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Thursday, June 11, 2020
Update from the Elders Regarding COVID-19
Dear Northside Family and Friends,
After three long months of suspended services, we were so happy to see many of you at our first in-person gathering on this past Sunday, June 7th. By our count, there were more than 70 people in attendance, plus several dozen more viewing our livestream. It truly was a joy to be back together after so long and we are looking forward to more worship services with you in the future.
From the earliest days of this pandemic, we decided, as an elder body, that we would base our decisions about church gatherings on the best practices outlined by our health authorities. We have especially relied on the recommendations and guidelines published by Indiana State Department of Health and Marion County health officials. In fact, the most recent guidelines from our local officials were the reason we decided to make June 7th our first regathered Sunday. On May 31st, Mayor Hogsett gave religious gatherings the go-ahead provided that we meet two prerequisites: 1) that we don’t exceed 50% capacity in our auditorium (100% capacity is 450 in our auditorium) and, 2) that mandatory face coverings are worn. (Source) Additionally, if you are part of the high-risk population (65 & older or have underlying health conditions), state officials have recommended that you consider staying home for now. Finally, if you have displayed any symptoms of illness (high, persistent fever, cough, etc.), we ask that you stay home and view the service on the livestream. We also just learned today that, starting on June 19th, Marion County will move to Stage 4 of the Keep Indy Moving Forward plan, which is Marion County’s tailored plan which differs from the state’s in many ways. Starting on June 19th, “indoor religious services may now operate at 75% capacity with mandatory face coverings.” (Source)
We believe that compliance with these measures is part of our Christians duty to both behave properly in the presence of outsiders and submit to governing authorities. (1 Thess. 4:11-12, Romans 13:1) But more than that, we believe that in complying with these measures, we are obeying the command of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3-4, that we ought to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
A number of our Northside family have expressed their reservations about attending our gatherings until they feel confident that those in attendance are going to reasonably follow the guidelines that the local officials have instructed us to have in place. So we are asking everyone who plans on attending in person to help us make our worship gatherings a success by complying with Mayor’s guidelines. In doing so, you are helping us maintain our witness in the community and showing your love for your Christian family who would like to attend our services in person. Thank you in advance for your help and we look forward to seeing you!
Meeting of Ministry Leaders
We have organized a meeting of our various ministry and small group leaders to formulate and discuss our plans for resuming the on-site gatherings of their ministries. This meeting will take place on Sunday, June 14th. Please be in prayer for the participants of this meeting, that the Lord would give us wisdom in our discussions.
We encourage you to continue to connect with each other on the Facebook group page or over the phone. We are confident in the Lord’s good purposes in all these recent events. He will work it out for the good of his people.
Your Elders (Mike Bowman, John Reeder, Dennis Brooks, Jim Moran, and Nate Brock)