Restoration Family, in these unprecedented times, perhaps the one word that must come to define our collective response to one another and our posture toward others’ decisions in regard to how we move forward is simply this: “Grace”. We must be gracious. Romans 14 provides us with a great picture of gracious character, as well as a great reminder of the importance of not passing judgment on fellow Christ-followers. “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord…” (v. 7-8a)
Gracious character is one of the five core values of Restoration Church Bryan. We say it often: Grace is not just a commodity to consume, but the character of God we are called to display. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” It also covers a multitude of opinions, personalities, and preferences! Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
As many of you know, the State of Texas is moving toward reopening the economy, businesses, and gatherings. They are also giving local churches the green light to gather, while recommending they adhere to certain guidelines to ensure the safety of those who worship. As we continue to move forward, we are still seeking to do these three things well:
1) Our desire is to not forsake gathering together as followers of Jesus
2) Our desire is to honor our government and the authority over us
3) Our desire is to love people well by not contributing to spreading the virus further
At this time, we are prayerfully moving forward with public worship services beginning Sunday, May 17th at 10:00am. Along with seeking to adhere to the guidelines of the state authorities over us, here are some things we would like to communicate at this time:
- It is ALL grace. If you feel led to stay home, please do! We will continue to offer the online worship experience through the remainder of the summer; and moving forward, a video of the service will more than likely become a permanent fixture.
- Just to reiterate, we are encouraging anyone over 65, or anyone who is immune-compromised to stay home and take advantage of the online experience (for at least the month of May). However, for those over 65 who feel comfortable attending a public worship service, they are more than welcome to come!
- At this time (at least through May), Restoration will NOT be offering RCB kids ministry on Sunday mornings for children. Children will attend service and sit with parents. Tori Allison, our RCB Kids Minister, will provide families with resources for kiddos for the service.
- At this time (at least through May), Restoration will NOT be serving food or drink during worship services. We encourage you to grab your morning coffee and eat before you come!
- We will set up the service with clusters of chairs for family units on the left side of the worship center. On the right side of the worship center, we will set up rows of chairs (6 feet apart) and ask couples and individuals to sit with at least two empty chairs between themselves and the nearest person). If we are not able to practice safe social distancing with the number of people present, we will move to two services immediately.
- Services will be approximately 60-65 minutes in length.
- There will be no communion at Restoration for the month of May.
- Staff and volunteers will have their temperature checked before entering the building. Greeters will be stationed at the front doors and will be armed with gloves and masks to ensure everyone’s safety. We will also have volunteers stationed by bathrooms to minimize opening/ touching doors.
- The worship service area (including floors, chairs, tables, doors, etc.) will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Bathrooms will be throughly cleaned and sanitized.
- Worshipers will have access to hand sanitizer.
- We want to encourage worshipers to wear a mask as you enter and exit the buidling. Although masks do little to protect the wearer from contracting Covid-19, they can be an effective safeguard in protecting others from YOU. Know that our staff and volunteers will be wearing masks as they come and go from the service as well. Folks are free to take their masks off once seated if they desire.
- Worshippers will be dismissed row by row from left to right. We want to minimize mingling IN the building. We understand that mingling may occur outside and in the parking lot. We would just ask that folks continue to practice proper social distancing as they catch up and fellowship.
- Offering plates will not be passed Sunday mornings. Instead, Restoration will provide an offering box at the back of the worship center for those seeking to give cash or check tithes / offerings.
- We want to encourage for virus prevention, all attendees refrain from handshakes and hugs until the threat of community spread has been mitigated.
- We ask that anyone who has recently run a fever, been ill, or spent time around someone ill, please refrain from attending public worship.
- We will provide another church-wide update before moving into June.
To better gauge our numbers, we are asking ALL of our members and attenders to please help us out by taking just a few minutes to fill out the following survey:
To put everyone’s mind at ease, we are anticipating that the majority of our college students will have returned home by mid-May. We are also anticipating that many of our 65+ crowd will refrain from public worship for the time being. Finally, we anticipate that some may simply not be comfortable with returning to a physical gathering at this point in time. We anticipate with the lower numbers, we will be able to properly social distance with one service. However, if the survey reveals a different scenario, we will adapt and immediately move toward two services.
Thank you church family. Praying for you all. Please keep Restoration in your prayers as we move forward.
Grace and Peace,
March 29 - Update 2
March 15 - Update 1