COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) RESPONSE
In-Person Corporate Worship begins May 17 with significant social distancing procedures in place.
Recorded worship services and downloadable bulletins will continue to be available on our Sermons page.
Gospel Fellowship Presbyterian Church
COVID-19 Reopening Plan ｜ May 12, 2020
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Session has been continually praying about reopening our church for worship as the COVID-19 pandemic moves into a new phase heading into the summer months. As the nation cautiously reopens and lockdowns are eased, we too are aiming towards resuming our full calling and mission as a local church. During the past month, we have been listening carefully to our flocks, to our Governor, to medical experts, and to the best we are able, listening to the Lord as well. We believe that the month of May presents our congregation with a window in which we may safely reopen our church for public, in-person, worship on Sunday mornings.
A Phased Reopening Process: Beginning May 17th
Each of the elders is in agreement that we should open our congregation for worship as soon as possible, given the complexities and changing dynamics of the situation. At this point, we are aiming at May 17th as the date for resuming in-person worship in the sanctuary. We believe that our first priority is opening our primary Lord’s Day worship services, and then reopening other ministries in phases, as prudence dictates. In order to maintain proper social distancing Session is proposing a temporary, “expanded” schedule as follows:
8:30 AM Service
11:00 AM Service
6:00 PM Service
Afternoon Video Service (Recorded from earlier, and posted ASAP on Youtube)
At this point, we are asking families to prayerfully consider attending one of the four service options. All four will be simple, identical gatherings, with the same music and sermon. In the interest of limiting the size of each gathering, we will ask each family to attend only one in-person service per week. Those with flexible schedules may be asked to choose a particular service in order to balance the gatherings' sizes. Volunteers will be asked to help clean and wipe down the sanctuary after each service. Printed worship bulletins will continue to be used to reduce unnecessary cleaning. Sign ups will be used to help balance attendance numbers – click here to indicate your preferred service.
Other Classes and Programs
Although the situation is fluid and could change at any time, we will not be resuming in-person Bible studies, classes, or other events at this point. Session is in a “wait and see” pattern as we continue to monitor the situation. We will announce other openings as soon as possible. Please be patient with us while we all wait for our favorite programs, groups, and events to resume! We promise to return to a state of normalcy as soon as it is safe and expedient. For the next few weeks at the very least, we will continue to host the following online video studies:
Monday Night 7:00 PM Shawn Spalti, Youth Zoom Meeting
Tuesday Night 8:00 PM Elder Nathaniel Sheetz, “Christianity and Liberalism” by J. Gresham Machen
Wednesday Night 7:00 PM, Pastor Matthew, Family Bible Study for All Ages (Youtube Live)
Thursday Morning 11:00 AM, Pastor David, The Psalms (Youtube Live)
Friday Morning 7:00 AM, Rev. Walter Coppersmith, Men’s Zoom Bible Study
We plan to continually monitor the situation and will reopen other events (Sunday School, Fellowship Groups, Bible Studies, Summer Programming, Sports) as unfolding events allow. We ask you to pray with us that we will be able to resume a full normal summer.
Regarding the Christian Recreation Program (CRP)
As difficult as it seems, we are unfortunately going to have to postpone — or at least significantly modify — our Christian Recreation Program (CRP) this year. As the beginning of June quickly approaches, Session is unable to work around the formidable obstacles that require adequate social distancing at this time. For the moment, we are announcing the indefinite postponement of CRP, as we hold out some hope that a children’s outreach toward the middle or end of summer may still be possible. Session is saddened, as you are, to have to make these adjustments. We continue to hope that some kind of community outreach may still be possible. Session resolves with a whole heart to return to this vital ministry in a normal way next year, Lord willing.
Matters of Conscience and Concern
We understand that each person in the church may have strong feelings on this matter. Feelings vary from extreme concern to hardly any at all. Not only that, but our consciences may differ as to the timing and wisdom of this phased reopening plan. We ask that you continue to be patient with us as your pastors and elders while we attempt to faithfully discern the Lord’s will as a Session. If you have any concern with attending worship again publically, please do not feel pressured to attend. We will continue to provide online content for our congregation during this time. Our 6:00 PM Video service will continue as long as necessary to accommodate folks who desire to stay at home out of concerns for COVID-19.
Please continue to pray for us as leaders, and the church as a whole.
May 12, 2020