Important Changes for Ministries
A couple of days ago you received an email and video about our new Sunday morning worship plan. In case you missed that email here’s the heart of it: after much prayer and consideration of the needs of our church family, our elder board and leadership pastors have coalesced around a strategy that we believe is best for the entire church body at this time. So this Sunday, March 14th, we will begin a two-service approach under the following guidelines:
1st Service: 9:00AM - Masks will be required as they have been in the past
2nd Service: 10:45AM - Masks will NOT be required but are recommended
We hope this new approach will allow us to care for and shepherd the largest portion of our diverse church family in a time when gathering for worship is a significant need and priority. And please remember, we have an excellent third option that will remain the best fit for many - our incredible online streaming worship services, LIVE for both hours.
There are also many other ministry details relevant to your Sunday morning experience. While some or many of these will likely change and adapt over time, I want to inform you of our approach to the following areas at this point:
Since the flooding of our student area, students will continue to meet on Sunday nights at 6PM for worship and Wednesdays at 7PM for small group bible study. For the large group gatherings masks will NOT be required but are recommended. For the small group studies, the use of masks will be relative to the needs and wishes of each group under the shepherding care of the adult leader.
After long consideration of many factors (including the current quarantine protocols for exposure and our limitations to physically distance during small group time), our kids ministry will continue to require masks for 5-year-olds and higher during both Sunday morning services. We feel this is the best course forward for now and offers the least possibility of a large ministry disruption on Sundays as well as school-week interruptions for our precious “littles.”
The change to Sunday morning adult worship services applies a different pressure to Kids Ministry volunteers on Sundays. If there is any way, for either hour, you can help support our incredible Kids Ministry team by volunteering, even for a short time, please reach out to Candy Burden, our Children's Pastor. We need your help.
These Sunday morning classes are still in transition from totally virtual to in-person gatherings, with almost all of them in some sort of hybrid model. So, for those gathering in person on Sundays upstairs, once in the room, the use of masks will be relative to the needs and wishes of each group under the shepherding care of the leader.
CHURCH FOYER AND HALLWAYS
The foyer and hallways are areas of traffic and impromptu gatherings and conversations. This is ideal and encouraged. Relationships and interaction is the point of Sunday gatherings and we don’t want to inhibit or discourage this. While the FOYER will adopt an environment that matches the guidelines for each service (for the 9AM worship service, masks in the foyer will be required, and for the 10:45AM worship service, masks will NOT be required but are recommended) the traffic and gatherings in hallways and other common areas will be spaces where we ask you to be cautious and mindful of the needs and wishes of those around you. If you don’t know, just ask politely.
MIDWEEK GATHERINGS ON CAMPUS
For larger groups that gather in the worship center, masks will NOT be required but are recommended. For smaller studies and gatherings in smaller rooms, once in the room, mask use will be relative to the needs and wishes of the each group under the shepherding care of the leader.
STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
At this point, we will continue to ask all staff, elders, deacons, serve team members and ministry volunteers to wear a mask for the whole of Sunday morning - both hours.
A WORD ON AIR
You may not know that we have exceptional air quality and air handling in our worship center - with true HEPA and UV filters that exchange the total amount of air in the room every 10 minutes. There are not many indoor spaces with our level of air quality and movement.
Church, thank you for enduring a long email. Not all of these points may be important to you, but each point is an important part of the complex puzzle we are trying to put together.
As I’ve said many times, we need each other in this time. We need the precious kind of unity that is borne of trust and commitment, not just agreement. We need lots of grace and patience with each other. I am declaring our church campus a Judgement-Free Zonefor all gatherings and times. I hope it has always been, but it’s time to say so.
I am so very grateful for you church. I love the way you love. And I love seeing the practical and sacrificial grace you extend to others.
Blessings in Jesus’ name,
Posted in Church Updates