Why are we Worshipping in a Tent?
We believe that as people made in the image of God we were created to worship and we have been encouraged by Scripture not to neglect meeting together for that purpose (Hebrews 10:25).
We also believe that God has placed civil authority over us to protect our health and livelihoods (Romans 13).
While recent legal decisions have declared that we are no longer prohibited from worshiping indoors, the capacity and other health protocols are still too restrictive to warrant changing Grace Sacramento's current in-person worship and online stream from the tent. We anticipate that we may continue to worship in these venues until restrictions allow near full indoor capacity because of the size of our growing congregation. Our leadership continues to monitor the situation and may decide to restart other programs indoors that can be accomplished well within health protocols as this season continues.
An outdoor worship is our best effort to honor God and to obey the health directives of our civil authority forbidding indoor gatherings during this season of global pandemic. We want it to be a safe place to worship and we make every effort to follow masking, social distancing and other health protocols. We are praying that the big white tent on the lawn would be a sign of peace in our neighborhood and a statement that we are praying for and with our neighbors for the end of this difficult season.
All are welcome to join us for worship in the tent on Sunday mornings at 10:45am but many will choose to join the worship service via live stream on our website. We are excited to have you worship with us in a way that allows you to feel safe, comfortable and responsible for those you love and those who love you.
Tabernacle Worship in a Purple Winter
Now that our large semi-permanent tent has been set-up, our worship plan is to gather and simultaneously live stream a single, outdoor worship service for everyone to participate in together wherever you are. Find out how to participate or to volunteer for set-up/take-down or as a greeter. Outdoor Worship starts @10:45am.
Sunday worship is on the lawn under the tent on the campus of St. Paul's Lutheran (corner of 59th Street & Broadway). Bring your own lawn chair, blankets, and snacks and worship with us. Children are welcome. We will provide some activities for them to enjoy as they worship with their families.
It has been our practice to ask everyone gathered for in-person worship services in the tent to social distance and to wear masks for safety and in the interest of our witness to the community. We are so thankful and encouraged that Grace Sacramento has not been a church divided over these issues even though we know that many have strong convictions and frustrations in this arena. We're so thankful for the continued patience and cooperation with this request.
When we began in the tent, the best research and our collective lack of understanding about the nature of the Coronavirus led health authorities to recommend masking and social distancing as the best practice even for groups gathering outside. Recent guidelines released by the CDC along with the increasing percentage of our population completing the vaccination process have changed the recommendation of health authorities and confirmed that an outdoor gathering like ours carries little or no risk of infection even for participants who are unmasked.
Lord willing, it is our plan for the immediate future to continue to worship outside in the shade of this tent that God has provided as we wait until health authorities agree that gathering indoors without restriction is safe. Beginning next Sunday, May 30, we are lifting our mask requirement for outdoor gathering with the following encouragement:
Until there is consensus and clear alignment between state, federal and local health and civil authorities, mask-wearing will continue to be an issue of conscience.
Some among us are not yet comfortable to be in groups without a mask, we want to honor you. Others will wait until protocols are aligned on every level out of a conviction to submit to authority, we want to honor your conviction.
Like Paul’s encouragement to the church in Corinth, let us take care to assure that we do not use our convictions or our rights in a way that is a stumbling block for others for whom Christ died. There seems to be encouragement ahead, let us not fail now to continue to put our unity in Christ before our own comfort and desires. Next Sunday, we'll begin our first mask-optional service. For questions, please email or call.
Worship Live Stream
We will continue to live stream our outdoor service online simultaneously at 10:45am. Check out our YouTube channel. If you are streaming in a family POD and would like to receive communion from a pastor on Sunday afternoon, please contact us. We would love to serve you.
Learn more about our optional outdoor toddler care during the 10:45am service here
Visit our GraceKid's page for weekly printable pages, well as links to other resources to guide you during this quaratine. Also, visit the GraceKids 2021 & Beyond page to find out more about a reboot of our kids' ministry on Sunday, April 18, 2021.