August 6, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ! We hope that all of you have been doing well even under our current challenging conditions due to COVID-19. We rejoice that our Sovereign God is in control and sustains us by His grace and Spirit! We remain committed to shepherding you through these uncertain times, so please contact the council if you have any needs at all.
Outdoor Worship at Hesperia Lake Park
Although indoor worship is currently prohibited in San Bernardino County, churches are allowed to worship outdoors if they follow the state guidelines for wearing face coverings and physical distancing. So the council has decided to begin meeting at Hesperia Lake Park starting Sunday, August 9.
9:00 AM Service
Because it has been hot, we will begin the service at 9:00 AM sharp this Sunday (and every Sunday until we are permitted to worship indoors again). There will only be one service. Since there is plenty of space, there is no need to RSVP. Please try to arrive early to get situated.
Directions and Parking
As you drive south on Arrowhead Lake Road, enter the main parking lot on your left (at the southwest corner of the park).
On the right, near some telephone poles, you should see an entrance to a service road. Take the service road.
Drive about 100 yards and take your first left into a secondary parking area.
After you enter the secondary parking area, there’s a gate on the left that leads to the picnic area where we’ll worship. Please park where you can find a spot.
Get Google Maps directions to the main parking lot (not the recommended secondary lot — see above).
State guidelines require everyone to wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose.
The same physical distancing guidelines apply outdoors as they did for indoor worship. The state guidelines for places of worship (PDF) include discouraging “handshakes, hugs, and similar greetings that break [the minimum six feet of] physical distance” and to “take reasonable measures to remind people to wave or use other greetings.” So, we are asking everyone who attends to:
maintain six feet of distance from members of other households at all times
wave instead of shaking hands or hugging
The Council knows this might make some of you uncomfortable or even offend you. But we believe that there is wisdom in “playing it safe,” especially since asymptomatic individuals can easily spread the virus. Please follow these guidelines out of love for your neighbor.
In addition to these measures, we will provide hand sanitizer for all to use.
Bring Your Own Seating
There will be some picnic tables in the area where we’ll be worshipping, but we can’t guarantee there’ll be enough seating for everyone, so please bring a folding or other chair. Please make sure to sit at least six feet from folks from other households.
Restrooms and Water
There are outhouses nearby. We’ll provide bottled water for everyone.
Singing with face coverings on: singing is permitted, but since face coverings are required, we will sing with face coverings on.
The Lord’s Supper distributed in packets: administering communion outdoors is challenging, so we’ll distribute packets with communion cups (with both wine and juice options) and bread to each household. (These packets are also more sanitary than setting out the bread and wine as we’ve been doing.) We will partake from our seats.
To avoid contact between people, we will have an offering box available where you can drop your offering at any time.
Stay Home If You’re Experiencing Symptoms
Because the council is charged with the well-being of the congregation, we would ask people who manifest any of the symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay at home until the symptoms have vanished for several weeks. The state guidelines are helpful in discussing the issue of symptoms:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms.
We are grateful we can worship together again! We realize the above rules may seem overly restrictive to some of you, but, as a council, we are trying our best to provide worship while trying to keep everyone safe. Please be patient with us in this process, but do not hesitate to contact Pastor Tom or anyone on the council if you have any concerns.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday if you can make it. Again, if you do not feel that it is in your best interest to meet together given the health challenges, you can follow along with the worship guide and sermon using our online worship guide.
Pastor Tom, on behalf of the HDURC Council