Hello, blessed and beloved of God,
I trust that you are perceiving the grace, guidance and protection of God in and over you and your household in the midst of all that is going on in the world. We are praying for you fervently and persistently to this end, and look forward to when we are able to see you in-person.
For those of you who have been worshiping and praying with us online through this time, this announcement is no surprise. We WILL be gathering outside at our home THIS SUNDAY, MAY 31ST! In addition to our gathering, we will continue to stream our services live.
In anticipation of questions and concerns that will allow you to make the best decision for you and your family as to whether you join us in-person or not, I wanted to share some information and resources that will be of help, both spiritually and practically as to why we believe the time is right to re-open Aletheia. It is important to say that we respect and support how you believe the Lord is leading you as you deliberate how to begin to re-engage with others in fellowship. It is our deep prayer and hope that “the peace of God (would) rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one Body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
We believe, perhaps like no other time in our generations, there is a call of God to wisdom and faith, knowing that, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom and in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); and, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, but those who come to Him must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). We also believe that gathering is not merely our mandate (see Hebrews 10:19-25), it is an integral expression of who we are as The Body of Christ. And, when we gather, the presence of God attends with us and to us spirit, soul, body and relationally in in power through our fellowship and worship just has He did at the birth of The Church at Pentecost (Matthew 18:20; Acts 2; Psalm 22:3). Perhaps Paul sums up God’s call in this time of crisis when he wrote:
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God…And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to The Father through Him.”
(Ephesians 5:15-21; Colossians 3:12-17).
The most important thing for you to know about our decision is that I and the leadership of Aletheia have prioritized the health of you and your family…spirit, soul and body. Therefore, we plan to have measures in place to allow for maximum safety and comfort for all who are in attendance, while being who we are called to be in ministering to the spirit and the soul which is so desperately needed in this hour.
The following are some basic considerations and guidelines we are adhering to in our gathering: (Beyond this, please see links below for more comprehensive information)
- SELF SCREEN - Please DO NOT plan to participate in our services if you have symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. If you are considered
- MEETING OUTDOORS - We are planning to meet in our front yard under canopies which is believed to aid in mitigation of transmission of any infection.
- CHILDREN WELCOME - Children will remain with their families throughout service. Children’s ministry will continue ONLINE ONLY for the immediate future
- PHYSICAL DISTANCING - We will maintain the recommended 6 feet of social distancing between households.
- HYGIENE - We will exercise good hygiene by washing our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Soap and water will be available in the sanitized restroom and hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be readily available at stations. We will avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- MASKS AND GLOVES - Masks and gloves are will be optional (If you would like a mask, a disposable one will be provided for you)
- CLEANING AND DISINFECTING - All contact surfaces will be sanitized following service by a professional cleaning service
- IN GOD’S LOVING HANDS - Above all, we are in God’s Holy Spirit led, real-time faithful care and under His almighty and loving guidance.
We have included links with important information regarding the re-opening of churches from Christian legal counsel that we have sought (including attending online meetings), and the guidelines and recommendations that we have considered from civic authorities.
Remember, we will continue to stream live via our website (http://acc4me.org/) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ACC4ME/). Thank you for your patient endurance with us as we seek the Lord together regarding His will moving forward. We “trust in The Lord…(and) acknowledge Him in all our ways that He would direct our paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6) and so we advance by faith as always, “looking to Jesus The Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
God bless you with wisdom, discernment guided by His shalom in Christ and by His Spirit.
Enthusiastically with Love,
Church Re-Opening Resources
Pacific Justice Institute – Home
Pacific Justice Institute – Checklist for Outdoor Church Services
Pacific Justice Institute – Church Re-Opening Resources
Tyler & Bursch, LLP Lawyers and Advisors – Return to Church Toolkit
Family Research Council – Guidelines for Re-Opening Your Church
California Department of Public Health – Industry Guidelines for Places of Worship
Center for Disease Control Resources
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Warning and Release of Liability for Attendees