Dear Redemption Tucson,
We want to give you an update on where things are regarding re-gathering as a congregation and the various phases we’ve laid out (click the picture above for a video from Pastor Dave). For a refresher on the phases and some of the intentional language we’ve chosen to use, please see the original blog about regathering HERE.
In light of the recent recommendations by national and local health and civic leaders, we will continue to operate in “Phase 2” until some things change. When we first laid out the various phases for re-gathering health experts estimated that we would continue on a positive trajectory regarding the data-points they are using to evaluate the level of concern for gathering sizes. Over the past two weeks Arizona has moved quite significantly into our highest levels of positive COVID-19 cases, so state and local leadership have mandated the use of masks in all public places and warned that the disease may be spreading at an even quicker pace throughout society.
Given all of this information, we will continue to remain in Phase 2, until the data-points, and subsequent recommendations from experts, say it is wise to begin re-gathering. For a reminder, here is what we’ve said about Phase 2 (where we’ve been for the past month):
- Sunday Service: Online Streaming
- Participating in Sunday Service, and other forms of community in groups of 50 or fewer (In-Person & Online): Triads of Care, RC’s, RC Clusters, Book & Video Clubs, Prayer Meetings, Men’s & Women’s Groups, etc.
In order to help our whole church better understand where we are coming from in making these decisions, the Elders will hold a town-hall-style meeting on Zoom (Monday, June 29, from 6:30-7:30 PM). Additionally, here are a few key details to help you know how to be praying for our church, and to better understand the situation we are in:
- We are a church without a building. In many ways, this has caused us to press in more deeply to what it looks like to function as all of life disciples of Jesus in our homes and smaller communities throughout the week. But regarding corporate gathering, we are not able to meet whenever we want. Safford School is still not available, and we are are looking into other options.
- Because we don’t have our own space, we are not able to ensure the level of cleaning standards that would be necessary for re-gathering.
- Health experts across the nation have advised against phasing back into gatherings with such complex needs as we have.
- Many of the medical professionals within our congregation have advised that now is not a good time to start gathering for corporate worship.
- The number of volunteers we have counted on for hosting corporate services makes it very difficult to simply pick up where we left off; especially in light of the disinfecting needs related to COVID-19.
- We want to love our congregation as well as we possibly can, including how we go about re-gathering, and we are not able to manage all that is required for us to start meeting together.
Please know that we long to be back together. Every person on the church leadership team is deeply saddened that we need to wait on re-gathering. We are also very much aware of the other needs related to the pandemic, beyond protecting people’s physical health. We need each other. Isolation has many negative impacts that we want to help speak into and push back against however we can. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are feeling these things and we can come alongside you with support and prayer in any way. We are constantly brainstorming and praying for creative ways to grow in our faith alongside one another, even in this difficult and long-lasting season.
Here are some of the on-going opportunities to stay connected as a church that we really hope you will take part in (click links to learn more):
- Prayer Nights: Wednesday, 8-9PM
- Virtual Lobby before Service (9:30am Sundays)
- Triads of Care
- Summer Bridge Builder Book & Video Clubs
- Men’s Groups & Women’s Groups
While this news has been difficult to hear, leaving many of us feeling frustrated or powerless, we want to continue reminding our community of who we are as the people of God. While we feel powerless, He is not. While we are not able to gather for corporate worship right now, the Lord is still mightily at work and His gospel cannot be caged. Let us join so many others around the world in praying for boldness and wisdom to faithfully carry out the work He has called us to amid seemingly chaotic times. May we proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of Jesus in all we do, and in every season we find ourselves in.
We invite and covet your prayers and support as we continue to lead our church in faithful worship and mission.
Redemption Tucson Elders