When Jesus looked upon people in the various places he served, he “felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt. 9:36). He loved them enough to lay down His life for them so that they might be assembled together under His care. Can you imagine trying to navigate our current tumultuous times without having Jesus as your Shepherd? Sadly, that is the current reality for so many in our city. This season is hard for us all, but it is especially challenging for those whose lives lack a living hope. For that reason, the people of our city need the church to be the church now more than ever.
A part of being the church involves being together, for a disjointed church is ill-equipped to help a disjointed city. We believe our souls need the refreshment and the encouragement that uniquely comes as we worship Jesus together. By connecting to Christ and to one another we are strengthened to show compassionate concern for those around us. To that end, our Elder Board has been prayerfully discussing and researching responsible ways to reassemble our Sunday worship gatherings. Virtual gatherings are helpful and serve our souls well, but we believe an additional option is needed at this time. As you consider the following plans, please keep in mind that they are subject to change given the fluid nature of the current times.
In-person worship gathering option
On Sunday, October 4 at 10:30 a.m., we hope to start hosting a version of in-person worship gatherings once again. However, at this time, we will only host one gathering each Sunday, alternating between our West Seattle and Fremont Expression worship sites. For now, we will encourage Edmonds attendees to participate with us physically in either West Seattle or Fremont or virtually online. The rationale for not yet meeting in Edmonds is multi-faceted with a major component being that we share the Rock of Hope Church building with multiple groups. Some members of those groups are in higher-risk Covid-19 categories. Our first service on October 4 will be held at our West Seattle Expression.
As you know, we are one church who gathers to worship and scatters to serve in three expressions. We will alternate sites to provide opportunities for members from each expression to participate. This will also provide us with two weeks between services at one location, which will allow time for us to monitor and adjust to any potential Covid-19 flare ups within our community.
Those who are willing and able to gather with us are required to RSVP as each gathering will be capped at 50 attendees. We will practice social distancing, require masks at all times unless speaking/singing into a microphone, and utilize sanitation stations. Kids Ministry will not be provided at this time. Parents and guardians are encouraged to take advantage of these simplified gatherings by incorporating their kids into the worship of the broader church.
Continued virtual gathering options
We understand and respect the fact that not everyone is comfortable participating in person at this time. For your continued encouragement and edification, we will live stream each service, and post a recording of each service online for you to enjoy. If you are at high risk of illness, please refrain from attending at this time. If you, or a family member, has a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties, we also ask that you refrain from attending until you have been symptom-free for 72 hours.
MORE DETAILS TO COME
We will provide more details as we approach October 4! Thank you for your prayers, patience, and perseverance through these strange days. Please email questions to email@example.com.
Pastor Andrew and the Elders