Worship with Friends
Beginning June 28th, we invite you to consider hosting another Parish member or family at your house each Sunday. Together, you can join the Parish online gathering, then stay for a while after the service to connect.
This is a completely optional step for those who are comfortable getting together. Use your best discernment around what is right for your family and follow CDC guidelines to meet together safely. As you invite others, respect their preferences on if they’d like to meet together or not.
In Person Neighborhood Groups
Beginning July 8th, we are permitting Neighborhood Groups to meet in person. Group leaders will guide their group in a gracious discussion around how to best facilitate community and honor all involved in the group.
Groups must meet outside and provide a thoughtfully presented online option for those who cannot or choose not to participate in person. Childcare will not be provided and kids over the age of 2 are not permitted to attend in this phase. Follow CDC guidelines to meet together safely.
Parish House Churches
Sundays, In Person or Online
We are targeting August 2nd for Phase 2 (subject to change). In this phase, Neighborhood Groups will come together on Sundays to form house churches all around our community. Groups will meet physically or digitally around a Parish Box, which contains worship and liturgy guides, discussion prompts, Parish Kids activity packs, and spiritual practices to guide your week. In person groups can also receive Eucharist together. Children are welcome to participate in person alongside their parents, but no formal childcare will be provided.
An online option will be provided for those who cannot or choose not to participate in person, and new opportunities will be opened up for those who do not yet belong to a Neighborhood Group.
Return to All-Church, In-Person Gatherings
While Holding to the Good of Phases 1 & 2
We are diligently working to find the right next space and time to bring our entire church community back together. Given realities around Covid-19, we recognize this is a moving target and we will not meet corporately until it is prudent to do so. In the meantime, we recognize God coming to us through this season of smaller gatherings and anticipate this shaping our community into deeper relationships and Christlikeness.
Questions & Answers
If everyone in our group is in agreement, can we be flexible with the prescribed requirements?
When coming together for a formal Parish event, we ask each person to abide by the phase requirements outlined above, even if they would prefer an alternative course. This protects our entire community (both within and beyond The Parish) and offers us the opportunity to prefer one another over ourselves.
Have we considered re-meeting corporately right now like other churches are?
There are several factors for us to consider here:
- We are primarily concerned with being the Church, not merely going to Church. We love and value worshipping in one space as a community, but never want to lose sight of our ultimate reason for existence: to participate in God’s renewal of all things by becoming more like Jesus. Churches, for this reason, can never be closed – the Church is open wherever good is being done in the name and way of Jesus. So before we rush back to what we are (rightly) in the habit of, we want to pause to ask how God is shaping us in this unprecedented season.
- If we’re going to worship together, we want to worship together. Right now, it would not be wise or safe to meet inside a building while singing, receiving communion, greeting one another, and providing meaningful spaces for our children. Until we can meet in a way that facilitates community and worship and ensures we do not worsen this pandemic for our city, we will continue to gather online and trust Jesus with all we wish was different about that model.
- Our prior worship space at Legacy Community Academy is in the process of being sold and eventually will be torn down. Rather than renew our term there and still not be able to meet due to covid, we have decided to anticipate God’s next step for our community and step away from that space. Our facility team is actively working to identify the next “home” for The Parish.
What options are you exploring for a permanent church meeting space?
Our incredible Facility Team has been meeting weekly for the past few months and will continue to do so as needed. Each week, the team discusses property options that are available (whether to buy, lease, sub-lease, or creatively engage in some other means) and financial considerations around next steps. To date, we have contacted or explored over 45 property options, and continue to diligently work toward identifying the right/next long-term home for our church. We are rooted in hope that God has a specific place in mind for our community and will provide all we need when the time is right.
We welcome your ideas, guidance, and relational connections as we do our part in this process. And we welcome your prayers for all that is God’s work, not ours.
When will we be in Phase 3?
Short answer: we don’t know. Data around Covid-19 continues to be a moving target and we have chosen not to re-gather as a full community until it is prudent for us to do so in a way that allows us to be a blessing to our community. We all hope to re-gather as soon as possible, but cannot provide a target date given the unknowns around our facility and public health.
In lieu of predictions, we suggest offering one another a promise to walk through this season, whatever may come, with faithfulness, support, and care in the way of Jesus.
But we are hoping to re-gather again as a full church, right?
Of course! We are a community that deeply values relationship with one another and opportunities to worship together. Our hope is to identify a space where we can safely and feasibly re-gather when it is prudent to do so, and we’re diligently working toward that end.
Even so, we imagine there will be unexpected gifts and positives that emerge out of phase 1 and 2 and we’ll be discerning how God desires to shape up and re-form what our prior understanding of “normal” was. For example:
Are there ways our community can lean more faithfully into loving presence with God and our neighbors?
Do we find it valuable to gather both corporately and in homes (Acts 2)?
What does it look like to steward our collective resources and gifts well, for the sake of others?
These are just a few of the questions are team is asking in this time, and we welcome your thoughts along the way.
I have another question!
Shoot Jordan an email at jordan @thepari.sh!