May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020
 
Dear Koinonia Church Family,

 

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster!
 
  • We were excited to receive the guidelines from the state on reopening the building (remember the church has never been closed, not even for a minute even though the building has been closed).
  • We were frustrated as we read what was actually in the guidelines because it really makes church weird.
 

Here’s the short story:

We will NOT be opening the building to public services until July when we hope to receive updated guidelines from the state that allows us to have a more normal service.
 
Here’s why:
  • The guidelines mandate that we can have only 100 people in the entire building for a service. This means that after we count the worship teams, tech teams, pastors and staff needed for a service, we will have perhaps 80 seats. Since 67% of you indicated that you would return as soon as you can, we would have to hold 8-10 services per weekend in order to accommodate the needs of our church. Honestly, we’re not able to do that right now.
  • We also are required to keep children with parents. That means no childcare and no kids classes. We are hoping this will change when we receive the next set of guidelines because we know that this is a HUGE part of going to church.
  • In addition, the guidelines include rearranging our seats so they are socially distanced, asking people to wear face masks, taking temperatures at the door, closing our lobby, reducing or eliminating singing, and more.
 
All of this adds up to a less than wonderful church experience! But that doesn’t mean we’re on pause.
 
During the month of June we will be getting ready for YOU! This means we are going to be testing our systems and growing our capacity right now so that we can be READY for larger gatherings (we expect in July)
.
  • We will be streaming our morning services live beginning on June 7. We would love to see you in our live Zoom room during services so we can interact with you (kchanford.com/lobby).
  • We will be inviting a small live audience to be in attendance during these recordings so that we can test and fine-tune the changes we are required to make. We wish we could invite everyone, but it’s not possible. We will begin by inviting people who are active in our serving teams. Online ticketing will be required and we’ll be socially distanced, wearing masks, and doing all the things.
  • As soon as we are able to add more people in the room or add more services, we will be opening this up to everyone.
 
I understand that all of this is WEIRD and FRUSTRATING. Please hear our heart that we are trying to do the best thing for our entire church. The standard we are seeking to apply is driven by our LOVE and RESPONSIBILITY to our church family and community.
 
In the meantime:
  • Do church at home with your family and close friends! Remember to use recommended precautions. I believe this continues to be an EVEN BETTER option until things become less WEIRD at the church building. We are hearing about how many are doing this already and feeling the joy of fellowship with the people of God! Tune in at your home church at 9am and 11am on Sunday mornings so we can be TOGETHER!
  • Be a peacemaker in our church and community. There is so much polarity right now where people are strongly convinced in many different ways. Remember to offer LOADS and LOADS of grace during this season. As the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 4:6, Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
  • Guard your heart and don’t be offended at your church family or at us as your staff. This is a difficult season and it is easy to be hurt. We are doing our best to operate out of love, but we don’t always get it right! If you are feeling offended or hurt, please talk to us rather than stew or avoid. Our highest desire is unity and love, even if we don’t see eye to eye on every single thing.
 
What I am most excited about is that we are MOVING in the right direction and we will be EMBRACING soon!
 
In Him,

Pastor Andrew
Lead Pastor

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