IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM CHAP CLARK
May 29, 2020
Hello St. Andrew’s Family,
With so much happening since my last update to you on May 22, I wanted to share some news with you ahead of this weekend.
As you may have heard, this past Monday, May 25, the California Department of Public Health issued an extensive 12-page document outlining guidelines for churches to follow in order to begin congregating. This document describes extensive measures to be taken by churches that choose to gather together, including face coverings, screening, cleaning, physical distancing, discontinued singing and group recitation, and much more. It also states that churches (of any size of congregation or campus) can only congregate in groups no larger than 100 at a time.
Your Session and staff leadership held a meeting on Tuesday, May 26, to determine our best path forward for St. Andrew’s, given this new information, while also considering the latest developments, best practices and recommendations from local, state, and national experts/churches in how to safely consider offering live services and other face-to-face activities.
After a lengthy, thoughtful and prayerful conversation, your Session was of one mind and unanimously determined that we would wait until more of us can be together before moving forward with live gatherings.
There is far too much good that God is doing in and through us that outweighs an understandable impulse to move quickly towards gathering on campus. Session determined that the currently imposed limit of 100 people (which would include ministry and tech staff), coupled with the extensive burdens inherent in the 12 pages of guidelines, unduly constrain the benefits from gathering and likely narrow the participation to far fewer congregants than those who desire to be together. We know that it can be difficult to wait, but we are encouraged by the ways God has called our community to step up and respond as his church during this season. Our online worship services have clearly touched people near and far with the Gospel. Our Small Groups have never been so engaged (visit sapres.org/smallgroups for info on joining a group). Our local missions initiatives have never been more robust (if you would like to help us as we serve in this critical time, or you are in need, please visit sapres.org/coronavirus-response). For these reasons, we believe our current trajectory is the best path forward for the time being.
I am grateful to be a part of such a tireless and dedicated staff and church family, and to see the remarkable ways we have come together to live out our mission as a Neighborhood Church with Global Impact.
In these days, where there is suffering upon suffering, Jesus reminds us that we are to seek, as theologian Glen Stassen puts it, “just peacemaking” as he calls us to “let your light shine before all” (Matthew 5-7). I ask that you join me, your Session and staff leadership in making every effort to walk “in accordance with the Spirit” (Romans 8) and to daily pray for our church, community and world. As we all long to be together in the near future, we are trusting in God to continue to lead us and use us for his good in these unprecedented times.
Prayerfully consider how God is leading you to respond, and either mail us or visit sapres.org/donate to help further the mission and ministry of St. Andrew’s.
We know some of you have lost your jobs or have had your income reduced and you may be facing food insecurity yourselves. Please let your church family help you during this time - let us know so that we can provide you with food.
This current crisis provides ample opportunities to bring hope and to reflect the love of Christ in tangible ways. We invite you to be involved in any or all of the following opportunities.
We know some of you have lost your jobs or have had
your income reduced and you may be facing food insecurity
yourselves. Please let your church family help you during this time -
Click Here so that we can provide you with food.
Worship with us online!
To make sure we are doing our part in keeping our community healthy and safe, we will suspend weekend worship service gatherings, until further notice. The great news is that we are blessed with an established Online Campus that gives us the ability to stream worship services live on our website and Facebook Page, and allows us to worship together wherever we are!
Saturdays | 5:00 p.m.
Sundays | 9:00 + 11:00 a.m.
During this season while we worship in our homes, we wanted to still have kids worship.
Every week we will have a lesson, activity and a whole bunch of fun for your kids!
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Join a Virtual Small Group
Life is meant to be lived in community. To take our small groups online, we're using Google Hangouts, a popular virtual meeting platform.
You'll be able to join your small group using video or just through a phone call. Either way, you’ll be able to join in the fun.More about small groups