Greetings Abundant Life Church Family!
I am writing to communicate our response to our governor’s latest mandates and our plans for the near future.
With San Benito County going back to the restrictive purple tier, most of the church congregations in the city are moving back outdoors or online only. My stubborn response would be to stay in as we have been and suffer the consequences. However, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let that response settle in my heart and I have learned to listen to that soft voice. What’s different now than in October when we went back in the building is the lack of a unified voice in the Church in Hollister to buck the mandates, the current volatile political climate, and the possible perception that we are as guilty as antifa in our not honoring authority (see Romans 13).
So, with that in mind, we will be livestreaming our service this Sunday (not prerecorded) and we will celebrate our Candlelight Thanksgiving Service as we had planned, but with a twist. Some individuals will be invited to come and share their testimonies along with the worship team doing what we always do – sing! If you would like to share a testimony, please contact me by Friday so we can work out the logistics. Not all you ask to share will be able to, so please understand our challenge.
The following Sunday, weather permitting, is Family Sunday and our plan is to do Drive- In Church and Brunch! We will livestream as well, and those folks can come and pick up a brunch box around 10:30. Also, since it is Family Sunday, there will be a special gift for all the kids from me to take home to remember the lesson and the day.
We believe three weeks out of the building should prove to be enough, so we are planning to go back in the building after one more week online and perhaps drive-in church weather permitting. Then we gear up for Christmas and finishing out the year.
I know many of us are disappointed with these changes. Ask for grace, pray for your pastoral team as we navigate this the best we can, and pray for our state leaders.
Love you all, and we will see you soon – here, there, or in the air!
Greetings Abundant Life Family!
Just as we begin to enjoy the season changing from summer to autumn, (Pastor Mary loves it) we are heading into a season change of how and where we gather to do and be the Church.
Beginning this Sunday, October 4th, we will be gathering at a new time – 9:30AM. And we will be gathering inside our building for worship and the Word.
We are recommending that everyone wear a mask into and out of the building, but it can be removed once in your seats. We are asking everyone to please use the hand sanitizer as they enter. And we will continue to self-identify the level of interaction with each other by use of our colored sticker system. If you don’t feel well – please stay home!
Following the singing part of worship, we will dismiss the children to go to their new outside ministry venue for their time together in the Word – Shining Stars (preschool) and Ignite Kids (elementary). At this time, Twinkles (nursery) will stay with their parents.
Our Sunday morning services will now be live streamed on our regular platforms direct from the sanctuary for those who are more comfortable waiting for better days, are feeling sick, or are compromised in their health. By the way there are many churches in Hollister who will be going back inside this weekend as well. So, we are in this together as we determine what the Lord is asking us to do.
On another note, we are so excited about the continuing transition to the leadership of Pastor Kevin and Pastor Rachel. They did such a great job last weekend delivering a powerful challenge to eat the Word (Yummy!), not just read it for information. Pastor Kevin and I are effectively changing seats, with more decisions and responsibilities flowing from Pastor Kevin and Pastor Rachel and my decreasing role in the day to day operations of the church as I continue to prepare for our new ministry launch in January. But more about that later.
Blessings to you all, and if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to respond back to us. See you Sunday!
Grace and Peace to you, Abundant Life Family!
Seasons come and seasons go, constantly changing, bring with them change, growth, and opportunity. Sometimes we initiate a new season, sometimes others prod us into a new season, but in every season, God has a purpose and a plan.
All churches in California have a new season presented to us with the current mandate to cease meeting indoors due to the COVID pandemic. We will comply with these guidelines, because we are the church, not the building. In all honesty, I was looking for a time for us all to get together in one service just because we need to see each other. We already had a date and methodology determined and were excited about it! So, we are just moving everything up a few weeks and will continue to meet outdoors with no number restrictions for the foreseeable future.
So, here is the overall picture: We will prerecord the Sunday message and worship and present it online at 10AM on our usual platforms. The Church will gather outside in the southwest area of the paved parking lot in chairs physically distanced. We will follow all the protocols that we have previously established for safety and hygiene. The sun will be at everyone’s back, and although there will be some natural shade and a few canopies, you might want to wear a hat. Service will be around an hour, and we will have handouts for the children. If you think you want to sit in your car, not big truck, get there early and we can back you into a place where you can see and hear. These will be very limited in number.
I look forward to seeing all of you in one big, loud, praising and worshipping service on Sunday! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Pastor Kevin or myself.
Blessings to you all as we watch God do something AMAZING!
Link to Original Post on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alfchollister/posts/10158854612049973