Hi Church Family,
This past Sunday, May 10th, marked the eighth week of Gateway doing exclusively online services due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While I believe this is a season for the church to reclaim her calling to not just be a Sunday service, but a Spirit-empowered people that both gather and scatter, this has been a less than ideal season for many of us.
That being said, I want to address a question that many of us have: when will we gather in person again? The truth is, none of us are experts and so we can not predict what the future holds. What we do know is that Jesus will continue to advance His kingdom through individuals willing to be used by Him. I pray that would be each one of us. And while we can’t predict the future of our “re-gathering”, we can begin to plan for phases of re-opening. Here’s how we believe we will proceed:
PHASE ONE – Limited gatherings will begin.
What might those limited gatherings look like?The simple truth is – we don’t fully know yet. There aren’t any guidelines available at this time since the situation is fluid. We are going to have to perpetually adapt as we learn new information. Our best “guesstimate” right now is that the limited gatherings will be smaller than what we are used to (perhaps capped somewhere between 50 in a room). We might have outdoor services. We might wind up using a reservation system of some type to ensure the size of the room does not exceed the capacity. It’s also possible that type of system may not work well logistically. One strong possibility is that children’s ministry may not be possible as we have known it for a while. Every business that re-opens will be required to guarantee social distancing measures can be performed. I have an eight-year old that has no concept of social distancing, like many young children! We do not want to alarm parents but we want to prepare you for what the future could look like. We are bracing ourselves for a host of potentialities and we ask every one of you to do the same. Many simply might not feel comfortable coming to a gathering for a while and might opt to just continue to join church online. We get that. The fact is: we will do our best to hold in-person gatherings, even if they’re limited, when it is cleared and safe to do so.
PHASE TWO – The resumption of full gatherings.
Our second phase will be when gathering limits are fully removed. We simply don’t know when that will be. Some say Christmas, others say Fall, let’s all pray that it happens in God’s timing. Whenever it happens, let’s choose to be the church now even while we are not able to “go to church.” That means…please join a Zoom Growth Group. Please join our church online services. Please connect to your church family now.
Thank you so much for being understanding in challenging times. Thank you for choosing to see this as a season of opportunity. Thank you for being an amazing church.