Cornerstone

When Will We Gather On Sunday Mornings Again?

Church Family-

It’s been a month since we last updated you on the status of our plans to gather together in person for worship.  We miss worshipping in person with you horribly, and we know that you feel the same way.  Gathering together virtually via our live-stream just isn’t the same, and we are eager to be able to do so physically with you again.

Our staff, pastors, and multiple construction crews have been working hard over the past few months so that we may be able to meet together in a way that is both safe and wise.  Last month I told you of some of the unique factors impacting our ability to gather together physically, and I wanted to update you on those areas:

The State of the Pandemic in LA County

As we all know, LA County has been hit especially hard by Covid-19, and that has not gotten any better in the last month.  However, we also believe that we understand the risks involved and the necessary precautions required better than ever, and we are optimistic that we can move toward gathering again in person in a safe and wise way.

That being said, the state of California currently prohibits singing in worship services (as of July 1st), yet we are hoping that this ban will be lifted (allowing singing while wearing a mask) ahead of our anticipated date of regathering.  We believe that, with the aid of masks, many of us can gather and sing safely together.

Our Multi-Lingual Church Family

Over the past month our live-stream team has been working hard to train volunteers to run both our Spanish and Farsi live-stream services.  Those teams are just now beginning to take over the facilitation of their respective live-streams and we are incredibly encouraged by the progress they have made over the past few weeks.

Our Multi-Generational Church Family

The ways in which this virus disproportionately affects older people and those with preexisting conditions is, obviously, a major concern for all of us.  We recognize that even when some of us gather together physically, it will still not be wise for all of us to do so.

In addition, given current physical distancing requirements, when we do gather again physically we will still be unable to offer any form of childcare or Sunday school for children.  We also recognize that this will prohibit numerous families with young children from attending services at this point. 

For these reasons, as well as taking into consideration the diverse comfort levels different people have regarding the situation, we plan to continue to offer the live-stream of our service indefinitely, regardless of whether a portion of the church family is gathering physically.

Sanctuary Construction

We have been excited to see all of the incredible work that has been able to be done to the Sanctuary building during this time, and we can’t wait for you to see it too.  Our construction crews have been working incredibly hard running wires, installing A/V equipment, repairing ceilings and walls, painting, installing carpet, and so much more.  We are excited to inform you that they are currently scheduled to complete their work to a point where the Sanctuary will be useable again in just a few short weeks!  We are tentatively planning on live-streaming our English service from the newly remodeled sanctuary for the first time on July 26th.

Our Current Plan

When we move our English live-stream into the Sanctuary our volunteer crews will be learning a whole new audio/video system.  In addition, our Spanish and Farsi volunteer crews will be producing those live-streams unaccompanied for the first time.  In order to allow these crews to familiarize themselves with their respective systems, as well as the added complications of producing audio feeds for both a live-stream and an in-person service simultaneously, we have decided to give these crews at least two Sundays to try to work out any kinks without the added complication of having service attendees in the room.

Therefore, we are tentatively planning on holding our first services with congregants in attendance (in all three languages) on Sunday, August 9th.

That being said, we also believe that singing together is a fundamental part of our corporate worship, and so, while we are continuing to prepare with August 9th in mind, we will only begin meeting physically if we believe both gathering and at least some form of singing together are wise and appropriately respectful of our governing authorities.

We ask for your patience with us, as we recognize that there are many variables at play that could still alter this plan.

In the coming weeks we will be sending out a more detailed explanation of the protocols we are putting in place for these gatherings, but just to give you a general idea of what to expect:

In the next couple of weeks you can expect to receive:

Once you are able to review our detailed plan, we understand that some of you will feel like it is still not safe for you to return to gather for worship in-person, and we completely understand and respect your decision.  We will continue to strive to serve and love you as integral parts of our family, whether you are able to gather in person or not.

We also recognize that, having reviewed our protocols, some of you may feel like we are being overly cautious or needlessly restrictive.  However, we want to remind you that, in addition to our desire to honor the governing authorities from whom we have received many of these guidelines, we are, even more fundamentally, seeking to give deference to the vulnerable and anxious among us, striving to love one another by doing what we can to limit the spread of this virus among our community.

We’re so thankful for your continued grace, prayer, and support through this crazy time.  Your love and your constant encouragement continue to make it such a joy to be your pastors, and more specifically, your brothers in Christ.

-Pastor Scott

For the Pastors/Elders

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