Dear Rush Creek Family,
COVID has changed our world. Tragically for some, dramatically for others, inconveniently for all. So here we are again. This time with a clear and present reality within our church, within our hospitals, and within our community, and as such we are making some adjustments.
Most importantly, the Board and staff are united in these changes as we move forward. “United” does not mean these changes are what we prefer, but rather what we deem prudent for this moment in time. It’s evident that status quo is not an option given the spread of the virus that is placing a concerning strain on our hospitals and our medical professionals.
So here are some adjustments that we are making and implementing immediately. This approach reflects our commitment to be salt and light to our church and community, to be the local body of Christ for each other, as well as our abiding commitment to care for the whole person—recognizing that God designed us as spiritual, social, emotional, relational, economic, and physical human beings. Our intention is to continue to embody that holistic reality into our plans moving forward.
Generally our plan moving forward entails:
Beginning Sunday, November 22nd, and with the encouragement of our Medical Response Team, we will be requiring face-coverings while in the building, both during the Sunday Morning Worship Services and for all mid-week on campus ministries, for anyone aged fifth grade and older. We are also asking everyone to double down on social distancing to the best of their ability.
We know this will frustrate some, and be embraced by others. However, please know that moving in this direction allows us to refrain from moving to a fully virtual, online only Sunday morning worship service experience at this time.
After this Sunday, November 22nd, and for the next two weeks through Sunday, December 6th, we as a staff need to regroup. Throughout the church we are experiencing a shortage of volunteers for a myriad of understandable reasons. Planning has become increasingly difficult. COVID diagnoses, self-quarantining, mask wearing, as well as an extra dose of precaution as COVID numbers and situations escalate all contribute to this reality.
In addition to the requests you may see on the PrayerTeam email, we are constantly navigating instances of COVID and the continual pivots we need to make simply to assess whether a ministry any given week can and should take place. Praise the Lord that we have upwards of 100+ events/classrooms of ministry activity in our church each week. Each incidence of COVID during a meeting or classroom needs to be navigated individually. You can rest assured that most leaders involved are happy and are willing to pivot. Yet an inordinate amount of time is consumed reacting to these situations.
So during the next two weeks our prayerful hope is to come up with a sustainable and proactive plan. In other words, that two week break is designed so that we can prepare to continue ministry when and where we can. We are looking for excuses to do ministry. No one is looking for excuses to not do ministry.
Here is what you can expect after the Sunday a.m service on November 22nd through December 6th while we re-assess—
- We will continue to have two services. Face-coverings worn during the services for fifth grade and up. Join us in person or online at 9 & 10:45am.
- We will offer programming for Nursery through four years old for both the 9 & 10:45am services during these two weeks.
- We will hit the pause button on all weekly programming for all ages between now and December 6th. (Please remember there was already no programming planned for the week of Thanksgiving.)
Our desire is that for all who God places in our path—that they both know Christ and are making Him known. We are looking for ways to do ministry effectively and responsibly beyond December 6th for this reason.
The toll taken on individuals and families when only isolating the physical concerns of COVID has proven detrimental. There is no formula. No easy answers. But here are some criteria/metrics we are weighing for why, when, how, and how fast we move forward:
- Hospitalizations at local hospitals placing strain on hospital staff.
- Ample and equipped volunteers for effective ministry.
- Pivots needed because of COVID cases and self-quarantining.
- Challenges with thorough communication.
- Adherence to protocols including masks and social distancing while in our building.
Please continue to pray with us as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance for navigating these uncharted waters.
On behalf of the Board and Staff