Suspending In-Person Worship

Tue, June 30, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We've all seen in the news about the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the greater Houston area. Our Bishop conducted a webinar for pastors with Dr. Marc Boom, head of Houston Methodist Hospital, to discuss the surge and the impact on churches. Dr. Boom explained that the increase resulted from a significant increase in social gatherings since Memorial Day, along with “precaution fatigue” by many in practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings in public. He expects this surge to continue for the next several weeks and then begin to decline. Dr. Boom also thought churches should reassess in-person worship and other large gatherings until this surge recedes.

The Board of Stewards meet Sunday night to discuss all this, and we unanimously decided that we should suspend in-person worship through July. We believe this is the right thing to do at this time to ensure the safety of our broader community and our church family. We also decided to limit the use of the church to only smaller group meetings. We encourage all groups to make use of Zoom or other online tools as they are able. Finally, the Board decided to require the use of face masks or coverings until further notice for all persons who come onto the church campus. We ask that everyone cooperate with these safety protocols, remembering the words of our Lord Jesus, who calls us to "love our neighbor as ourselves." The church office will remain open from 9-3, Monday through Thursday.

We will continue our worship via online platforms (Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube). The worship times will remain at 9:30 am for Celebrate, and 11:00 am for Traditional. You can find those links on our website. We will reevaluate the situation later in July and determine when to resume in-person worship again in August.

We ran into some audio problems with our Livestream on Sunday. We are working to correct those issues, until then, we will broadcast a recorded service as we have been doing to ensure the best online worship experience.

These are challenging times. We are all learning to live in a new normal. The church leadership and staff are having to make difficult decisions, often decisions we don't want to make, but think best to ensure our church family's safety. We are grateful for your prayers and support.

I look forward to joining with you in worship online this Sunday, as we continue in our message series on Paul's Letter to Ephesians, Masterpiece in Progress. This Sunday, we will look at Ephesians 2.1-10 in a message entitled Dead or Alive, where we will explore how the Lord brings us from death to life and makes us into His masterpiece.

Grace and peace,
Jim