Hi Living Hope.
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about our reopening. I know that's what's on our mind. This is the graphic and we are looking forward to that day.
Let me give you some guiding principles of how we made some decisions we made.
1. Include various voices in input
First of all, we included different voices from our elder board, our task force, and our pastoral staff. We have people from the medical profession, legal, educational, college, single adults, married, married with older kids, married with younger kids all included. We thought that was important.
2. Start with the end in mind
Secondly, we want to start with the end in mind. We don't want to look at this singular decision, but where is it that we want to get to. And I'll explain that a little bit more.
3. Acknowledge differences of conviction
We wanted to acknowledge differences of conviction. We know that there are those who are extremely confident and they want to come to church right now. And there are those who are very concerned and who want us to wait as long as possible. And we hear you.
4. Follow health guidelines
Fourthly, follow health guidelines. We looked at the CDC as well as California Department of Public Health and their published guidelines for churches. And our task force looked at each one, line by line and said, “Okay, how does this apply to Living Hope.”
5. Begin with dress rehearsals
And finally, I we wanted to start with dress rehearsal. We cannot go from nothing to fully opening. We thought that there was some intermediate stages that we need to get to.
So let me show you our stage. We start with Stay at Home, then Dress Rehearsal, to get to what I call Transitional Normal. And finally, New Normal.
Stage 1 – Stay at Home
We were in stage one, where we are locked down. The federal, state, county, everyone said stay home for your neighbors and your own good. And we've been doing that. A week and a half ago or two weeks ago, I sent out a survey asking how you were feeling and this is what you had said… that you were anxious, tired, exhausted, concerned, frustrated. But at the same time, you were thankful, okay, well, hopeful, and you thought about your family. And I think that's how we are feeling - frustrated and anxious, and at the same time, we are grateful for God's provision. But we’re kind of ready for the next stage.
Stage 4 – New Normal
A lot of people think that we go from stay-at-home to completely normal. But let me explain this. We will be ready for a new normal when science has developed a vaccine, therapy or herd immunity… plus, time required for it to be widespread… plus, time for society to psychologically, emotionally get used to it. We think this is going to take a lot longer than what we want. And so the new normal won’t be for while.
Stage 3 – Transitional Normal
And so the end that we think that we need to look at is a transitional normal. This is what we need to plan for. It is a time when we live in tension where we would practice abundance of caution with acceptable risk. That's what the world is doing. They are kind of trying to move on in this transitional normal. And society will continue to have to adjust. We are committed to those in our church for a confident, as well as those who are cautious. You are part of our church family and we hear you and we want to minister to you. So for example, we will be committed to doing in personal worship as well as online worship during this transitional normal. And we will be committed to that. We believe that there would be a segment of our church who may not feel comfortable with church or small group until we get to this new normal. So during this transitional normal, we believe that we need to go through a hybrid model of sorts.
Stage 2 – Dress Rehearsal
In order to get to the transitional normal, we have to ease ourselves into it through some dress rehearsal. This is a period of time when we are implementing practices and culture to prepare for a transitional normal. For example, what does it feel like to worship with masks on?, What does it feel like to have to come in and go through a check in system where they take your temperature?, and things of that nature. We are implementing policies, purchasing equipment, and bringing up teams. If you want to be a part of these teams: streaming team, facility safety team, or welcoming safety team, please let us know. And we're making some modifications in terms of how we seat people in the sanctuary and things of that nature.
Our schedule is something like this. On May 31st, this coming Sunday, we’re going to go two live worship. I’ll be preaching twice. On June 7th, we’ll have centralized streaming. We’ll have all of the departments stream from the physical location here. And on June 14th, we’ll have a pre-opening. We’ll invite volunteer leaders to help set up some of those teams and get ready for the public. And when we open for the public in the transitional normal will have to be sometime after that. Hopefully it will be shortly after that.
And if you are listening to this and you say, “Gosh, I really would love to come and worship at church.” On June 9th, and we know we've been doing Prayer Chapels every Tuesday night. On June 9th, which is the second Tuesday of the month, we will be doing Prayer Chapel in the sanctuary. And we will allow people to come and do in person Prayer Chapel with us. You'll have to register. There will be a limited number of guests allowed. But that will be the first time you would be allowed to come and be with us.
You know it's been a long journey and I'm so grateful for Living Hope. I'm so grateful for many of you. I will look forward to seeing you again. Keep us in prayer. I will pray for you as well. And God bless and we look forward to seeing you.