It’s time to go to church… sort of.

After our board meeting Tuesday night we were all agreed: we need to get back to church, and the time is here to begin that process. It won’t be “normal,” but we are moving toward that reality. Our Governor has declared that our county will be moved to the “yellow” phase of the reopening plan this Friday. That means that the stay-at-home order will be lifted, although social distancing will still be in place. Group gatherings will also be permitted, however they are to be limited to 25 people. So what does all this mean for Trinity Gospel Church? 

We will be opening the church building this Sunday (May 10) for the morning worship service at 9:30. Sunday School classes will be postponed until a later date. Before the COVID-19 restrictions we were averaging about 50-60 people on Sunday morning. That is double the permitted group size so some accommodations must be made. We offer three possibilities:
 
Option 1
We understand that some people are not ready to return yet due to various health issues and increased vulnerability. This is expected and understood. Please do not feel pressured to come on Sunday if you are uncomfortable. For this reason the Sunday morning service will be video recorded and posted online at 11:00 am (as we have done for the last several weeks). If you desire to remain home and watch online we encourage you to do this for now. 

Option 2
A second option is to gather a small group of around 10 (or fewer) people in a home for a “watch-party.”  Cody Hoover has opened his home in Warrensville for this purpose, and there may be others who wish to do the same. For coordinating purposes, if you desire to join or host a Sunday morning “watch-party” at 11:00 am please contact pastor Joel or reply to this email. 

Option 3
You may wish to come to the church building for the early service at 9:30. For those who choose this option, masks must be worn (although for singing and worship they may be removed).  We will endeavor to maintain the requested 6 ft distance and refrain from physical contact. If there are more than 25 people who attend, we will ask some to worship in the lower level while listening to the live broadcast from the auditorium. We realize this is not ideal, but we also understand that this is only temporary.

We feel that these options provide a way for us to begin re-opening while respecting the requests of our government authorities. In time, we trust these restrictions will be lifted, and we will once again be permitted to worship together in the same building. Until that time we will follow this pattern Sunday mornings unless we think it wise to make adjustments. 

Our other services will be open as well. Sunday evening at 6:00 and the RU addictions program on Fridays at 7:00. We do not anticipate our attendance being over 25 for these services, but will continue to monitor and make adjustments as necessary. Social distancing guidleines will also be followed at these services. We will continue to video record all services and post them online as well. Look for them on our website, YouTube, or Facebook. Our midweek small groups will continue to meet in homes as before. Please contact your small group leader for specific information regarding your group. If you are not yet part of a group and would like to join one, let us know today!

These are strange times, but our God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!

See you soon.
Pastor Joel Henderson

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