July 1, 2020
Ballenger and the Session of the church
Dear Members and Friends of Arcadia Community Church:
our country and state are slowly beginning to reopen, we want to let you know
where Arcadia Church is in that process.
While we are unable to provide a specific date, at this time, we want
you to know that we have a “Reopening Team” of elders and staff who are in
prayer and discussion about this. As you
know, it is a complicated issue with a wide variety of factors to
consider. That is why we are asking that
you please pray for us to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
start from the premise that while the church campus has been closed, Arcadia Community
Church has never been closed. Ministry
continues. We are still the church. We are worshipping, serving, giving, growing
in our faith, although in different ways than before. Our mission continues each week, as well as
programs for youth, young adults, small groups, Bible studies, (via zoom, phone,
and text), prayer meetings, and staff meetings.
Session and Deacons meetings and ministry teams continue to function via
zoom and social media. Groceries are
being delivered to folks in need. And because
of your faithfulness, more and more members are giving online to make sure that
staff and our missionaries world-wide are being paid. We are in many ways working harder now than
before. To God be the glory!
early church met in homes, catacombs, and a wide variety of locations as do
many Christians around the world today.
Whether we are scattered or together we are still the church and God is
still very much at work.
all that being said, we want to share with you four values that are guiding our discernment:
1. We want to reopen without unnecessary delay.
Hebrews 10:25 says: “Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the
habit of doing, but encourage one another.”
We are doing that now through online services in our homes and for those
who are new at this, staff and talented members have been providing training
and assistance to make sure that anyone who wants to be connected can be. While all this is good and becoming a new
normal, it cannot completely replace being physically together in worship as a
community. Connection is not only a high
value, but a human need. So, while we
continue to explore ways to be connected and engage our congregation remotely,
we are also highly motivated to reopen the campus and worship together in
person as soon as we can.
2. We need to reopen responsibly in a way that protects not only the health of
our congregation and staff, but also the health of the community. We are paying close attention to the
guidelines from our county, state, and national governments as well as the
Centers for Disease Control. When we do
reopen the buildings on our campus, we will meet or exceed all requirements and
protocols for hygiene and social distancing.
3. We need to reopen effectively. We want
to reopen in a way that provides a meaningful worship, ministry, and community
experience that will work for adults, children, and youth. We want to provide a warm welcome and
hospitality and be aware of our witness to our neighbors and community. When we do reopen, for an uncertain time we will
need to be prepared to wear masks, to keep at least 6 feet apart and we
probably will not be able to sing. We
will need to be flexible as we come back together to worship in new and
4. We need to reopen united. As some have
said, we are all in the same storm of COVID19, but we are not all in the same
boat. Some are experiencing the
devastating economic consequences of this lockdown, losing jobs, income, even
homes. Some are understandably fearful
of the very real health consequences of the Coronavirus. Some are experiencing loneliness and
isolation in painful ways which can adversely affect one’s health. Some are experiencing all of the above. Whichever part of this crisis causes us the
most pain is likely to influence our opinions on how and when to reopen.
These are four values in the midst of a very fluid
situation that changes frequently and with uncertainty. That’s why we ask you to pray for the Session
and staff as we try to remain flexible and discern the best steps to take over
the coming weeks and months.
will continue to keep you updated as changes occur. And for those of you who cannot or do not
feel comfortable coming back quite yet even when it becomes possible, our media
team is working on the systems that need to be put in place for live streaming
of our services of worship. We want to
make sure everyone has access to worship and stays connected.
you have any questions or concerns, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to call the office [626-445-7470]
or email Pastor Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
trust that God is using this time of shelter-in-place to shape us into better
people and to be the church for the 21st century that He is calling
us to be. We can’t wait until we are all
Pastor Larry and the Session