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Gathering on Sunday July 5th

We know that many of you have enjoyed attending a Home Fellowship on Sunday morning these past two weeks hosted by some gracious, loving hosts and hostesses. The reports that we continue to hear are that it has been a wonderful two weeks of fellowship and enjoyment of the intimacy of a much smaller group of brothers and sisters around the Word of God. We are so thankful for those hosts and hostesses and their commitment to ministering to you, the saints of Tri-City Bible Church.

These days we have all become used to the changing directives and guidance at all levels of government in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday was no exception as the state of California issued new guidance regarding face coverings. With this in mind, the elders have decided that now is the appropriate time to take advantage of the guidelines that the state and San Diego County have enacted specifically for churches to meet outdoors. We plan to hold our first outdoor worship service this Sunday (July 5th) at 9:00 am. We’ll meet on the Quad (the tent-covered area in front of the high school building). Here are our reasonings for meeting outdoors.

The county has said that “outdoor ceremonies are encouraged” and that indoor meetings are “high risk.” Further, “Outdoor services and cultural ceremonial activities may be conducted provided all persons practice social distancing.” Finally, last week’s guidance regarding face coverings instructs that face coverings must be worn, “when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.”

Our outdoor worship service will allow us to fully comply with these state and county guidelines, and at the same time enjoy a wonderful time of worship as one body of believers. Here’s how. As you walk from your car to the tent this Sunday we would ask that you carry your face covering with you and put it on when you find yourself closer to others than the social distancing guidelines above allow. As soon as you are seated within those guidelines, feel free to remove your face covering for the duration of the service. At the end of the service we would ask that you put your face covering back on as the likelihood that you will be less than 6 feet away from others will be greater while you are enjoying fellowshipping with them. It’s that simple.

The downside of this plan is that we will no longer continue our Home Fellowships on Sunday mornings. But the upside of being able to worship once again as one body is greater.

What can you do to help? First, we would ask that you encourage those saints who have been attending your home fellowship for the past two weeks to attend this first outdoor worship service. Second, we will undoubtedly need the help of many people this Sunday to successfully launch this outdoor service. Watch for opportunities to prepare the facilities, put things away after the service, and generally minister to those whom the Lord puts in your path this Sunday.

We will be sending out more details about the Service later this week.

We said this to the Home Fellowship Leaders, and we say this to you, as well. As Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy said to the church at Thessalonica, so we say about you, dear saints, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” – 2 Thes. 1:3

John Kooker, For the Elders