When Will HCC Live Services Begin Again?

This past week I attended a ZOOM meeting with our Foursquare Denominational leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to answer this question:

“When should churches plan to have live Sunday services again?’" 

From that meeting, I walked away with a framework to assist HCC in planning for the future as our area begins to move through Washington's Phased Approach implemented to “Re-open the State.”

This process asks three questions that serve as a template, helping to define when we will gather again at Gig Harbor High School. Our desire is to be caring, cautious and wise.

Three Guiding Questions we are considering before we relaunch our live Sunday morning services:

  • Is it a loving thing to do? 

This question is foundational to us. We are called to love each other and to love our neighbor. Love dictates what and why we do what we do. Is it sensible for us to relaunch our Sunday gathering and not put people’s lives at risk? The loving decision is to delay our live services until we have reasonable assurance of safety.

  • Is it permissible?

We need to follow government rules and guidelines, yet we are very aware that we are living in a time of uncertainly, ambiguity, and complexity. We know that every state is different, and every county is unique. Our state has provided a clear plan for us to follow, and our Pierce County Health Department has produced guidelines to assist us. At the same time, just because something is permissible does not necessarily mean it is beneficial for everyone. We remain prayerful and discerning regarding this question.

  • Is it practical?

When we do gather again on Sunday mornings, we want to make sure that we are fulfilling all the requirements that will keep you and your family safe. As a matter of fact, we want to exceed the requirements with excellence and care.  We are considering some immediate changes, including having two services on Sunday mornings to ensure we have adequate space for social distancing. Secondly, sanitizing procedures will be applied enthusiastically and with fervor. Thirdly, [email protected] will continue to be provided on Sunday mornings for people who are not yet comfortable in a large gathering format.

We understand that each church in our community is unique and that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach. We intend to honor the state-mandated phases and contend for a peaceful and unified approach that keeps our focus on building bridges within our community, while we reflect Jesus and his grace.

In my phone conversations with many of you, one of the ongoing themes is, “we miss going to HCC on Sundays.” That is because the church is more than just a gathering- it’s people.  As a faith community, we are connected by God's grace through the cross of Jesus. We are a worshiping community experiencing the Spirit that binds us together. That day will come again. Until then, let’s remain prayerful, gather separately with [email protected] on Sunday mornings, and keep looking for ways to serve and invite our friends, our families, and our neighbors by building bridges that will help lead them to Jesus.

Gino Grunberg

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