Washington is beginning to reopen as we get through the initial challenges of COVID-19. Our Governor issued guidelines for phased reopening of businesses and events across our state, while also extending the stay-home-stay-healthy order through May.
We know that each of us have our own concerns and perspectives as we work through decisions and steps moving forward. You will read, below, how we continue to plan for the coming weeks and months, and have opportunity to provide your feedback.
Pastor Dan Neary’s update regarding opening up our in-person gatherings.
We Are Excited to Gather In-Person Again
We all miss being together. There has not been a meeting of our staff or our Leadership Council, since we closed in-person gatherings in March, in which reopening has not been a prominent item on the agenda. We all want to get back together as soon as possible.
We know there are still many variables, but as best as we can tell, it is possible that some type of smaller, in-person, church gatherings will be permitted and safe sometime around the end of June, based on the current guidelines.
As we work toward in-person gatherings, our priorities include:
- Safety – We will follow protocols that will likely include health screening, sanitizing surfaces, wearing masks, limited capacity, and social distancing.
- Witness – We want to be sure to not damage our reputation in our region by taking steps that may seem dangerous or reckless. We do not want to send messages to our neighbors that our rights to gather and worship are more important than their rights to health and safety. Our steps forward need to communicate that we love God, we love each other, and we love our neighbors.
- Worship – While we are grateful for the way we are gathering and worshiping with online tools, we are eager to worship together in-person, and in our building.
We know that some are eager to be among the first ones back in our building to worship together, while others will be more cautious and stay with us online-only for a time, and still others will be forced to stay at home longer because they are in high-risk categories. We will carefully and patiently love, honor, and serve people no matter their perspectives, concerns, and constraints as we take steps forward.
We will continue to invest our time, effort, and financial resources into our online gatherings… until we can gather again, and well beyond. With hard work and ingenuity, as well as the generosity of many, we have upped our game online and will be ready to do much more from our auditorium in Kenmore, once we are back. Please continue to engage with all that we are doing online, and on various social-media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
We Need to Hear from You
Reopening in-person worship gatherings in the upcoming weeks and months will likely happen in phases with numerous requirements for safety and sanitization. While we do not know what all of them will yet be, we want to gather feedback from our church family to help us determine our best next steps. If you attend Northshore, please fill out our reopening survey by clicking here.
Thank you for your care, patience, and prayer as we work through these next steps together!