Rhythm, Routine, and Reopening
(This week's blog is a special message from Pastor Wes.)
Hello GracePointe Family,
The last six weeks have been an incredible journey. Depending on your unique situation the journey has been incredibly painful and scary or maybe you are on the other end of the continuum. There has been some frustration, but you’ve actually appreciated the forced pause. I have a feeling most of us are somewhere in between. Depending on the day or moment your feelings and emotions may go from one end of the other. If this is true of you, please know you are in good company. We are all facing the same struggle.
One of the things we are all anticipating is a return to some of the regular rhythms and routines of life. Things like dinner with friends, grabbing a loaf of bread at the store, going to a movie, and watching your kid’s soccer match all seemed so simple before. Now we either can’t or it’s way more complicated.
For many of us, gathering with the GracePointe family in person is one of the deeply missed rhythms of each week. Be assured, we miss being with you face to face and we are eagerly anticipating our return to on-site Worship Gatherings at both GracePointe Campuses. We know that eventually the orders and mandates will be lifted so we are doing our best to prepare. Much of our preparation is based on what we think the stages of reopening will look like, but no one knows for sure how it will happen. So we are asking you to join us in praying for wisdom and to walk with us in this journey. Here are the key factors we are considering as we make plans:
Safety. We can’t guarantee anyone’s safety, but we will do our best to follow the CDC and government guidelines. Cleaning procedures are being updated and we will adjust some of our routines to help reduce the opportunity for viruses to spread.
Logistics. We are planning for different scenarios based on how many people can gather, physical distancing requirements, and seating capacity. This will prove to be the most challenging area because the guidelines continue to change and restrictions will be lifted in stages.
Experience. We want to make sure that the logistics are not so overwhelming that the Worship Experience is completely disrupted. We are also considering how to best serve our GracePointe kids and families with young children in light of the expected restrictions.
Flexibility and Sustainability. Our plans may have to change from week to week so we will have to be flexible. In addition, a key factor is being able to sustain whatever methods we are employing. Our wonderful volunteers and staff give us their very best and we must make sure we don’t put strategies in place that simply run them into the ground. For instance, if attendance is limited to 50 people that means we need between 6-8 Worship Gatherings each weekend to accommodate our church family. Yes, we know that not everyone will return to public gatherings at first, but we always want there to be room at the table.
These are a few of the issues we are wrestling with as we look towards the next few weeks and months. Please join us in praying that our generous God will give us wisdom way beyond our human ability.
We appreciate your continued partnership as we live out the mission God has placed on GracePointe. We are thrilled at the way God is continuing to bless our church family during this unprecedented time. – Pastor Wes