By Mike Norton
A holy longing
For believers in Christ the question of when church gatherings will resume is one of longing and expectation because our faith is not a private faith. God created us for community and He grows us and encourages us in community. We are like the Psalmist who asked when he could come and appear before God in the temple with others (Psalm 42:2).
Preparation over prediction
Because news about the pandemic is constantly shifting, we have been focused much more on preparation than prediction. We do not know exactly when we will resume gatherings but we are prepared for several scenarios that we will run when we are able to do so.
We realize that people in our faith community will have varying levels of comfort in returning to gatherings. Because of this, we may be running multiple options at the same time to serve people at their comfort level.
Look for a variety of formats that we will offer each Sunday until we can return to full in-person services safely. Those might include:
- outdoor (in car or lawn chair) - beginning June 14th (no in-person service July 5th)
- indoor limited group size and spacing gatherings
- a combination of indoor and outdoor gatherings on the same day
During this transition time we will continue to offer our worship and teaching weekly online.
Beginning our return to the Friendship Church campus, we will follow current CDC social distancing guildelines. The building will be closed except for emergency restroom use. We know some people do not feel the need to be this cautious – please join us by observing the recommended standard set by the CDC.
We expect that our on-campus standards will eventually relax, at the same time allowing more cautious people to participate with social distance by gathering on-campus outdoors by video or at home online.
Everyone should remember this is just a plan. We will make adjustments; respond to the changing situation and people’s needs, and implement best practices as time goes on. These are the next steps into our church’s future. Let’s work together to make this great!
In the meantime, we are still online and plan to be there for the long haul so let's continue to worship and do life together. As we travel through these uncertain times, we are blessed to continue to experience the opportunity to BE THE CHURCH.