The PTP directors just received final notice that we will not be able to have PTP in the Sevierville Convention Center this year.
Martha Norris, SCC director, says they can only accommodate 600 people in the entire building due to State of Tennessee/CDC social distancing restrictions (see her full statement below). We tried to arrange for some outdoor sessions but that also failed to fall within their guidelines (click/tap to view).
It is possible that things may change by August but we cannot delay a decision any longer and still make PTP happen. (Martha said it will likely not change until 2021.)
The Good News
PTP 20 is not canceled; it is simply moving online to PTP365. We plan to add more than 250 men’s, women’s, teens’, and children’s sessions to PTP365 and release them during PTP (August 14-20). Churches across the country can host PTP gospel meetings with one or two keynotes a night, families/individuals can watch sessions at home, or homeschoolers can access content during the day.
PTP365: The current version is free (https://free365.polishingthepulpit.com), while PTP365 is being refreshed, renewed, and recharged. (You will be impressed.) More than 5000 people have signed up during the pandemic. The free trial will end around August 1 in time to release Virtual PTP 20. If you are a PTP365 subscriber, Virtual PTP is included in your membership. If not, you can sign up and receive both Virtual PTP and a year’s access to audio/video from previous PTPs. There will be free sessions available, too. We will announce more details later.
We are disappointed not to have traditional PTP, as we know many PTPers are, but we will focus on making PTP365 outstanding and PTP 21 the best ever. God opens doors, and sometimes closes them (Revelation 3:7), so we trust this situation will work to His glory and for our good (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
How you can help PTP.
PTP incurred about $150,000 of expenses before the quarantine hit. Although some of this can be recovered or applied to 2021, we need to make up the shortfall. How can you help?
- Use the money saved from one night’s lodging to sign your family up for a year of PTP365 ($10/month; $100/year). Click/tap here to sign up.
- Use the money saved in PTP tuition to sign your congregation up for PTP365. Elderships or individuals can register for all-member access ($300/year). Once your members/friends become familiar with PTP365, they may join you at PTP 21! Click/tap here to sign up.
- Add PTP, the elders, directors, presenters, teachers, and staff to your daily prayer list (Luke 18:1). Pray for our nation, its citizens, and leaders (Psalm 122:6-9; 1 Timothy 2:2). Pray for the Lord’s church and work (Acts 6:4).
- Show true PTP spirit in the face of disappointment by staying positive and speaking encouragingly (Philippians 4:8).
A surge in subscriptions should get us back above water and enable PTP 21 to happen (if the Lord wills). If you are unable to subscribe or donate, then do not feel bad. Prayer is not listed above just for appearance. We sincerely believe you may help PTP the most by your prayers. The Lord will provide for His work. We serve a great and generous God.
The PTP Directors
Donations can be mailed to Polishing the Pulpit, P. O. Box 520, Jacksonville AL 36265
A follow-up regarding reservations at the Wilderness Lodge.
Statement from the Sevierville Convention Center
We will open the facility on June 1st with limited occupancy of no more than 600 attendees at one time in the facility and continued social distancing. The governor’s last executive order was on Friday and it stated large facilities can open with social distancing and they must follow CDC protocols. Keeping with the social distancing of 6 ft puts us at a disadvantage, we can only accommodate up to 50 chairs per ballroom with a very small stage. Once we move to the exhibit hall we can only accommodate 200 attendees per hall based on Fire Code and social distancing. Social distancing is 6ft front, back and sides and fire code is no more than 200 chairs allowed to be set in one area without them been ganged (hooked) together. As for the concourse, this needs to be kept clear for ingress and egress access.
Also, everyone that enters the facility will have their temperature taken, this will be a lengthy process doing one at a time. If anyone has a temperature they will be asked to leave.
I don’t see the social distancing or taking temperatures going away for a good while.
I am sure this is not what you were hoping for but for now, this is the best we can do.
I will keep you posted if and when things change.