What’s Your Part In Our Family Reunion?
In nine days (two Sundays from now) we will have worship in our buildings again as we begin our Family Reunion season of services! Ever since the first of the month, we’ve forecasted our target reopening date of May 31, and that day is almost upon us. I can’t believe that it’s almost here or that it’s been two months since the last time we gathered in person. Will it be business as usual on May 31, though? Picking up where we left off as if we had merely paused a show on Netflix? Not entirely. Would you like to know how we are adjusting our worship? Check out our Family Reunion information via the links below.
Some things might be expected such as face masks and social distancing, but one thing I want to make sure you know about is the new timing of our in-person services. We will be holding services on our campuses at 8:30am, 11:00am, and 6:00pm. Moreover, the 8:30am service at West U Baptist will be the Classic service and will be livestreamed on YouTube! So, if you normally attend the Classic service at West U Baptist or desire a traditional format for Sunday mornings, you can attend in-person or watch from the convenience of where you are.
I highly recommend that you review the rest of the information about your chosen campus by going to the pages above and following us on social media because there is a fair amount I simply can’t fit into this letter. (Additionally, we might send you a second, very short survey about returning to in-person worship that we’d like you to fill out. Be on the lookout!)
Regarding this plan, in my Tuesday, May 19 letter to you, I asked you for a favor, and that favor was for favor. I realize that not everyone will agree with the decisions we’ve made. Our teams of educated, thoughtful individuals and church members have prayed hard, thought wisely, and worked diligently for many, many hours to formulate a plan that was safe but also flexible and adaptable. We believe this plan meets those parameters; it will allow us to come back slowly and joyfully into worshiping together as the body of Christ in the same building.
The “body” of Christ is an amazing thing. The apostle Paul uses that imagery several times to describe the church in his letters. You see, not every part of the human body does the same thing, but they all come together to form the body as a whole. Here is what Paul says in Romans 12:4–8:
Just as each of us has one body with many members . . . so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts . . . If [a man’s gift] is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
And now is the perfect time to use your gift to help this church body during our Family Reunion! Our plan presents many volunteer needs and opportunities that far outweigh our typical Sundays. I’d love to see individuals, families, and Community Groups come together and help make our in-person worship services flow easily while maintaining an uplifting experience. For example, we’re looking for
• greeters in the parking lots and at the doors
• people to distribute pumps of hand sanitizer
• people to help clean the sanctuaries between services
• A/V assistance, and more.
Most of these positions are more simple and helpful rather than technical or difficult. In short, we have a place for you to help! Visit our Family Reunion pages for a list of volunteer teams and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I encourage you to sign up today!
Lastly, we understand that not everyone will be able to attend in-person services due to CDC “high-risk” or health reasons, or some might simply wait to return until a later date. That is not a problem. We will still continue our Online Experiences each Sunday on our CityRise YouTube channel. Wherever we are as a church family and church body, we will make sure you have the opportunity to sing, pray, learn, and grow closer in your relationship with Christ every week.
I love you, Church Family. I’m excited to walk through the next season with you because as different as it will be for a little bit, God has never changed. And as spread out as this body has been, we will never stop coming together, however we can, to glorify His powerful name.
Roger Patterson is the Senior Pastor of the CityRise Network, leading multiple congregations in lifting our city and the world by generously giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Roger lives in Houston with his wife Julee, and three children.