benefit right.

Jay: [00:09:49] Exactly. That’s been fantastic. My wife loved that. Oh, my notes come up on the chat side and she’s like, man, it makes it so much easier when I have it written down right there and I could follow through with that.

Rico: [00:10:02] Like captions and stuff.

Jay: [00:10:03] Yeah, little captions and things like that. And she was like, man, well, they do that for me every Sunday and just threw me.

Rico: [00:10:12] That’s where we’ll get to augmented reality. People are coming in with these Google glasses and they can see that. Cool. So I mean, you guys are doing a lot. I mean, you know, Peachtree Corners Baptist church does a lot of things, lots of ministry work and a lot of its hands on stuff, but also a lot of it’s outside the church. Supportive local activities. For example, you have a blood drive coming up, for example, in April?

Jay: [00:10:41] Correct.

Rico: [00:10:42] That’s still, is that still happening?

Jay: [00:10:44] Yes, yes. We actually talked to the American Red Cross, today and they were like, man, please pump this up as much as possible. They are in desperate need of blood. They’ve had several of their sites have to cancel on them. You know, with some of the outbreaks and the things that have been happening, they sent us about a 13 page document of all the steps that the American Red Cross is taking right now to make sure that you would be safe in coming to give blood. Making sure that, you know, you hand sanitize before you come in. They check the temperatures, they’re, making sure that there are no symptoms whatsoever before anyone donates and gives. And so everything to, to make it as, as clean and as easy as possible on their end. And so we’re going to be able to host that from the 13th to the 17th of April, right here from in our fellowship hall. And so we just want to help out in any way possible. Cause I know that hospitals and blood banks and man, they’re all in desperate need.

Rico: [00:11:42] Yeah, that’s for sure. And obviously we’re going to, you’re going to be respecting the social distancing and all that stuff.

Jay: [00:11:48] Correct. Absolutely.

Rico: [00:11:50] You also work with a group called Unite. You connected with them. Tell us a little bit about that.

Jay: [00:11:55] Well you know, what I love about the heart of Unite is that, you know, Rico, a lot of times in the church world, we can get territorial. You know, us versus everybody else. And we kind of forget that we’re on the same team. And you know, God has just given us some different opportunities. But he’s placed us all in similar communities. And one of the things I love about Unite is that’s their heart. Their heart is, how do we unite pastors from different denominations across the city? And so I’m in the unite group that’s here in North Charleston, Peachtree corners. And, you know, their main heart is how can we pull resources and how can we kinda, you know, come together to address the needs that are right here in our community. And, and so we have Terry Hoye, who is our representative here in Norcross, Peachtree Corners area. And we’re getting, you know, daily if not hourly updates from her and just kind of sharing what the needs are and where we’re at. And, you know, their big thing right now is they put together a great resource at, GwinnettCares.org. And, and so through GwinnettCares.org you can go to sign up for any need that you have. Maybe it’s a food need, maybe it’s a financial need, a transportation need, childcare needs. Any of those things can be accessed right there on the site. As well as if you’re available to volunteer and to help out in any one of those areas. We would love to have people stepping in and helping with that.

Rico: [00:13:23] Excellent. That’s Gwinnett Cares. The other thing I was looking at too is, you know, obviously again, we go back to church and it’s a very individual, a very personal thing that you do out there. You try to reach people that way, and so there’s smaller parts of the church, right? You have divorce care, for example, and you guys are using Zoom on that. How does that work?

Jay: [00:13:51] It actually is. It’s working better than we expected. You know, I think one of the things that our church definitely thrives on, but I think church in general does, is that personal connection and when we’re not able to meet together, then it’s, you know, it gets to be depression. You know, especially if you’re going through something, you know, with like grief, divorce care, and we need to see a happy face. And, so what Zoom has given us the opportunity to do is actually meet still with these groups. And so we have several Zoom groups that are going out and not only with what we call our bridge ministries, which are those grief share, divorce care. But also with like our life groups, you know, kinda old school Sunday school if you would. You know, when you have a smaller group of somewhere between 10 or 30 that are reading together. And so they’re on Zoom now and so they get together, some of them on Sunday, some of them on different nights during the week. And it’s just an opportunity to kind of do what you and I are doing right now. See each other face to face and catch up on life. You know, really just see, Hey, how can we pray for you? Is there anything you need? What can we do? You know, I think that’s been probably the most exciting thing I’ve seen just from our body of Christ here, is that people are going, man, what? How can we serve? You know, what can we do? You know, I want to help those that are more vulnerable than I am. And how can we step in
and what can we do? And you know, so we’re just trying to bring in those things, collect. If anybody’s out there, you know, whether it’s a senior adult couple that can’t go to the grocery store or, you know, just need something delivered. We’ll just set it on the front porch, knock the doorbell, and you know, knock or ring the doorbell, and then walk away and make sure that we’re still social distancing, doing the things that we’re supposed to be doing. But, yeah. She’s looking for those ways to stay connected with people. And so platforms like Zoom and WebEx have been tremendous for us to offer this process.

Rico: [00:15:42] I’m sure it was a little growing pain, getting it all together, but so everyone’s using Zoom and WebEx. I mean, how do you coordinate all that going on? Or is it individual groups that are doing it and stuff?

Jay: [00:15:52] The individual groups are doing it. So my executive pastor, Brett Davis, is one of these guys that man, that his mind just thinks that way. And so he was able to kind of work with a lot of our life group leaders and a lot of the people that were in those leadership roles and get them set up with everything. You know, cause some of our classes are a little bit more technologically challenged and so they’re like, I’m not sure how to do this. You know, for our older classes, we do a lot more phone calls and you know, just kinda touching base with them that way. Some people are FaceTiming, some people are just, you know, I just, I’m encouraging everybody. Look, don’t let this be a time of isolation that you just lose all contact. But this is actually more than anything. And you know, I know we say send a text, send something, but it’s almost like they go, we’re like, call somebody, you know, we need that. We need to hear the voice. We need, you know, to have a connection with somebody and just check in on them and see how they’re doing.

Rico: [00:16:49] So how are you dealing with kids? Also, you have a lot of stuff going on with students and kids. I mean, there was a, you have the youth ministry. How is that working? Is it easy for them to work with the technology?

Jay: [00:17:01] I think it’s a whole lot easier for them to deal with the technology. You know, they’re showing all of us adults how to do it. So it makes it a whole lot easier for the rest of us. But, you know, we started walking through, we do both a Kids’ worship service and a student worship service on a regular Sunday morning. I saw all three of those running simultaneous with each other. And, and so we kind of have the discussion, do we continue to produce those services as well? But, you know, with some of the restrictions that have come out, we just said it’s going to be easier to just do our main service right now, but let’s make the content, if there’s video elements to that, if there’s game elements to that, the craft element. And let’s, let’s make that content accessible online for all of our parents because I know our parents are sitting at home. You know, I joked with you earlier that my wife and I made the decision, you know, we thought we weren’t homeschool parents. Now we know we’re not homeschool parents. And, you know, parents are kinda at their wits end right now with things. You know, not seeing an end in site. So we’re just trying to resource them and to be able to continue to share with their kids. We send out some videos that go along with our worship service for kids. And so I know some of
the parents, you know, will pull those up either after our service or some will watch them before the service and, you know, just continue to interact that way. And then our students, they’re online 24/7 and you know, my youth pastor Cody Jenkins, he’s been sending out daily devotionals to everybody and just kinda things that he would normally be sharing with them on Sunday and just trying to stay as connected as possible, so that they don’t lose hope here as we’re walking through some of these issues.

Rico: [00:18:41] And it’s very tough. I was noticing the other day that there was a Pinckneyville Middle School band using an Instagram app called Acapella where they were able to share. There was nine of them on the screen, and each of them did their part, their instrument. Then they compiled it and it sounds great. Actually, I think NPR picked up on the story at one point. So is this a good inventive way of everyone’s working together?

Jay: [00:19:10] Everybody’s getting real creative, which is what I love. Yes. Yeah.

Rico: [00:19:17] Yeah, and we don’t know how long this is going to play out, so I mean, at least we know it’s going to be until the end of April. It sounds like.

Jay: [00:19:26] Yeah. Well, and that’s, you know, some of the questions that we’ve got is going, okay, so how do we anticipate when we do come back and, you know, try to make it, you know, I know a lot of the things that we’ve looked at is like Easter, you know, Easter is a week from Sunday and you know, a Sunday that typically everybody gets dressed up and, you know, they’re able to come to church and, you know, kind of celebrate as a family, get together for a meal. And so this is going to be a different Easter for all of us. And there’s a lot of adjustments there. And so a lot of churches that I’ve been just talking to and other pastors have been talking about the fact that they’re actually going to make Easter the first Sunday back. And so they’ll still celebrate Easter next Sunday, but they’re going to try to do any of the things that you would normally see, quote unquote, on the Easter Sunday, which a lot of us go above and beyond that they’re going to actually wait and celebrate and make it the biggest Sunday possible. You know, kind of once everybody gets back and our new set of norms. Kind of begins to get laid out.

Rico: [00:20:23] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if we’re talking four weeks from now that you have to legally, right. I mean, maybe that becomes a homecoming, if you will.

Jay: [00:20:30] Yeah.

Rico: [00:20:35] Peachtree Corners Baptist Church is a big church in the community. It’s right at the, at that road where everyone sort of leaves a caravan of cars. Usually on a normal day of work, it goes past your middle, goes up to the Y and Peachtree Corners, and then everyone sort of splits goes their different ways depending on where they’re going. So being a big church, a lot of people, a lot of different types of people with different walks of life. You even have, I mean, you have a lot of people working in different ministries. I noticed that you talked to us a little bit, you mentioned like mops, moms of preschoolers. You mentioned life group class, some
individuals working at this. So maybe you could share a little bit about some of that and what those ministries are doing or some of the stories that you’ve.

Jay: [00:21:24] Yeah, absolutely. You know, I love the fact that, to me this is kinda like a moment in acts, you know, when the church was together, but then the church got scattered and it was when the church got scattered that things really started taking off and the gospel was spread. And so what I love is that we’re seeing the church be the church. And, and I think we’ve kind of had our hand forced in this. We’ve stayed inside the walls too long and now we have an opportunity to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus. And, I’m loving as I’m watching all of these different groups do their different things and meet needs in different ways. Our mops, which is our mother of preschoolers, they kinda got together and collected money. And, they knew that kids were without meals this week. Being here in Gwinnett County was spring break. And, and so they collected over $700, and that food went out, bought food, did that, and donated it to our Norcross co-op, which are able to help meet some of those needs that were there. Some of our ladies, I still don’t know how they did this, but some of them took different things that were around the house and they made masks, you know, face masks, more talent than I’ve gotten. And so as they kind of delivered those to some people, they helped the health indices through people that were here at our church. And I just, I love being able to see some of those things happen. Some of them bought snack bags together to carry to those in the hospital. We’ve got Jonathan and Lilly who owned the Ichiban steak and sushi up at the collection there in foresight. You know, one of the things they were doing was they were battling with, okay, how do we stay open? What are we doing? And that Jonathan, who’s a member here, that’s the owner of that said, you know what version of this food, we’re going to cook it and we’re going to deliver it over to the ICU unit here at Northside for PSI. Then we’re going to hand it to those in the pulmonary department. And you know, we’re going to just be the hands and feet of Christ and how can we continue to love on people and see some of those things happen. And so, you know, I mean, as a pastor, you always wonder, are people getting it, you know, is it clicking? And then when you start seeing some of these things happen, it’s just, it really does bring a smile to my face. And I’m just appreciative for people that are stepping up and doing some of those things.

Rico: [00:23:43] And it’s good to be able to share that so that people aren’t, because everyone’s home. So it’s like, what do you, what do you know what’s going on? If you’re not out there actively talking, or maybe you’re on next door, the app, or on Facebook, and you know. You know, getting your feed from there, maybe. So even companies have been out there, and I noticed that Firebirds you mentioned.

Jay: [00:24:10] Jennifer who is one of our administrative staff here at the church, got a phone call from Firebirds the other day and they were like, look, we have a ton of produce and things that we have that we would love to. So donate the give away, but every time we call a food pantry, they need prepackaged food. And so none of them can use that. And Jennifer reached out to one of the groups that Susan was a part of here at Peachtree Corners village moms and just offered that out. And so their families could benefit from it. And she said they went crazy
over it and we’re just able to, to really use that. They’re in their own homes. And being able to be a blessing. And so I’ve helped out Firebirds but it also helped out families right here in Peachtree Corners. And you know, just those were exciting things to me as we, you know, just see it play out.

Rico: [00:24:56] So if there are other businesses out there looking to help, maybe they should reach out to you.

Jay: [00:25:01] Absolutely. We’ll help out in any way possible. Or if we can’t, we can help point you in the right direction. You know, it’s, it’s all about who you know, and you get people connected with other people.

Rico: [00:25:14] Well for sure. And there are businesses out there that want to, that want to help. They want to do what, you know, be a good citizen in the community. Especially now. I mean, we all liked, you said, you know, sometimes we’re siloed. We’re all by ourselves. Maybe depending on what we’re doing. And even for where with our own family. We’re just here. It’s like having those horse blinders on. Sometimes, you know, unless you take a walkout, and I’ve done my walks and I’ve seen a lot of people out there though restrictions get more and more. The parks are closed. I mean, the certain places are close. You can’t get too far out there. Unless they completely lock us down in the house. I don’t know. We’re going to be people going out. So you know, and you guys are on like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I mean, you’re all over the place. So if people want to be able to do that, they can just find you anywhere on the monitor and follow you. #PCBchurch is the hashtag that people should follow.

Jay: [00:26:22] That hashtag we can follow. And we’re on Instagram, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, and definitely through our website at PCBChurch.org.

Rico: [00:26:32] Where, what, what else would you like to share with us that maybe we haven’t covered? You know, I mean, we talked a little bit about the ministry and how it is today to be able to do what you’re doing. And some churches have, like, you know, you have the big mega churches that have done that to a degree and stuff, but have been doing it prior to COVID-19. And even, I mean, I’ve seen your, your videos online a lot. Even had one great video I loved. There was a rock and roll video. That was a cool video. Love that video. I think I need to share that one online. But, so you guys are finding different ways to do things and so what, what can we expect over the next few weeks? What, what, what are you working out besides Easter, which is, you know, obviously the big guy.

Jay: [00:27:26] Yeah. Easter will definitely be a fun one as we’re going forward. You know, a lot of the stuff that we’re looking at is trying to figure out how we can get the best content and the best resources in people’s hands so that they can just continue to walk in their relationship with Christ and begin to be discipled in him. You know, we want things to look good, but production is not the overall. You know, the overall end all for me is that someone is able to take truth and begin to apply to their life and begin to see some things change. And, you know, I think what
we’re going to see in the days ahead and the weeks ahead is, you know, there’s more openness to that. You know, a lot of people are questioning. And a lot of people are finding themselves in a position of going, you know, well, why are we going through this? And, you know, one of the age old questions that everybody, you know, did God cause this, did he allow it? You know, there’s just an awareness, I think right now that’s really given us as a church here at Peachtree Corners, but as well as every church and opportunity to be answering some of those questions. And, just kinda, you know, sitting in it. With the people as they’re walking through it. And, and that’s just kinda what we want to continue to, to share and kind of be an encouragement. If we could, in the days ahead of going, look, you know, what? Life will return to some sense of normal. it may not be what we were used to. It may not be, you know, the way that we always did it, but we know that there will be an end to this. And in the process of it, you know, how do you continue to grow and, and become the man, the woman, the child that God desires you to become, through the process. You know, I think as we look at the future for us right now, our, our summers on whole. You know, as we’re looking through B camps and VBS is, and you know, a lot of the things that are more activity driven now, we’ve been forced to be away from each other. And so we’ve got to readdress how we do some of those things. And so we’ve got some great conversations that are coming towards us, but we’ve got some great people around us through Unite, rather passers Metro, you know, just trying to figure out some good ways that we can connect with each other and help each other. And at the end of the day, the, the good neighbors that, the gospels.

Rico: [00:29:43] I think, I agree with you. I mean, life is going to get pushed back a little bit. Maybe vacation Bible school instead of the first week in June happens the third or fourth week in June. You know, people are looking, it’s an interesting aspect to what we’re going through. Now you have the older generation that have been through tough times. The greatest generation is almost gone. So the generation that grew through the sixties and seventies. Right? Some mortgage rates, the Vietnam war, maybe a long gas lines, all that stuff. We’ve never, this generation really has not even with the recession, 2008 I mean, that was bad. For the most part. Our kids did not. Kids did not get affected by it. And this pandemic is really changing, I think. I mean, I see it in my kids, they’re sitting in the 16 year old seat and the 22 in the 25 year old, how they look at life now cause what’s going on, this is going to have a, a, an effect on them that will stay with them, I think for years to come.

Jay: [00:30:52] I agree 100% and I’m seeing the same thing in my 13 year old, 7 year old. You know, both from a different perspective, but, their questions, nonetheless. And they keep asking different things. And, you know, and, and as a parent, you, you want to stay informed with the things that are going on. But there are certain things that I’m trying to shield, you know, my first grader from so she’s not living in a constant state of fear and nightmares, you know, all these different things that any of us would be going through. And trying to, you know, keeps a stiff upper lip and is the father and the husband and the pastor, the leader in the midst of this. But the reality is we’ve, we’ve never been this way before. You know, so as we do it. For me as a pastor and as a father and a follower of Christ, I’m going to lean into him and just say, all right,
you know, I’m going to trust you in the process. You are my refuge and you’re never going to leave my side. And so here we go and let’s take it one step at a time.

Rico: [00:31:51] I like that. So this is a good point to probably segue into leaving the end of our time together. I do want to say thank you though for being here to talk, about how your ministry, how the church is doing. I’m sure all the churches are facing the same challenges. And some of the same things, maybe different things.

Jay: [00:32:13] Yeah. They definitely are. And all of them are doing it to the best of their ability. And all of us have kinda been forced into this together. But I’m just, I’m thankful for it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Rico: [00:32:26] This has been great. And, and people that want to be able to find out more information, where’s the best place? I guess we’ve mentioned that before, but.

Jay: [00:32:34] I’d go to a PCBchurch.org and be able to follow us. They’re on the website, all the resources that we offer, everything that we’ve got. Or being able to find that and then Gwinnettcares.org would be the second place to be able to find local things and ways that people can volunteer and serve.

Rico: [00:32:51] And if I can impose, and ask you one last thing because you are a pastor.

Jay: [00:32:55] Correct.

Rico: [00:32:56] I never, never, ever do this, but would you be able to say a prayer for us? For the community?

Jay: [00:33:02] Absolutely. Thank you.

Rico: [00:33:05] Thank you.

Jay: [00:33:07] Father. We thank you for this opportunity that we have just to come together and father, we thank you that you are with us through everything that we walked through. Father, your word tells us that we can cast all of our cares on you, all of our anxiety on you because father, you care. You’re not someone who is distant. You are someone who is right in the midst of it, walking through it with us today. And so father, I pray that you and your peace would come to each life. Father God, your comfort would come by those that are listening today that are overwhelmed with anxiety, that have fears and concerns, Lord, with what they’re seeing and what they’re in the midst of God, would they feel your presence right now? God those that are exposed to this disease, those that now have this virus, Father God, would you bring complete healing upon their lives? Father, those that work effortlessly, Father God in the healthcare industry and in the different areas, Father God, where they’re working day in and day out. God, would you strengthen them? Would you protect them? Would you watch over
them? And then Father would all of us, Father, be the children that you have desired us to be. Lord, will we be the neighbors that you called us to be and would we love on each other right now more than ever before? But father, I pray that that would be our new way of life as we go forward. Thank you for this opportunity today we prayed in Jesus name. Amen.

Rico: [00:34:29] Amen. Jay, hang in there with me for a minute while I close out.

Jay: [00:34:33] Yes, sir.

Rico: [00:34:34] Thank you everyone for being with us and I appreciate Jay and Peachtree Corners Baptist church and all the ministries out there, all the faith institutions. Be safe, hug your kids, your family. Cause they, you can, you can do that even though we have to be a distance from everyone else. But remember to reach out to those people that you think might need help or that might need to hear a good voice. So thank you. And, more shows to come. Appreciate you being with us.

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Community

City Releases Special Memorial Day Tribute Video

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Peachtree Corners Veterans Monument

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Peachtree Corners and the Peachtree Corners Veterans Monument Association will commemorate America’s fallen soldiers this Memorial Day with a special video tribute.

The special video features comments by Mayor Mike Mason and Retired Army Col. Bob Ballagh, a wreath laying by Councilmember Alex Wright, volunteers installing 48 new pavers and concludes with the traditional raising of the flags to full staff at noon.

Please use this link (or see the embedded video below) to view the city’s video tribute as we remember the men and women who died while serving our country.  

The PCVMA would like to thank all who were involved in the making of this year’s video:

  • Mayor Mike Mason, a veteran of the U.S. Navy
  • PCVMA Master of Ceremonies, Retired Army Col. Bob Ballagh
  • Councilmember Alex Wright, a veteran of the U.S. Navy
  • PCVMA Vice President, Retired Army Reserves Col. Doug Heckman
  • PCVMA Committee Member and Retired Navy Commander Tiffany Grave de Peralta
  • Assisting with flag raising PCVMA volunteer David “Doc” Hammer
  • Simpsonwood United Methodist Church Rev. John Purington
  • Bugler, Wesleyan Band Director Jeff Foster
  • Videographer Howell Upchurch, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force
  • Professional Photographer Jason Getz, a Peachtree Corners resident
  • And the volunteers who installed the 48 new brick pavers

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Community

Gwinnett Accepting Cares Act Grants Applications For Covid-19 Programs For The Needy

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Cares Act for Non-Profits

Gwinnett County is accepting applications from nonprofit and faith-based partners for round one of its federal CARES Act grant funding to serve Gwinnett residents most in need because of COVID-19.

All applications must be submitted electronically to the Community Development Program by June 4 for consideration.

Funding allocations will be made to qualifying nonprofit agencies providing eligible services in Gwinnett County. Applicants must be registered to conduct business in the state of Georgia and be designated as a 501(c)(3) organization.

The Gwinnett County Community Development Program will be hosting a Gwinnett COVID-19 Funding Webinar Friday at 11 a.m. The meeting can be accessed by computer, tablet or smartphone at global.gotomeeting.com/join/994133205 or by phone at 571.317.3112. The access code is 994-133-205.

CARES Act grant funds are reimbursable, so applicants must have the capacity and cash-flow to cover eligible costs. The County encourages collaborative submissions – especially those that use a strategic approach to address critical needs, such as emergency food assistance, housing and emergency shelter, childcare, transportation, and healthcare services.

Applicants will need to fill out the COVID-19 Statement of Need application at www.GwinnettCounty.com. The application can be found under Top Stories from the home page as well as under COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits on the Department of Financial Services’ Grants webpage.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed in March is intended to provide direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and to preserve jobs for industries. Gwinnett County manages CARES Act funding locally.

For more information, call the Community Development Program at 678-518-6008 or email gchcd@gwinnettcounty.com.

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Community

Gwinnett Public Library Joins County Summer Meals Program For Kids

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Gwinnett County Summer Meals Program

Gwinnett County and Gwinnett County Public Library are collaborating to provide summer meals at two library branches for youngsters needing food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate the library system partnering with us to help children in need during this difficult time,” said Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The library system’s participation allows us to reach more families and hopefully ease their burden a little bit.”

With the library branches, Gwinnett now has 20 locations countywide where children 18 years old and younger can pick up free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches. Parents can pick up nutritious meals for their children at the locations to take home or the children can pick up their own meals. The meals, which consist of things like sandwiches and wraps, meet USDA guidelines.

“Libraries are more than just places for books now,” said Charles Pace, executive director for the Gwinnett County Public Library. “With educational programs, job training seminars, lectures and now summer feeding programs that we offer, Gwinnett County Public Library strives to be an essential partner with the people we serve.”

Locations were selected based on school clusters with 50 percent free-and-reduced-lunch student populations. Participating library branches are the Lawrenceville Branch and Snellville Branch of the Gwinnett Public Library starting Wednesday, May 27.

The County program, part of the Summer Food Service Program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is being sponsored by the nonprofit Georgia Nutritional Services Inc., which will provide the vendor for the meals. Funding for the program comes from the USDA.

Registration is not required. Meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. while supplies last at:

The County’s Summer Meals program complements a summertime meals program for students offered by Gwinnett County Public Schools. Meals are also available for adults with disabilities. The school district will ramp up its Seamless Summer feeding program for children June 8 through June 26, and will provide school locations once they are finalized.

For more information, visit www.GwinnettSummerMeals.com or call 770-822-8840.

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