Updated: July 6, 2021
CONCERNING COVID-19 AND OUR SERVICES:
Since the very beginning, we have had our church doors open for service on Sunday morning with plenty of space for "social distancing" without any issues. At the height of the pandemic, we had outdoor services to help people feel safer in gathering but have been inside since August 2020. The gathering of believers is commanded, and it is essential - our COVID-19 response starts there. Our livestream is available to those who still wish to remain home, but it is a simple stream using a phone and is not meant to be anything high tech.
We trust you to have your own informed response to COVID-19. To that end, I would refer you to the recent Great Barrington Declaration. On their website you’ll read “As infections disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.” The declaration is being attacked by its opponents, but the basic approach seems compassionate and scientifically sound. (https://gbdeclaration.org)
Rather than decide for you, we trust your judgement regarding your individual situations of whether you come out or not. But we do want to give you things to consider:
We will not pass offering plate, but have a box in the back. We also have online option for giving. Please be aware that everyone is handling this differently and some may not be okay with handshakes or hugs - just be mindful of one another.
We DO NOT want you choosing to come out if that choice feels unsafe for you, you are sick, you think you may be sick, or your job has put you around people who have this virus. The doors are open for those who can and want to gather but there is not an expectation for anyone to come. In otherwords, you are not more or less spiritual/Christian depending on what you choose. But it can be deterimental to spiritual health to be away from the gathering for a long time so take that into consideration as well.
If it is prudent for you to stay home, PLEASE COMMIT to watching the live stream that is available by clicking "Watch Live" starting at 10AM. Feel free to invite others over to gather with you (especially those who don't have internet). Now is not the time for spirtual slumber as we need the encouragement of worship and the Word to meet the current crisis as a spiritual body. It won't be the greatest feed but it will be a way to follow along with the saints and know what is being taught. The gathering is more than just the sermon and worship but something is better than nothing if you can't make it out.
Please be mindful of the financial strain this will undoubtedly put on the church. None of our expenses have diminished. You may give online at our webpage or mail your offering to the church. We know too that this crisis is going to hurt many and we want to be able to find ways to care for them as well (and if that is you, let us know!)
Masks are optional (just like you can choose to dress however comfortable, you can choose to wear a mask). No one will look at you any differently should you choose to wear a mask or not wear one. Again, everyone has their own unique situation. If you aren't comfortable coming out due to this, please stay home and watch live feed. Rather than cause division by seeking to mandate and/or enforce a mandate, we trust your judgement to make your own decisions based on your freedom in Christ and conscience sake.
We do have nursery and children's church (thanks to our wonderful helpers who make it possible) but you are more than welcome to keep your children in the sanctuary for service with you. If you have a child with any flu or covid-like symptoms, we simply ask you stay home with them and watch online.
Youth group has resumed on Wednesday nights meeting downstairs. We have always had Wednesday evening prayer in the sanctuary and that will continue.
We are praying about and looking for ways to minister to the body during these times so please let us know if you have needs or ideas for ministering in this unique day and age.
Some Christians have said, “This is a good thing, and we’re ready for it with live streaming.” It is not a good thing if the church cannot gather. It may be a necessary thing, for a short time, but it is not a good thing. We are grateful to be able to broadcast live, but it was never meant to be, and is no substitute for, gathering together.