May 19, 2021
Covid Update: June 2021
Our vision at The Ridge is to “do whatever it takes to reach our community for Christ.” The goal is for this vision to be a part of everything we do. Every interaction, conversation, ministry, and initiative designed to honor God and do whatever it takes. The way we approach COVID-19 is no different. It certainly is a “whatever it takes” type of moment, and we’ve done our best to love other people well in the midst of a phrase I get to say far too often - a “global pandemic.”
Right now, we’re thinking through the next phase in our approach to COVID-19 and the safety protocols at The Ridge. As things continue to progress in our country, state, and community we are going to continue to do our best to do whatever it takes.
This is our approach for the summer, June and July. (Yes, this is all flexible, because if we’ve learned anything over the last 14 months, it’s that things change despite our plans!) We're in conversation with some people at BCSC, CRH, and are going to be paying attention to state/local guidelines and numbers as things progress.
We plan, starting Sunday, June 6, to move to two services at 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. They will be identical services (same songs, same message, kids’ programming, the whole deal). We will do our best to have the friendliest and safest environment possible by asking those volunteers and staff that have not been vaccinated to continue to wear a mask inside. We’ll also continue to require masks for kids in our kids’ programs as vaccinations have not been available to all ages (and because distancing for kids is harder than herding cats). We’ll continue to give space for people to distance in our auditorium, and we’ll continue to sanitize and clean surfaces between services. We advise people to use their discretion regarding masks as they enter and exit the building, and you’ll always be free to wear a mask during our services. Treating others the way you would want to be treated is always encouraged, too!
Other people that meet at The Ridge (like Celebrate Recovery, MOPS, groups, student ministry, people who work in our office) will have pre-determined protocols based on the activity, amount of people, and what we believe is best for that environment. We’re working with the leaders of these groups to make sure we’re doing whatever it takes throughout the week, too. If you have questions about a group you’re in, contact the group leader.
Why this change right now? Let’s go back to the start - whatever it takes. The underlying question is, “What does it look like for us to love our community well, and do whatever it takes for other people?” One way we can do this is to care for our volunteers. Many volunteers have been serving tirelessly doing three services. Did you know it takes around 100 volunteers to make a Sunday morning happen? Right now, many of the same people are serving on multiple weeks in a row (talk about whatever it takes!), and moving to two services is an important move to care for them.
Another reason we’re doing this right now is the attendance at our mask required service continues to go down as the other services continue to grow. I’m encouraged by the opportunity to do this because we’ve consistently had more people than the week previous in our other services, and moving the service times gives ample space for people to attend on Sunday morning. We’re also dedicated to our online campus, which will be at 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM as well starting June 6.
We want to care for our community well. You and I might disagree on how to do that, especially when it comes to the nuances of how to approach things right now. Vaccine or no vaccine? Mask or no mask? Required, advised, suggested, discouraged? Back to normal or still the same? Six feet, three feet? Singing, no singing? The list goes on, actually, and each question has several subquestions being asked as well. There are probably subquestions to the subquestions, too! (And subquestions to the subquestions of the…you get the drift.)
People I respect and love agree and disagree on this, and that’s okay. It’s even a good thing - I’ve had a lot of great conversations with people who don’t see things the same way I do, and it helps me grow and think better. We want to be respectful no matter what, we want to do our best to love other people and not make our decisions based on what we want, but what we believe is best for others. Also, we have decided to stand where we believe God wants us to be right now. My hope is, as we plan and pray about this coming fall, that we can continue to have updates and announcements that are less and less about COVID-19, and more and more about how to continue to do whatever it takes in other ways. We are praying about some exciting possibilities right now! Stay tuned.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact us at . And, for all those frequently asked questions and the information I just shared about everything changing on June 6, check out www.theridge.org/updates.