CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH RE-GATHERING PLAN – JULY 2, 2020
Hello Church Family,
Our Church Board met on Thursday, June 25th to prepare both a plan and a target date for the regathering of our community for in-person worship. Before we get to the plan, here are a few preliminary decisions from the Church Board that effect the use of our facilities going forward.
- We have closed our facilities indefinitely both to outside groups and to other activities and events that are not specific ministry events of Christ Community Church. We will not meet to revisit this decision until August of 2020.
- We have prioritized corporate worship in our re-gathering plan. We will not discuss other ministry related in-person gatherings (e.g., Bible studies, prayer groups, fellowship gatherings, Sunday School, youth group, etc.) until after we have begun to worship corporately. Those discussions remain for our July Board Meeting.
- We do encourage our congregation to continue meeting in these ways in small groups in homes and neighborhoods where state, local, and federal guidelines can be met, and, of course, electronically.
Thank you for your understanding in these matters. As we indicated in the letter we sent out at the beginning of June, we are continually reminded that the church is not a building, but a people. Each of us are the living stones of the Temple of Holy Spirit which God is building upon the foundation of the prophets and the apostles, with Jesus Christ, our Lord, as the chief cornerstone. We also recall Jesus’ exhortation that the minimum number of Christian gathering is two to three households. As much of a blessing as gathering in larger numbers has been and will be again, and as much good as we can do in larger groups, we are encouraged to remember that Christian community was first birthed in hostile territory and in small household gatherings.
And now we move to the details of our re-gathering plan:
Our target date for our first re-gathered worship service is Sunday, July 19, 2020!
- Our worship service is scheduled to begin at 10:15am on Sunday, July 19.
- We will not be gathering in small groups before or after the worship service (e.g., Sunday School, prayer groups, etc.)
- During the entirety of your time on the church campus, we would encourage you to observe social distancing protocols.
- Arriving at the Church:
- The doors of the church will open at 9:45am to begin to receive congregation members.
- We will be using only two of our entrances for entering and exiting the church building.
- Individuals and families will be welcomed to enter through either the Education Wing Entrance or the Main Entrance. The gym wing entrances will be closed.
- There will be signs outside of the church to direct you on where to enter.
- Please prepare to leave yourself and your family some extra time to transition from your car to the worship service. Each family will have to pass through a screening checkpoint as they enter the church building.
- The screening checkpoint will include a list of health symptoms for you to read. We would ask that any who are actively sick or who are manifesting symptoms associated with illness to join us online for worship.
- In order for us to regather, Minister Josh must sign a “Business Affirmation” with the State of New York that affirms that we are requiring all state social distancing and health guidelines to be followed at our events. Therefore, in accordance with the state requirements, we are politely requiring the use of facemasks (mouth and nose coverings) for each family member above the age of 2 throughout the church building. You may remove your face covering once you are seated in the sanctuary. We are asking that you wear a face covering at all other times.
- During the Worship Service:
- As you enter the sanctuary, an usher will assist you in finding a seat.
- You are welcomed to remove your face covering once you have been seated.
- We will be singing together during the worship service. For those who wish to sing aloud, we would ask you to sing with a face covering in place.
- Parents, please be prepared to keep your children with you throughout the time that your family is on the church grounds. We will not be offering nursery care or children’s church during these initial services, and, due to social distancing requirements, it is important that children not be allowed to roam.
- Parents, please be sure to bring quiet activities for your children (activity bags will not be available).
- We will still gather for family prayer during the worship service, but you will be encouraged to kneel at your seats instead of gathering at the altars.
- Worship Folders will continue to be available electronically through email and through the church website (cccsyracuse.com) but will not be handed out during the service.
- You will be welcomed to place your offering in an offering plate at the exits of the sanctuary as you depart.
- Once the service has concluded, the congregation will be dismissed by row. After leaving the sanctuary, we would ask that you proceed immediately to the exits and save any socializing or fellowshipping for outside of the building.
- Additional Items:
- In the case that you or a family member forgets to bring a face covering, we will have some extra face coverings available at our entrances.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations throughout the church building.
- Our present estimation is that we can safely accommodate 90 individuals in the sanctuary, and up to an additional 35 in our overflow areas. So, we are expecting to be able to welcome a total of 125 individuals on our opening weekend. If that proves to be too small a number, we will work on providing overflow space in the gym on successive weekends.
These are unprecedented days for all of us, and we are overwhelmingly grateful for the ways in which our people are continuing to participate in worship and discipleship during these last months. Thank you for your continued financial support, as well. Our expenses are slightly outpacing our giving at this point, but we are continuing to meet our financial obligations both with respect to our facilities and to our staff. Thank you for the trust you continue to demonstrate in our community, and thank you for your prayers and your partnership!
23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Hebrews 10:23-25, NRSV
Praying with You,
Christ Community Church of the Nazarene Executive Board
Minister Joshua Johnson, Minister Clare Pietra, Tim Sparks, Cindy Kraus, John Kelly, Ellen LaQuay, Dan Martini, Brandon Doyle, Barry Cook
Our weekly schedule continues to be as follows:
Sunday morning worship at 10:15am over FB LIVE
Tuesday morning prayer time over audio conference at 11:15am
Minister Joe & Michelle Zurn are hosting a prayer-time audio conference every Tuesday morning at 11:15am. If you are interested in participating, please contact either Minister Joe or Michelle for the number to call and instructions on how to connect.
Wednesday Book Discussion with Minister Josh will continue through Zoom conferencing at 6:30pm
If you are willing to read the book “Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God,” by Dallas Willard, you are invited to join Minister Josh on Wednesdays at 6:30pm for an interactive discussion of the book and of our prayer lives. A weekly invitation will be sent out on Wednesdays through the church email.
- The Zoom Conference will begin at 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings.
- You will receive an invitation to the conference through your email during the day each Wednesday.
- You can participate over audio by simply calling in on your phone to the number provided in the invitation you receive.
- You can participate over video by clicking on the link in the invitation. For the video component you will need an active internet connection and an internet connected device with a video camera. This device can be a computer, a smart phone, or a tablet.
We would encourage you to become routine in checking your email during this time of isolation, and continue to check our various online venues for updated content and opportunities. If you are not yet part of our church email list, please contact the church office and ask to be added to our mailings.
Here are a few encouragements from your ministerial staff during this season:
- We continue to encourage you to participate in our family challenge to continue reading through the Bible. Presently we are reading Genesis & Psalms together. Please contact Minister Joe, if you’d like to participate in that through the use of the YouVersion Bible app.
- Minister Joe is setting a challenge to our congregation to begin to meet weekly in small groups over Skype, Facetime, or audio for prayer during this season. There is no need to do this through the church. But, if you would like more information about this initiative, please contact Minister Joe either directly, through email, or through the church office.
- We encourage all our people to check in regularly with the other members of our congregation, particularly those who live alone or who have limited access to family.
- If you require ministerial care during this time, the church office will be closed to drop-in visitors, but the office phones and office email account are both being monitored. You are also welcomed to communicate with Minister Josh or Minister Joe directly.
And again, here are the online resources for our church and ministerial staff, through which we encourage you to engage during this season:
- Church Website: cccsyracuse.com
- Church Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/cccnazsyracuse/
- Church Facebook Discussion Group: www.facebook.com/groups/cccncommunity
- Church Podcast: cccnaz.podbean.com
- Minister Josh’s Website: shadowofthecross.org
- Minister Josh’s YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/jthomasjohnson/
- Minister Josh’s Podcast: wayoflife.podbean.com
May the Lord keep you in your going out and your coming in during these days. Jesus is Lord, and Jesus is coming!
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2, NRSV