Dear Christ Church,
For the past several weeks, the staff, Vestry, and I have been discussing the next stage of regathering physically, in some manner, as God’s people. I am pleased to tell you about our plan for the next stage. Beginning June 28th we will begin gathering for Neighborhood Church around the city. Host homes scattered around all parts of Austin will host groups of 10-25 people, composed primarily of small group members the first week. In subsequent weeks we will direct everyone who wants to join a Neighborhood Church, but is not in a small group, to a host home.
Some of the values driving this decision are: (1) the health and safety of everyone involved. There will be health protocols required of everyone in attendance; (2) our core values of “Intentional Worship” and “Community,” both of which find richest expression when we are physically present to each other and, together, to God; (3) our core values of “Whole Life Discipleship” and “Changed World,” in that this will be a tremendous opportunity to reach out to neighbors, develop new leaders, care for people, engage new people in community, and create new wineskins for new wine.
What if the spiritual life created in Neighborhood Churches generates enduring kingdom impact that survives the pandemic? What might the Lord be doing through all this disruption to make his church more deep and wide?
We also anticipate beginning to rotate up to 50 parishioners per week, probably mid-July, to worship on site at 112 Medina St., during the livestream on Sundays. Each week would be filled by combining two Neighborhood Churches who would come and worship together on our church property.
We recognize that everyone has different levels of comfort with being in proximity to others, different levels of vulnerability to the virus, or different levels of connection to someone immunocompromised. Not everyone will be able or willing to gather with others, whether in Neighborhood Church or at the Christ Church property. Everyone should feel complete freedom to follow their best judgment. I also want you to know that we will be issuing, in consultation with our Health Team of medical professionals, requirements for attendance at any of these gatherings, for the protection of all involved.
Please join us, as always, for this Sunday’s live stream as we gather in community, around Word and prayer, for common worship.