Dear Church,

Many of you have been asking about when we will re-open. I like what one pastor of a large
church has said – “we have never been closed,” and instead he’s talking about when the church
will re-gather! I like that. And yes, we are going to re-gather on Sunday, June 7 th for an outdoor
worship. It won’t be “Church in the Park.” Instead, it will be “Church in the Parking Lot!” To
beat the heat, we will start at 7 am, and worship will last about 45 minutes.

Let me be very clear – you are free! You are free to attend in person, and, you are free to stay
home and continue to be part of worship on-line. Along with some small group gatherings, like
Wednesday morning outdoor Bible study, this is one step toward re-gathering, but there will be
many steps ahead as we navigate this new path. Staying home in no way means you are getting
left behind, and in fact, for many of you it will be the better and more faithful choice!

If you do come, let me emphasize several things:

  • Please come only if you are feeling well, and are not at high risk.
  • We encourage you to wear a mask and observe social distancing. (Masks will be
    available if you need one.) Be respectful of people’s physical boundaries.
  • We will have clean chairs, pre-filled individual communion cups, and a small
    children’s activity bag for each child in two different age groups (preschool and
    elementary). We won’t have much else!
  • Chairs will be spread out. We encourage you to move them together to sit next
    to your immediate family members, but please don’t move into someone else’s
    space in the process.
  • BYOB & C (bring your own Bible and coffee).

You may be wondering, why outdoors? Why can’t we just go inside? Because, outdoor worship
gives us less to be concerned about.  There is less to touch, and therefore less to clean.  Also,
the ventilation outdoors is clearly better than indoors.  Many church advisory groups are
recommending “no singing” at worship, because the virus has more potential for spreading.  I,
for one, want us to be able to sing!  An outdoor service means we don’t need to be concerned
to the same extent about these cautions.

The overall goal of all our efforts is to help as many people as possible feel physically
comfortable with the environment of worship, so that as many of us as possible can truly
experience God’s Word without extra concerns. That’s why we’re striving for the best
ventilation (outdoors), and are asking you to wear a mask and observe social distancing.
Perhaps you are not at all worried for yourself, and perhaps you believe the effects of the virus
have been overblown. But as Christians, I am inviting you to consider others in your actions.
Paul wrote this to the Philippians: “… in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to
your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) In addition
to being together to worship our Lord, that’s our goal for June 7 th : looking to the interests of
others. This may mean that you stay home. It may mean you come, and be careful.

Whether or not you can attend in person on June 7 th , we are all still Community Christian
Church of Marana.

Even more important, we are Christians, and we love one another. Jesus said: “By this all
people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) To
demonstrate our love for one another, instead of physical greetings – hugging, hand shaking,
fist bumping, or touching someone in any manner – let’s use one or two simple signs from
American Sign Language (ASL), that mean “love” or “hug” The first sign is “I love you” that,
among its many meanings, is a sisterly/brotherly love among fellow believers in Christ.

Please feel free to use either (or both!) of these greetings when we re-gather on Sunday, June
7 th . And whether at home, or in person, let’s continue to have love for one another. “By this all
people will know….” Let this be our example, and our witness.

In His Love, Pastor Dave

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