A letter from Kerman Covenant Church Leadership.
May 16, 2020
Greetings members, friends, and families of Kerman Covenant Church,
Grace and Peace to you! I wanted to give you an update from the leadership team. We have been meeting and praying throughout this pandemic, though the meetings have been Zoom video conferences. While we have sought the Lord’s leading together, it has been a major challenge to overcome the disconnected feeling that such communication leaves us. We are grateful that technology has allowed us to still act as the leadership team on behalf of you, our congregation. In a similar fashion, we are all immensely pleased that our online church services have kept our worshipping community connected to God, his Word, and his people. Yet, the disconnected feeling remains.
Last Tuesday, the team felt comfortable enough to meet in person. We met outdoors and with appropriate distancing. It was good to be in the same “room” again. We know that all of us long to be together as the body of Christ, in person, present with one another. However, it is not news to any of us that significant challenges remain before our sanctuary can be filled again with the people of God worshipping our risen Savior.
The slight easing of the shelter in place guidelines have us looking towards the steps of reopening. This is not a simple matter of reopening the doors and resuming all activities. We have been praying and collaborating for a couple of weeks to find a safe and wise process. The leadership team decided to “test the waters” of meeting again by okaying the Men’s Thursday Morning Bible study to once again use the side room of the main building to gather. With some opting for the Zoom connection, we were less than 10 people and we kept the appropriate distance from each other. It was a good start to resuming normal activities. However, one meeting of one group does not mean all avenues are open. That would not be a wise course of action.
In the upcoming days, it may be appropriate for smaller groups to come together. If you are a part of a group comfortable enough to meet, your leadership team asks you to consider several things. The first is to recognize that not everyone has the same timeline or comfort level about resuming being together in person. All parts of the body are to be respected and honored! We are all gifted by the same Holy Spirit and no one’s voice is more nor less valuable than another. We must allow each other to approach our individual situations as we see fit. Secondly, consider if meeting outdoors would work. Could you meet at a home? Our church has been forced to reconsider what it means to be the Church and many of us realize that smaller groups, in our homes, can and should be a valuable part of our fellowship in the future. Also, can you use Zoom or something similar, to accommodate those unable to or uncomfortable with meeting in person? These are some of the guidelines we ask you to consider. If you want to pursue an on-campus meeting, we ask you to first gain approval from the staff and leadership team. There are many issues to deal with, so at this time we will be considering meetings on a case by case basis.
When it comes to meeting for all church worship, the issues multiply. The guidelines for larger meetings are not clear. Whose guidelines do we follow? The state? The county? The city? Do we simply pick the one that more closely follows our own opinions? How does our church’s decisions impact our sister church La Viña and our ministry collaboration with Kerman Christian School? Sanitation, seating, and singing are but a few of the considerations, and those are just the ones starting with the letter “S”! The leadership team is working on plans that address all these issues to the best of our ability. We want to meet in person as the body of Christ! We have been called to patience in these unusual times. The leadership team wants you to know we are cautiously optimistic that we are moving towards reopening. However, I have no date to announce at this time. Pray, pray, and pray again that we might make wise Spirit lead decisions as we take this journey together. Thank you for being a valuable member of the body of Christ. Please do not hesitate to contact your leadership team members. We are here to serve you. I hope to “see” you online at church this Sunday!