Element, Covid, and Future Plans - November Update

As you are well aware there are vastly different opinions about Covid, state regulations, and what individuals and churches should do in the midst of the pandemic. With openings, closings, talk of vaccines, rising infection rate - yet lowing death counts, what are we to do…and what is Element doing. I thought we would write this up, so you have an idea of our direction. 

It is very easy to be blown back and forth by the differing opinions that all sound like fact, which is why it is important for us to come up with our position and plan at Element based on God’s leading and not the cacophony of voices that surround us. As you read (or listen as we will video this as well), keep in mind what Element’s vision has always been…to lift up Jesus. This is why we not only teach but intend to LIVE OUT the scriptures because the Scriptures aren’t about one day when we get out of the trailer park called earth, they are about God rescuing us here and now in this life. To do that, our normal friendships need to become Gospel centered so that we have a perspective that sees further than our circumstances.

There are two big decisions we have made that impact the near future of Element in terms of Covid-19. The first one being that we will not resume normal services until state/county ordinances change enough to allow us to have children’s ministries. What that means for you is that we will continue to livestream Sunday mornings (which will be viewable all week, “on-demand,” on YouTube). We will put out children’s lessons geared to your family weekly with take home bags/boxes so your kids can participate. We will be available for prayer via zoom call, and in person prayer if you are willing. Our Gospel Communities will decide on their own how and when they will continue to disciple gospel centered community during this time.

The second decision we have made is while we are not having ‘normal’ Sunday services, we will gather on campus for the message, live, beginning September 6. Even though we will be livestreaming the full service, if you want to come in person, at 9am every Sunday, Aaron will give the sermon live. There will be no band, but he will give the message, let you ask questions, and lead a discussion surrounding the message; it will be more like a bible study – or more like a GC’s “notes night.” If the county says we cannot meet indoors, he will give the sermon outdoors until we can move inside. Once we are inside, we will continue with “sermon only” live until we can have the children meet with us again.

So, no full live service, but there will be a live gathering which you are more than welcome to come to weekly and participate.

Here is a question we have received often during this unprecedented time, why are we letting the government tell us what we can/can’t do? At Element we do not believe that the government mandate is directly leveled at churches, we do not believe that there is a vast conspiracy to bring worship of Jesus to a halt (because nothing could ever stop our true worship of Jesus), but we are careful in how we respond for a couple reasons. One of which is that our ministry to Delta High School is very closely related to the county. We want the county to see us as being respectful of what they are asking and see us as a partner in order to help us more readily be Jesus’ ambassadors to our community.

While it is true that as followers of Jesus, with constitutional freedom of religion, we do not need the state’s permission to worship, but we do want them to see that we love them enough to care about those most vulnerable around us and curtail how we meet for a time. This has stretched on longer than anyone wanted, or anticipated, and we now find ourselves at a crossroads that has brought much division to the body of Christ. We ask that in grace you understand where we are as a church, our commitment to you as attenders and members of Element, and most important our commitment to Jesus and the Gospel. 

When ‘normal’ church services resume you will see a lot work that we have been doing in preparing for adults, youth, and children on the property. While this time is very trying for all of us, we can, and do, still worship Jesus together as a body whether we are together or a part…but we pray for the time when it is together.