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Our Big Questions & Our Next Front Door

This week, our governor announced a careful, measured opening of a number of businesses and organizations. Families and friends will soon be able to gather in small, socially-distanced groups. These steps have us all asking questions about our faith community (click the plus sign to read more about each question):

Not quite yet. Our building is still closed and the front doors will remain locked while we complete a protocol to guard the health of people. A team of smart, faithful people has been hard at work to create a comprehensive plan. Small numbers of staff from The Link, the Matrix, and Grace enter the building for specific reasons at planned times.
Soon, that answer will be “Yes.” We are working on plan to open the sanctuary so that individuals and family groups can pray or meditate. When ready, individuals and families will be able to sign up for a time slot.
Staff that are able continue to work remotely, following the recommendations of the governor. We will continue to check the mail and answer phone calls. One or two staff at a time may be in the building for planned, specific reasons.
We’ve had many discussions about holding “parking lot” church and those conversations will continue. Primary issues are logistics and safely providing a quality worship experience.
Soon, yes, and we are excited about where God will meet us in our neighborhoods. See below for more information.

Church is, by design and definition, relationships. Church is people, moving together with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We want to be a church that has multiple front doors. When this started, we opened one, a new way of being church by worshipping from our homes. These experiences will continue. We’ll still offer and expand online worship experiences and opportunities for our faith community to connect through Zoom, our website worship page, and our social media platforms like Facebook, and…

We’re preparing to open our next front door.

We’re in the midst of getting ready to turn up our dial a bit, and are committed to doing so with wisdom, care, and most importantly, love for neighbor. These days, love looks like safety. It looks like slow, measured planning. It looks like trust in God and each other. Soon, it will begin to look like another new way of being church.

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.

John 1:14 (MSG, emph. added)

When this began, church came to your home. Soon, church is coming to your neighborhood. Right now there is a team working to prepare the way for gatherings in groups of 10 or less in driveways and back yards, outdoors and safely socially distant. Over the next few weeks, we are focused on training hosts and testing experiences for Neighborhood Church.

This is our next front door, a way to gather with our faith community for face-to-face, yet safe conversations and shared worship experiences. When the governor spoke of small gatherings, he asked three key questions in regard to maximizing safety: How long are you together? How close are you to one another? How predictable are the movements? There are still questions to ask before we’re ready, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Gatherings will be about 30 minutes in length.
  • We will be outdoors and at least 6 feet apart.
  • We will have clear protocols for hosts and participants to keep people from physical contact.

We have a bit more careful, intentional planning to do before we begin the signup process for both prayer in the sanctuary and Neighborhood Church. We are committed to keeping our church family up to date and informed as soon as these steps are ready.

Thank you for being church together in this time. Your faith, built on solid rock, shows as you continue to trust God and care of each other and your neighbors.

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