Church On The Lawn
Getting together with room to spare.
There is nothing like being together. But with COVID-19, we need to take a few more precautions than normal to do so.
That’s why we are going to gather for church on the lawn. On June 7 we will have 2 family-friendly services outside at the church at 9:30 only.
We will be kicking off a new 4-week series, “Moving Mountains.”
These events are weather dependent; make sure you are subscribed to our Digital Weekly for updates.
A Word on Creating a Safe Place for Church on the Lawn
If you have been around Rivers United Church for awhile, you’ve heard us say, “In the essentials we have unity, in the non-essentials we have liberty, and in all things we have charity.” We say this as it relates to issues of faith, Biblical interpretation, and the Christian life.
We can also apply this stance to COVID-19. We can agree this virus does exist. We can agree it causes death. We do not need to agree on how dangerous it is. We also do not need to agree on the level of good masks or social distancing does to prevent the spread. We DO have to have charity (aka respect) in what others decide to believe.
To that end, we want to encourage everyone who attends Church on the Lawn to respect the right of each person to believe as they want about masks and social distancing. Our rights, in all areas of life, have a universal and God-ordained limit. Your rights end where another person’s rights begin.
Please refrain from assuming it’s okay to approach someone closer than six feet just because you are comfortable with it. Let’s respect personal bubbles. In fact, you simply should not approach anyone closer than six feet without respectfully requesting permission to do so. Give people permission to say no. You could ask someone, “I’m okay staying six feet away, and I’m okay giving you a hug…it’s your call.”
While we are not going to require the wearing of face coverings, we would encourage those who are uncomfortable engaging in physical contact with others to wear one, if you can do so safely, as a sign to others of your desire to socialy distance. And, at the least, don’t be afraid to hold up a hand to others as they approach you and say, “I’ve got a six foot bubble here, and I’m not afraid to use it! Thank you.” We all agree to respect that, honor you, and to be encouraged by your strength to speak up for yourself and your boundaries.
Also, people do not get a better seat in heaven for attending church. Just because we are having service, doesn’t mean there is an obligation to be here. If you have a heightened concern of exposure to COVID-19, we invite you to attend a weekly message pre-record, attend the online experience or request an audio recording of the message. After all, we want you to make the best decision for you. Each week, the teaching pastor for the upcoming Sunday goes to the church and records the message for the online experience. If you would rather attend this than the Sunday morning gathering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will inform you each week as to the scheduled message record time. If you have slow or no internet, we can also make available to you the audio of the message during the remainder of social distancing requirements. And as always, you can engage with the online experience every Sunday. We are providing these alternatives because we want everyone to be equipped with options to engage in building their faith while being able to take care of themselves. We want to give you choices that fit your need for safety. After all, we do agree in the essentials that COVID-19 is very dangerous for many.
At the end of the day, our desire is to focus on the person of Jesus. What would Jesus be doing right now if he were alive? Well, actually, He is alive. He claimed victory over death on that first Easter morning. So we don’t have to wonder what He would be doing. He’s at work, or waiting for you to turn to Him, to comfort you and others who have fear and concern. He’s at work, or waiting for you to turn to Him, to mediate disagreements and broken/strained relationships. He continues to be at work at the right hand of God praying to His father on our behalf. He loves you. He is LOVING you. Turn to Him, He is good, great, and generous.