January 6th, 2021
Dear True Life Family,
The purpose of this communication is to say that we are resuming in-person worship gatherings on January 10th with our normal meeting times of 9 and 10:45 AM. This is the plan going forward, although circumstances could dictate it needing to change at some point, and we would obviously communicate it to you if we decide to go online only for a week or more at some point. We also want to include the details we shared last week as far as the status of other events and the guidelines we are asking you to follow when you attend.
- We are postponing Reset, which was scheduled on January 10th at 5, to a later date.
- Other than small groups and one party that was already booked, we are not allowing anyone to schedule parties or events at the church building for the foreseeable future. We are trying to limit what we are doing to the most essential ministry functions.
- Our recommendation is for small groups to meet through Zoom, but we realize that each group is a unique situation so we are allowing the groups to make their own decisions about meeting in person, meeting on Zoom, or meeting via a combo of the two. We would recommend that groups meeting in person strongly consider using masks.
- The Discovering True Life Class will meet during the second service on the 10th, 17th, and 24th. It meets in the multi-purpose room, which is an intentionally oversized room for the size of the class so the class will be strictly socially distanced. To sign up for DTL, text tlcserve to 94000 and check the appropriate blank on the form you receive.
- The Ministry Team Meeting is still taking place next Wednesday, the 6th, but it will be on Zoom at 7 PM with individual ministry team meetings then taking place at 7:45.
- The Spiritual Maturity Class, Spiritual Gifts Class, and Evangelism Class that are scheduled for Wednesday, January 10th, from 6:30-8:30, will still take place but on Zoom instead of in person. You can sign up by texting tlcserve to 94000 and checking the appropriate blank on the form you receive.
- We will make an announcement in the next week to two weeks regarding the details of the spring semester for the youth group and Wednesday night classes. It is scheduled to begin on January 20th.
We also believe given the seriousness of this situation in our area that we need to take precautions if we are going to meet together in person, and we need to spell those things out. Some of these are additions to what we have been doing, and some are reminders or clearer statements.
- If you are in a high-risk category, we encourage you to consult and follow the CDC guidelines and your medical provider’s advice, but we will not prevent you from coming to a church service if you are convicted that you should be there.
- Please err on the side of caution if you have any possible Covid symptoms and don’t come. This is vital. If you are supposed to be serving, contact your ministry team leader or appropriate staff person.
- Here is our policy regarding exposure. It follows the CDC guidelines, but it has actually been our policy for months based on local advice. If you are exposed (close contact within approximately 6 feet for 10-15 minutes or more) with someone who has Covid, the guidelines are to quarantine for 10 days (assuming you don’t develop symptoms) or 7 days if you have a negative test after waiting the 5 day incubation period. Of course, we can’t enforce what you do with this in your personal life, but we certainly recommend following the guidelines in general but are saying don’t come to church or small group if you have had this type of exposure. Also, realize there may be situations that don’t exactly fit this but the wise and caring thing to do would be to err on the side of caution.
- Please be careful in your personal interactions with people while at church.
- Please avoid congregating in the church office before and after services and activities. Only be in there if you have a specific ministry purpose that requires you to be there.
- We are asking you to wear a mask when attending a service. While not requiring it, we are strongly encouraging it as much as possible when you attend. There are leaders and different ministry teams that have begun to require it on Sunday mornings. We know people have different opinions on this subject and have tried to avoid making it an issue. We are not trying to convince anyone of the efficacy of masks. The elders, however, have come to the conviction that because of how bad things are in our area, what local medical providers are telling us about this helping, the fact that some of our people believe it is necessary, the reality that it makes some people more comfortable in attending, and our witness to the community (where many people think this is necessary or think that church shouldn’t be meeting at all) that we have to emphasize this right now. It seems to be a small sacrifice. Once again, we are not trying to change anybody’s personal convictions or mandating it for attending a service but are asking you to think of others.
Maybe Paul’s words to Philemon are fitting here, when he said:
“Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.” Philemon 1:8-14 NKJV
The True Life Elders