Dear Church Family,
What a gift it is to write you this letter as your Lead Pastor. Let us praise God for all He has done over this season of interruption. Even in the midst of such challenge, He has refined us into a more complete image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
And for that we must shout a resounding Amen!
Still, it has been an exceptionally difficult season for many, including me, as we’ve had to navigate through uncharted waters. From masks and sanitizing groceries, to isolation and depression, this unprecedented year of COVID19 will forever leave a mark on our lives.
And though there are many churches that have decided to gather in alternative spaces during this time of lockdown, some even willing to break local health mandates, the leadership of Community Life Church never felt peace about that path. We felt a conviction to love God and neighbor (Matthew 22) by erring on the side of caution for the vulnerable among us, and by honoring those in leadership above us.
We never anticipated, however, the decision would last this long.
It has been 28 weeks since we moved our Sunday service from in-person to online only. 28 weeks of watching church from home. 28 weeks of trying to find ways to connect. 28 weeks of prerecording worship. 28 weeks of burning DVDs of the services for those without internet. 28 weeks of preaching to an empty room.
And while we were able to use this time to complete some significant updates to the building (paint, carpet, drapery, technology), it was still 28 weeks of waiting with no clear end in sight.
Until now. Let me explain.
Earlier in September, I was spending some time in prayer and felt God trying to capture my attention. I heard Him say, “Christmas is coming.” Christmas is coming!
I hadn’t even thought about the holidays, partially because I had no physical reminder of dropping temperatures and early snow, but also because this whole year has blurred together. But I realized in that moment, WE CAN NOT CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON FACEBOOK.
Even if the state of California doesn’t want us to be inside, we must find a way to physically gather again.
So we began to look around and think outside the box. It didn’t take long before we realized we could create a mobile weatherproof sanctuary in our covered parking area.
There is plenty of room for physical distancing, immediate access to bathrooms, and even the required internet connections to continue our livestream for those that can’t make it in person.
It might not be the dream for some, but it’s a mercy from God that allows us to follow our convictions and also worship together in person.
And for that we must again, shout a resounding Amen!
The first outdoor worship service will be October 11th at 10am.
We believe that a 10am service will allow us enough time to setup without disrupting the neighbors at too early an hour. If we run out of room with the single service while maintaining physical distancing, we will multiply gathering times.
Worship will last between 60-75 minutes with fellowship, live music, teaching, prayer, offering and communion.
Masks will be available, required and enforced for the entire service. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, please continue to worship from home.
We are so excited to be together again. It has been too long.
Thank you for all your flexibility and understanding over the past 28 weeks.
Thank you for being quick to assume the best and trust we were seeking out God’s leading for what’s next.
And lastly, thank you for being faithful, even when there was so much uncertainty and disruption competing for your attention.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by calling the church office (818-249-5832) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
God will use the past 6 months for His Glory. God will make good on His promises, even if we can’t see to the other side.
So let us remain steadfast and courageous, faithful and eager to be people of honor. The best is yet to come, and I am so grateful to be running this race together.
For the Honor of Jesus,