Westside Church Update
Good morning Westside! Pastor Nathan Cherry here with an update on where things are at in regard to our gathering for worship once again. The Elders convened last night and after continued prayer and discussion, we have decided that it’s time to open the doors and gather again. Just to be clear, we will begin worship services here at the Westside Christian Church campus on Sunday, May 31 @ 10am.
Now, I know that there are many opinions and concerns regarding how and why this played out, and the bottom line is we believe it is time for the church to gather once again. There has been much talk about the safety and health of people over the past several months and we are concerned for that. But we are also deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare of people in our church and community and believe the time is right to open our doors…in a safe way…to help address those spiritual needs. Furthermore, with Placer County entering phase 3 and beginning to reopen churches, we, the Elders of Westside Christian Church, believe the time has come.
But I also know that for some of us, we are not ready to gather. And I want you to know that we love you and accept your decision and pray you will choose to engage with us online as we will continue to provide the entire worship service live on our YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8SsthPH0BtuPlDOGDNBl5A. Please don’t feel pressure to attend until you feel it is right for you and your family. You will always be accepted and we respect your decision to not attend at this time. Rest assured though, when you are ready, we can’t wait to welcome you back.
This also means that there are some of us who probably should not attend. Again, not because we don’t want you here or are afraid, but because of your seasoned state in life and the health concerns that some of us have, it is probably best that if you fall into these categories, you wait a bit longer to participate at our campus. Again, it is your decision and we respect whatever you choose to do, but we want what is in the best interest of bringing glory to God and keeping you and our community healthy and safe.
I also want to be clear that it will not be business as usual here at Westside as we still have the health and safety of our parishioners in mind. So there will be a number of things that will be different this Sunday and we will work to reincorporate many of these back into Sunday worship as time goes on. And before I get too deep into this, I want to reassure you that we have done a deep clean and disinfecting of our open, public spaces included the floors, restrooms, all surfaces and our chairs. And we will continue to do so before and after each service to keep Westside as clean as possible. So here are a handful of things to be aware of if you plan to join us this Sunday:
Coffee *Coffee will not be provided at this time. *I encourage you to bring your own in a portable cup with a lid if you want to have coffee during the service. *And be sure to take it home and thoroughly wash it after the service.
Communion *Communion will be provided, but it will be the pre-packaged kind like we use for “Church In The Park.” *The communion will be on your seat when you arrive and we ask that you drop the packaging in an open trash receptacle on your way out after service.
Auditorium *You will notice that the auditorium is set up differently. It is designed to help meet social distancing requirements while allowing as many people in to worship that we can accommodate. *When you and your family arrive, please choose a place to sit and feel free to move your chairs closer together so you can be more comfortable as a family. But please don’t move the chairs otherwise so we can make as many people safe as possible.
Kidz Ministry *For the time being, we will not be providing children’s classes or nursery and encourage you to join us in the auditorium as a family for worship. *Our Kidz ministry team is excited about having classes again soon, and we will reintegrate those opportunities when the time is right. *But for right now, all Children’s Ministry classrooms are closed so please don’t allow your child to go in them.
Restrooms *The restrooms will be open as it is impossible to ask our little ones as well as those who have a greater need to not use the facility while away from home. *However, we do encourage you to please use your bathroom facility at home before attending the service and to refrain from eating and drinking just before you arrive to cut down on its use. *We will have people on stand-by to disinfect the restrooms after they get used to help meet the CDC guidelines and recommendations for gathering. *And parents of small children, we ask that you please accompany your child if he or she needs to use the restroom facility.
PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) *We encourage everyone to bring their own PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) such as gloves and a mask as needed, as we are unable to provide those at this time. *Hand sanitizer and tissue are available throughout our building and we encourage you to wash your hands with soap and water frequently for your protection. *We will not be taking people’s temperature here on campus but encourage you to do so at home before attending to ensure that you are healthy enough to attend. *And if you are feeling ill or not sure if you have been compromised in anyway, we encourage you to stay home and worship with us online. *And should you discover that you are ill after attending our service, please contact the church office at your earliest convenience.
Resources *In order to reduce contact between people, we will not be passing anything out or around at this time during our service. So there will be no bulletins or name tags provided. *We encourage you to print out and bring the sermon notes and kid activity pages with you from home as well as your Bible and a pen or pencil. *As I mentioned before, we will not pass the communion trays and we will provide a place for you to drop off your tithe and offering if you prefer to not give online. Or feel free to mail it in as several of you have done these past couple of months.
Personal Space *I know that we will be excited to see one another again and the desire to hug and shake hands will be strong. But for the safety of our community, for now, we are asking that you refrain form doing so, so that we don’t potentially pass anything along and have to further shelter-in for any longer than needed.
I know this email has been long…and daunting…and there will be many of us that feel that these steps are not necessary. But I want to call on your maturity as a Christ follower to put the concerns and needs of our brothers and sisters above our own and willingly participate in following these guidelines so that we can gather for worship each and every Sunday. Again, if you are not ready or unwilling to abide by these guidelines, perhaps it is best if you continue to worship with us online until such time that it works for you.
Church, you are dearly loved and God is on the move…He has not forgotten us or abandoned us but is using this as a way to grow our faith and trust in Him. Thank you for doing your part to make Westside Christian Church a safe place to gather and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ once more.
See you all Sunday!
Nathan L. Cherry Pastor
Westside Christian Church
2000 Opportunity Dr. Ste. 150
Roseville, CA 95678