Pastor Bill's Email Updates
It's almost time!
Our leadership team has been praying and talking about when and how to begin to re-gather as a congregation. We fully understand that some of you will not be able to re-gather as soon as others. According to our recent survey, there are several people with issues that put them at risk; there are several who plan to wait for a vaccine; there are several who plan to wait and see; and there are several who want to re-gather ASAP. Again, we totally understand the issues, the fears, the anxieties, the concerns, etc. But I want you to know that we are committed continuing our online services indefinitely. As a matter of fact, we have invested close to $10,000 in equipment to improve what we put onto the "world wide web." So, whether you will be able to join us on the front-end or have to wait to the back-end it's OK; we've got all of you covered.
I truly want you to also know that all of our decisions are guided by love and compassion, not fear or frustration. We are motivated not so much by the First Amendment as the Greatest Commandment. That means this new and different and challenging season we are about to embark upon is a season that we must love well and care well for all of our church family. We won't be able to demand "our rights" or demand to express our "liberties and freedoms" in a way that might jeopardize our putting on love. I know you will all be a community that will humbly sacrifice your rights for the sake of others and for the sake of the Gospel.
With our governor's latest church guidelines re. churches re-opening, here's our re-gathering game plan:
May 31: Service will continue to be offered online as we've been doing for the past 10 weeks.
June 7: A soft launch with all volunteers who serve on Sundays (18 years old and older ONLY). Everyone must be PRE-REGISTERED before attending (agreeing to certain guidelines). This group will attend the service (parts live & parts recorded) and a 30-minute training following the service.
June 14, 21, 28: The re-gathering of the general congregation begins. We will be limited as to how many people we can have in the worship center (following the state's strict guidelines). In addition to our Worship Team and essential Sunday morning volunteers each week, we estimate that we may be able to receive 50 or so pre-registrations. No one under the age of 12 will be permitted to attend. All attendees must PRE-REGISTER (agreeing to strict guidelines) and receive confirmation before attending. All seats will be assigned to maintain proper social distancing guidelines. There will be many other guidelines that attendees must agree to follow (which will be covered in an upcoming Live re-gathering presentation on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, June 8 as well as posted on our App, website and Pre-Registration platform). All people attending will be required to wear a mask and check their own temperature the morning of the service. It's certainly going to be exciting to re-gather but the service will probably not have the feel we used to have (at least not initially).
Before July 5 we will re-evaluate things based on state guidelines, etc. at the time. We are hoping by July that we will be able to begin the process of welcoming children and youth back (likely a phased-in approach) and possibly adding a 2nd service.
I can't wait until all the state's guidelines are dropped and we can gather like we used to. I have no idea how long that will take. But until then we are committed to following the guidelines. There is a lot at stake with re-gathering and we want to do so in as safe and smart a manner as possible. I'm sure you agree!!