We will begin in-person worship services starting on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
It will consist of two worship services only: 9:00 am and 10:30 am
(no children's programs or nursery).
For more info, watch the video and/or read the text below.
Some foundational considerations:
Jesus was unhurried. And while hurrying often gives the appearance of “bein’ on it,” it’s usually the result of impatience. Patience, on the other hand, is a fruit of the Spirit. We want to be safe, and we want to be sensible. Even more importantly, however, we want to be Spirit-led. Granted, there’s a fine line between faith and foolishness; but we want to hear from God and act with His wisdom in our return strategy.
Given different health conditions and comfort levels, not everyone is at the same “place” on our return. Therefore, we must be non-judgmental in one another’s decision to return now or wait until later.
We want our return to public gatherings to be one of celebration, not lamentation.
When will we get back to normal?
First, we may never get back to “normal” as we remember it. “What” we do and “why” we do it doesn’t change; “how” we do what we do, however, must always be subject to change. And since the world has changed, we must determine our “how” in the world as it is, not as it was. That’s probably not what most people mean when they ask, “When will we get back to normal?” Fair enough. Still, expectations are important, because unfulfilled expectations are often the cause for disappointment and conflict.
So, when will we get back to normal? That’s a great question. We’re confident that we will not physically gather in May, but we are still hoping to begin gathering again in June. That said, social distancing strains our ability to utilize our worship space and maintain six-foot distances between family units.
We ask for continued patience and flexibility as we seek out the best path for getting “back to normal” with our worship gatherings. Circumstances are changing so rapidly; a lot can happen during May. And we expect to gain clarity as we move through this month. We’ll keep you updated.
What about Connection Groups?
Since our return strategy begins with worship only at first, our Connection Groups will need to meet in virtual settings (such as ZOOM, for instance) throughout the summer. Small groups in small physical spaces (such as homes) wouldn’t be the best combination on the front end of our return. We’re hoping for in-person Connection Groups to resume in August.
Will we have activities for preschoolers and children upon our return to “Sunday Services”?
Not at first…and probably not until August, in fact. (We’re hoping parents will be understanding of this decision.) Think about it this way—when the kids go back to school, they’ll go back to 9:00 am Bible Study classes and the 10:30 am Children's Worship. Our young ones will sit with their families during worship.
What about Vacation Bible School?
Sadly, we have made the decision that VBS will be cancelled. We could see no way where we can do a meaningful VBS program given the restraints the COVED-19 virus placed on us. This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the right one.
What about our older members and those with vulnerable health conditions? What if they’re afraid to return so soon or have been advised against doing so?
We will continue offering our online worship option. We, of course, have been posting our sermons on YouTube for many years. So, other worship options have been with us for some time now. But this virus has produced a forced creativity that we believe helped us to sharpen our online ministry.
By the way, we will not be requiring masks for our gatherings…but they are certainly welcomed! We encourage you to bring your own mask. (We will have a limited supply of disposable masks available if you forget)
What if I don’t feel well, have been around someone who is sick, or have a fever or a cough?
Please stay home and worship with us online.
What about AWANAs?
We will not resume our AWANA program on Wednesdays until August. But we will begin with an AWARDS CEREMONY. Out AWANA leaders have been faithful to remain in touch with their clubbers and many of the children went on to complete their books during this pause. We want to recognize the children and the workers, thus an award ceremony
What about our nursery, other children’s ministries and student ministry? Will they be gathering for anything this summer?
No. We are following a three-phased approach to this re-entry. These programs will return in phase three. We don't have a timeline for these two phases yet.
What about the church ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper?
We will seek to maintain the same level of sanitation and safety in the ordinances as with every other aspect of our return. Baptism will most likely be limited to one person per filling of the baptismal pool for a while. And as to the Lord’s Supper, we’ll use the prepackaged communion sets the next time or two, at least. They’ll be available for pickup as worshipers enter the worship area.
We appreciate your patience, and we’ll announce more details as soon as we have them.
Two major calendar changes:
- The in-house Soft Transition of the Senior Pastor position to Pastor Vance that was scheduled for April 15th has been rescheduled for June 28th.
- The Installation Service/Retirement Service that was scheduled for June 28th has been rescheduled for August 30th.
Check back here for the most up to date information.