Dear StoneBridge family,
All of us wonder when StoneBridge will be worshipping together, in person, again. Almost two weeks ago, a reopening team was organized to specifically look into how to do so in the safest manner. To reopen, the StoneBridge elders and pastors have unanimously agreed on these three guiding principles.
Christians are identified by mercy, compassion, love, kindness, humility and sacrifice. Therefore, we take into utmost consideration public safety and guidelines established to protect everyone. For more about the challenges of church groups meeting, please see this article from the LA Times.
Comply with Ordinances
Christians seek to glorify God and lift up the cause of Christ. Therefore, StoneBridge Community Church does not want to be the cause of anyone’s sadness, sorrow, sickness, nor certainly anyone’s death. So, we will gladly comply with Federal, State and County ordinances. This is consistent with Romans 13:1-2 where Paul writes,
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
This is not the time to be first. As the article above indicates, those communities of faith who wanted to be first to reopen have paid a high price. As soon as the team began thinking about the practical realities of reopening, it realized the task is very complicated. New safety barriers will need to be put in place, new signage put up, and sanctuary chairs removed and reorganized to meet social distancing standards. Classroom and restroom sanitizing protocols as well as greeting and socializing norms must also be established.
The team has established three stages for reopening…
First, the StoneBridge office will open and staff will return on campus with flexible work schedules. Second, StoneBridge will cultivate community in appropriate ways. Some ideas being considered include growth group worship watch parties, drive through church connection events, and parking lot/outdoor worship services.
Third, live worship inside the sanctuary will return when safety guidelines can be met and, when doing so, reflects StoneBridge positively to our community.
Based on these three principles and the ever-evolving complexity of navigating an extraordinary pandemic, the elder board and pastors will continue to evaluate and determine the safest reopening of StoneBridge on a monthly basis. As always, leadership is committed to communicating as clearly and as regularly as possible all that is going on in the life of the church.