In-Person Service - Re-Gathering Guidelines

Friends,
 
As we prepare to re-gather together, let me first remind us all of the biblical commands that Paul gives the church in Rome.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:9-13

By Chapter 12, Paul is exhorting the church to live out the actions of a people who treasure the gospel. The same gospel of grace and mercy, that he has articulated in chapters 1-11.

Please remember that if we treasure the gospel, we will love one another and all people, with God’s love that abides in us. We desire to let love be the guide for how we begin to re-gather safely.

Within the same encouragement and exhortation that Paul gives the Roman church in chapter 12:9-13, we too are making some changes to how we are going to gather so that we might love the Lord and love our fellow brother or sister in Christ.

We will hold a single in-person service at 9 am (with the option to add an 11 am service if we reach capacity -208 people) and two online services (9 am and 11 am). Please RSVP here -
https://pastorstoolbox.com/save-a-seat/020d2e0b-b2de-4c60-a371-aa6ea95af143/177/249

Here are the changes we are making to services so we can safely gather:
 
·  No Ninos (Kids Ministry), all services will be Family style
·  Masks are mandatory for all entering the building (Children age 2 and under are the exception)
·  Doors will be open to reduce contact with surfaces
·  No coffee or tea
·  No communion (until we have individual communion packs)
·  No offering baskets (the offering boxes in the back of the auditorium will be used to collect tithes and giving)
·  Cleaning supplies will be placed in high-traffic areas for personal use
·  Contact areas will be cleaned between services (if we have multiple services)
·  Attendees are encouraged to wash hands upon entering the bathroom and prior to exiting the bathroom
·  Attendees will be counted upon entering the building
·  After services, attendees will exit through the back of the auditorium and will be able interact and fellowship with others in a roped-off fellowship area
·  Attendees will be seated together in their own family group or with those with whom they are comfortable being in proximity
·  Individual seating, small group seating, and large group seating will be made available as attendees enter the auditorium
·  Seating will be spaced out in rows and tables will be available, with families with children having priority for tables
·  Child worksheets and activities for younger and older children will be handed out as families are seated

There will be other small changes made to how services are conducted, but these are the bigger ones that we pray will keep everyone safe as we gather for worship.
Please RSVP for which service you will be attending so we can plan, set up, and organize appropriately.

Online services will still be available (9 am and 11 am) with elders online and available for prayer during service at https://northchurch.online.church/.

Finally, be gracious. No one in our lifetime has had to navigate coming back together during a time like we are in. Everyone has different feelings, levels of tolerance for safety, and concerns for balancing both institutional and individual rights and responsibilities during something like this. There are those of you who love Jesus who will read this and feel that we have not gone far enough, and those of you who will feel like we have gone way too far in terms of safety.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. – Romans 12:9-10

Please note: On May 15, 2020, the State of New Mexico published directives, guidelines, and recommendations concerning “COVID-Safe Practices” in a document titled All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers, which requires “houses of worship” to “discontinue choir or congregation singing or chanting” (p. 29).  We believe that this directive from our state government is in violation of the commands of scripture (Ex 15:21, 1 Chron 16:23, 25:7, 2 Chron 20:21, Ps 13:6, 95:1, 96:1, 96:2, 98:1, 104:33, 147:7, 149:1, Isa 42:10, Jer 20:13, Eph 5:19, Rev 7:9-10). When faced with a governmental command that is in direct contradiction with scripture, in obedience to God we will honor the commands of God over the commands of our government. Consequently, we will not discourage congregational singing. If you don’t feel comfortable singing, please stand towards the back of the room and reflect upon the lyrics that we sing. All reasonable precautions will be taken to limit the spread of COVID during our entire service, including times of congregational singing.

In Christ,
Pastor Ryan (on behalf of the North Church elders)

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