COVID-19 Update: September 22, 2020

As we continue to navigate this season of ministry in the presence of COVID-19, we wanted to take a moment to update you all on our approach moving forward. We want to remind you that as your pastoral team, our desire is to lead responsibly, safely, and with consistency. Being that this is a fluid situation, we continue to ask for your patience and grace as we endeavor to lead in light of ever-changing circumstances. While we desire to give you an idea of what to expect in the future, we also realize that circumstances may change, which would require us to reevaluate our approach.

Looking to the future, our aim is to communicate our course of action as needed, whether it be to provide clarity or to update you all on changes to our plan. Our desire is to give you some idea of what we hope the future will look like, yet all the while reserve the ability to make changes necessary as new information comes to light. We also want to acknowledge that we understand none of the restrictions from our local or state government regarding COVID-19 are mandatory for religious organizations and/or those “providing or obtaining access to religious worship.” As your Elders and Board of Directors, we are choosing to implement these procedures based on what we believe to be sound and prudent judgement.
Below are the key points that outline our plan for the near future.

Sunday Gatherings
Regarding Sunday Gatherings, our plan is to continue to hold in-person gatherings as long as it is feasible. Here is what you can expect for our Sunday Gatherings:

  • In utilizing what we believe are helpful measures from Governor Abbott’s plan, “Open Texas,” and taking into consideration the most recent Executive Order, GA-30, we are increasing the size of our Sunday Gatherings to 75% of the sanctuary capacity. This does not include volunteers or children in our children’s ministry classes. This will allow for our gatherings to accommodate 150 individuals in the sanctuary.
  • In light of the above bullet point, we no longer see it necessary to require an RSVP for our Sunday Gatherings as we believe the new capacity will allow for all those comfortable with attending to do so. We may still utilize some system for recording attendance in the event we need to notify attendees of a potential COVID-19 exposure.
  • In continuing to provide a safer gathering space, social distancing protocols will remain in effect. We ask that attendees, where feasible, maintain 6’ of space from one another. Additionally, while rows of chairs will be added back to the sanctuary, we still ask that attendees from separate households leave two empty seats between one another.
  • While not mandated by any local or state authority, although “strongly encouraged” by Governor Abbott (GA-29), and as recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we see it wise and charitable to continue wearing face coverings during our Sunday Gatherings. We view this as particularly important in light of the increase in capacity of our Sunday Gatherings. The points below provide detailed guidance on face coverings:

    1. Face coverings must be worn upon entering the building. This includes volunteers and attendees arriving early or remaining after our Sunday Gathering.
    2. We ask that you keep your face coverings on the entire time you are in the church building, including when entering, leaving, during worship, coming up for communion, and any time you move about within the facilities. The only exception we will make is allowing for face coverings to be removed during the preaching of the sermon, when individuals are stationary. Face coverings should be worn while singing.
    3. We ask that anyone 10 years of age or older wear a face covering, per recommendations adopted from Executive Order GA-29.
    4. As previously stated, per recommendations adopted from Executive Order GA-29, face coverings will not be required when wearing one poses a greater “mental or physical health, safety, or security risk.”

Children’s Ministry
Currently, we are offering two classes for the children of Gospel Life Church – Gospel Tots (1-2 yrs.) and Gospel Tykes/Kids (3-8 yrs.). At this time, we are unable to say when classes will resume as they were prior to COVID-19, but we are working toward that end. As we seek to continue to provide, and expand upon, the children’s ministry classes we have available, we want to remind you that we could use your help. Due to varying personal convictions on COVID-19 and personal safety, we are low on children’s ministry volunteers and looking to grow this ministry team.

If you would like to serve during this season to help keep these classes available, please contact our Children’s Ministry Director, Leah Carlisle at [email protected]. Your assistance during this season would be invaluable to her, the children’s ministry team, and the families of Gospel Life Church. Please remember, you must have attended Gospel Life Church for at least 6 months before you are able to serve in our children’s ministry. A couple of bullet points for the current children’s ministry classes we have available:

  • The capacity of our classes is limited to give children adequate space between one another and also dependent on the volunteers we have available.
  • RSVPs will remain in effect for our children’s ministry classes. If you would like to have your child attend, please RSVP via the events created on Realm.

Communication & Care
In this particular season, remaining connected to your church family is one of the most vital things you can do. With that, we encourage you to, as your convictions on personal safety allow, attend our Sunday Gatherings and participate in your Gospel Communities, whether online or in person. These are both vital means of relational support we are blessed to have within the church. As we’ve mentioned before, please know that as your pastors, we are here for you. While we are endeavoring to be proactive in reaching out, if you need us, please do not hesitate to call, text, or fill out an online Connection Card.

Give
Please know we are so grateful for your generosity during this season, as it has enabled us to carry on the ministry of Gospel Life Church. For those of you that normally give via our Sunday Gatherings, you may utilize this link to make your donations: Give. Or, you may mail your checks to:

Gospel Life Church
P.O. Box 311198
New Braunfels, TX 78131

We are so thankful for the opportunity we have to serve as your pastors. Thank you for your understanding as we seek to continue to care for your spiritual health, all the while making decisions we feel are necessary to care for the corporate body. We exhort you to continue to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith, pointing one another to Christ, endeavoring to be conformed to His image.

Blessings,
The GLC Elder Team
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