Coronavirus Response [3/13/2020]
Dear Friends of Grace Sacramento,
With growing concerns over the evolving coronavirus and its various implications, we wanted to provide a prayerful response in regards to our public gatherings at Grace Sacramento. We are aware that there are many moving parts in this rapidly emerging and evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates as this information becomes available.
Having taken counsel from other local churches and pastors, soliciting feedback from medical professionals and the California Department of Public Health, we have decided to offer 2 options for participating in our worship service at Grace Sacramento this Sunday.While we believe that our coming together in weekly worship is life-giving, we are also taking precautionary measures for your safety and the care of our community. You may choose to participate in this service in either one of the following ways:
- WORSHIP REMOTELY: We are committed to providing “virtual” access to our service so that you may participate from home. We will continue our practice of gathering as a community in worship whether in person or in spirit.
Live audio streaming of the worship service will be available on our website (The “Listen Live” button on the homepage of our website: www.wearegracesac.org). We will also be looking to post our service on Facebook Live at facebook.com/wearegracesac.org/. If you don’t make it to the live video stream, you can access it at a different time. No one should be or feel criticized for making the choice to refrain for a time from attendance.
- WORSHIP IN-PERSON: We will continue to hold our regularly scheduled worship service at Grace Sacramento this Sunday, with various adjustments to address concerns. Gathering in-person for Sunday services will be decided weekly as this situation develops and we have further information.
Here are a few things we are doing to address concerns about our facility:
- We will have a team of people cleaning and disinfecting all restrooms, surfaces, floors, doors and handles in our worship space and classrooms each week.
- We will provide hand sanitizer in key spots around the church. Please feel free to bring your own hand sanitizer.
- We will continue to ask people to limit personal contact.
- Further restrictive action will be taken if anyone within the Grace Sacramento community is in known contact with COVID-19.
We are making significant precautionary changes to our common worship practices:
- Verbal greetings instead of handshakes/hugs at the door and during the “passing of the peace”
- No offering basket will be passed, gifts can be left in the offering baskets around the room or given online.
- Discontinuing refreshments
- Communion servers will sanitize their hands and be the only individuals to touch wafers. Juice will be delivered in individual cups. Worshipers (as always) may choose not to participate.
- We will celebrate family worship (GraceKids is suspended) to allow for families and volunteers to attend virtually if they choose. However, nursery and toddler care will be available.
Our vigilance comes from compassion for the world around us and from our call to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are praying that this unique season will push us into new and creative ways to serve and share the love and hope of Christ with one another and those who are truly gripped by fear at this time.
Although there are no known cases of the virus at Grace, we would strongly advise that you participate virtually if you are:
a) A part of the “higher risk” demographic (see CDC Guidelines)
* Underlying medical conditions, immuno-compromised, over the age of 65, have a newborn or are pregnant
b) Not feeling well (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.)
c) Simply feeling uncomfortable with public gathering regardless of age or health
As Christians, we have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15), we have resurrection hope (1 Corinthians 15). It is this very hope that underlies the season of Lent in which we find ourselves.
If there is any way we can be of help to you as a church or if you would like prayer or a pastoral visit to bring the elements of communion to you, please do not hesitate to let us know. You can reach us through our website (www.wearegracesac.org/request-prayer) or by email to our church administrator (email@example.com).
Please continue to pray that this situation will cause hearts to open and respond to the gospel. Pray that God will protect our community and give wisdom to our leadership. Pray for your neighbors and check on those who are elderly, infirm, or who live alone. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We pray that, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” [Isaiah 26:3-4, ESV]
Brad Carpenter and Daniel Yoon and the Session at Grace Sacramento
More in Blog
June 19, 2020Praying, Listening and Getting Informed (6/19/2020)
May 6, 2020Coronavirus Response: Pastoral Letter (5/5/2020)
May 6, 2020Coronavirus Response [3/31/2020]