Hey there, Morning Star Family!
We are excited to begin regathering in person for both our 9 am and 11 am services! We are all aware by now that things can change rapidly, so we are holding these plans loosely as everything could be revised. We continue to pray and seek the Lord regarding all of these matters, and we ask you to continue praying with us! Thank you for your patience and support as we do our best to lead you in pursuing a Jesus-first life.
Please note that our online services will be continuing beyond all COVID restrictions, and we encourage you to participate in them when/if you cannot make it to the building for the foreseeable future.
As we come back together in person, we have some requirements to clearly communicate and to follow during our in-person services. Our heart is to remain safe and cautious in our regathering efforts, and here are the two main reasons why we continue to be safety-conscious.
1. We want to love our church well. As leaders, we need to make decisions with the good of our entire church family in mind. Morning Star is a large multigenerational church, and caring for the needs of all our people is a responsibility we take prayerfully. In the survey that we took over a year ago (May of 2019), we found that we have an aging church, with 65% of our church over the age of 50. We know that a large portion of our church family is over 65, which means extra precautions. In addition, we have people in our church with underlying health conditions and we would like them to know that we value them in this process of regathering.
2. We want to love our city well. As we gather back together in person, we long to do so in a way that brings glory to Jesus. We believe that one way we do this is by honoring our governing authorities (as long as honoring them doesn’t contradict our submission to the lordship of Christ and His ultimate authority). We don’t feel forced to put these requirements in place. We are following these procedures in order to care for the vulnerable during this pandemic. Our focus is on our mission, which is to lead people to pursue a Jesus-first life. We don’t want the watching world to look at the Church and think that we are reckless or selfish, as this view hurts the mission of Christ. We have the opportunity here to use our rights and freedoms for the sake of others. This is exactly what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23: For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all that I might win more of them… to the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means, I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel. If agreeing to be cautious for the vulnerable means that one person is more likely to trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior and pursue a Jesus-first life with us, it will be more than worth it.
I think a good rule of thumb is found in what Paul wrote to Titus: Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask or to set up an appointment by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.