June 25, 2020
Reopening? When? How?
As Montgomery County begins to slowly reopen, many of you are asking, “When will we begin in-person worship gatherings?” A lot of the information coming from trusted sources is unclear and even sometimes contradictory and that leaves us with a lot of unknowns.
That being said, here’s what we DO know…
Seneca Creek is still open, still gathering virtually, still serving and loving our neighbors and still working to bring hope and healing to our city, right here, right now. It definitely looks and feels different from what we are used to experiencing, but God is still at work through this disruption. For example, our partnership with the City of Gaithersburg is serving people critically impacted by the pandemic. We are leading the charge in bringing community organizations together to feed and help heal our neighbors. That’s no small thing.
WE MISS THE LIVE VERSION OF YOU! At the same time, your health is of paramount importance to us. We have people in every stage of life and health and we aren’t willing to put the most vulnerable among us at risk. We care enough to stay uncomfortable and love through the distance. We can wait.
Asking kids to stay physically distant is just silly. Can you imagine asking your 3-year-old to not touch or interact in close spaces with a bunch of other 3-year-old children? Especially after all this time away from their peers? And it’s not much easier the older they get. Elementary, middle, and high school students thrive on affirmation through appropriate physical touch. So, when we do reopen, we know that at least for now, PowerHouse and Student Ministry will remain on hold. We are also working diligently to plan out what a re-launch of those groups will look like just as soon as it makes sense to do so.
We are not a small church. If you typically only attend one gathering, especially our 8:30 am gathering, you may think we are small enough to stagger our gatherings and accommodate small, physically distant groups. You may not know this, but in reality, a typical Sunday can bring as many as 800 people through our doors. So, with children and students in the same room, and a capacity of about 15% in the auditorium, it’s just not feasible or sustainable to create enough gatherings for everyone.
Bottom line? We are anxiously awaiting the time when it is safe and wise to gather in person. We are developing plans, working through details, and accommodations to make sure we can provide sufficient protocols for everyone to feel comfortable in one space. We are praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) that we can do all of this very soon!