Hello New Life Family,
I am excited to give you an update on our working plans for coming back together for INDOOR, in person services as a church.
We initially chose to begin our in-person gatherings for New Life on Sunday mornings outside in April due to the existing guidelines for places of worship given by our state officials at that time. Some of the significant limitations in these guidelines included a 25% maximum capacity limitation on indoor services, no indoor kids programming, and a prohibition on indoor singing.
As we continue to make progress as a state and county toward reopening, several recent updates are encouraging for our working plans to return to indoor gatherings on Sunday mornings:
- As of April 15 Covid-19 vaccinations are open to all Californians ages 16 and up.
- As of late April there is no longer a mandatory maximum capacity limitation on indoor gatherings.
- As of late April there is no longer a mandatory prohibition on indoor singing (masks are still required).
- On June 15 the state is anticipating that all industries can return to usual operations with common-sense risk reduction measures such as masking and vaccinations.
In response to these recent updates and in anticipation of the existing guidelines for places of worship being updated soon (i.e., allowing for indoor kids programming), we are taking our first steps in returning to indoor services on Sundays beginning on Sunday May 30th at 10 AM.
From the responses many of you gave to the survey we sent out, we learned more than half of the ‘collective us’ is ready to return to indoor services now with two thirds of us being ready once we cross the June 15 date set by the state. One third of us are still not ready and not sure when we will feel ready to return. This diversity of comfort levels makes complete sense as this pandemic has impacted each of us in so many different ways. We are all walking in the same reality while experiencing it from our unique perspectives.
The advantage of returning to indoor services at this time is that we will be able to create a better experience for everyone. For those who are ready now to return, this will be a better experience than what we have been able to create outside in our parking lot. For those who will be ready to return after the June 15 date set by the state we will have had a few weeks to get things dialed in allowing us to be ready for your return. For those who are not yet ready to return we will be able to create a far better online streaming experience for you from inside the building.
To ensure the safety of everyone attending in person ...
- We will be asking that everyone coming wear a face mask inside at all times
- We will be reducing our indoor seating to allow for appropriate distancing during the service
- We will be moving our lobby experience outside to the patio/parking lot
Our programming for kids ages 2 through grade six will continue to be offered outdoors on the first and third Sunday of each month. We anticipate being able to move our kids programming indoors at some point this summer once we cross the June 15 date and have a better understanding of the updated guidelines at that time. Our NextGen team continues to do an outstanding job of creating a safe and fun experience for our kids!
In taking these steps in moving forward together as a church, let’s continue to be for each other as we walk in unity and grace, respecting the different comfort levels we find ourselves and each other in. As you look to those who are in a different space than where you find yourself, let’s remember something so important: we are family. We all belong to our Father and He loves each one of us. Let’s not let the enemy sow discord amongst us. Let’s stand tall together, being for each other, being that light shining brightly inviting all to see the beauty of Jesus in us.