City of God Church,
We know many of you are eager to begin worshiping face-to-face again, and as Indiana slowly begins to reopen, it seems as if that might happen sooner rather than later. In conjunction with the Governor’s new multi-stage plan for reopening, the City of God Church elders developed the following strategy to slowly and safely resume corporate worship.
Before rolling out the plan, I want to stress an important point. It would be easy for the details surrounding reopening to create division in the church. Some may feel as if we are not moving quickly enough, and others might be concerned that this plan moves too fast. In this season, we’re asking for an abundance of grace and understanding from and for the people of City of God.
As you’ll see in this plan, at every phase, we’re attempting to offer multiple opportunities to join us in worship to accommodate the varying circumstances of the individuals who make up City of God. Some of you are in a high-risk category, and you should consider returning to worship slower than others. Some of our families will have to decide what works best for parents and children until we’re able to offer our full slate of children’s ministry classes again.
Please know that however you choose to worship with us in the coming months, the City of God elders are thankful for you and praying for you. Regardless of what your Sunday morning looks like over the next few weeks, we’re going to continue to grow closer to Jesus together and love others well.
If you have any questions about this plan, or you’re not quite sure how to re-engage, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to get you connected.
Here is what we anticipate for the next few months at City of God. Again, things could dramatically change if there are new developments in our situation. We will be adhering to Indiana’s guidelines for mass gatherings as we work through this progression.
Phase 1: May 17 – June 7
- House Church Worship – beginning May 17, we are encouraging individuals at City of God who want to worship with others on Sunday mornings to find a “house church” for worship. Each location will stream worship and the message from City of God. Individuals are encouraged to find or create sites on their own, or there will be a pre-approved list of options available at the City of God website. Some of these groups will have children’s ministry options available. We will ask individuals to register for their home church location before Sunday to ensure gathering regulations are adhered to (25 or fewer at each location). If you have recently been sick or in contact with someone who has had COVID-19, please refrain from this option.
- Streaming Worship – we will continue to stream our weekly worship services as we have for the past few months for those who cannot gather in homes.
Phase 2: June 14 – July 4
- In-Person Worship at Lafayette Christian School – barring any setbacks, City of God will resume worship at Lafayette Christian School on June 14. However, these worship services will take place in a modified form:
- We will be adhering to social distancing guidelines in this phase.
- No children’s ministry classes will be offered.
- No coffee will be available.
- Communion will be provided in individually wrapped containers.
- We will change the way we collect offering to minimize contact.
- If needed, we will run multiple services to safely accommodate those who would like to worship with us in person.
- House Church Worship – those who are uncomfortable returning to LCS can continue to meet with home groups for worship during this time.
- Streaming Worship – we will continue to stream our services for those who are uncomfortable or unable to gather at Lafayette Christian or in homes with others.
Phase 3: July 5
According to the current guidelines in place, things will return to "normal" the weekend of July 5 as long as there have been no setbacks. At this point, we will begin to move most of our efforts toward worshiping at Lafayette Christian. It’s possible, but not definite, that we could start to reintroduce some of our children’s ministry offerings this weekend as well.
For those who are still unable or uncomfortable joining us in person, we will continue to stream worship from the school for you to watch at home.
I hope this gives you some idea of what worship at City of God might look like in the coming months. I can’t wait to see you again, and I’m counting down the days until our first service back together. I know God has been at work the past few months, and he will continue to work as we transition back to services together.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
P.S. If you could, please take a minute and fill out this reopening survey.
- Pastor Eric