BridgePoint family and friends,
Thank you for your prayers as we’ve been seeking the Lord about our next season as a church. We’ve been evaluating important information and principles, and our elders are grateful to be unified about the best path forward.
WISER TO WAIT: Continuing Sunday Mornings Online | In recent weeks, state officials have been slowly re-opening our state. Churches can meet, with various guidelines. However, there are many other factors that must also shape our decision: local stats and caseload, the size of our gatherings, the vulnerabilities of our congregation, our anticipated attendance, the protocols we’d have to enforce, and the limited quality of fellowship and encouragement a highly-restrictive meeting can provide.
As we game-plan for restarting large gatherings, a heavy and complicated scenario emerges. It would require multiple services, attendance limits, time limits, one-way entry and exit, seating reservations and separation, social distancing, facemasks, no handshakes or hugs, restricted fellowship time, heavy sanitation procedures, limited bathroom use, no kids’ ministry or youth group or adult classes, and proactive enforcement of these policies, with those most vulnerable still watching at home through a camera. Under all these protocols, we believe it’s likely that a large gathering might be less helpful or effective than other creative options. For this reason, we’re going to continue holding Sunday services online through the month of June.
RESTARTING SMALL: Life Groups, Sunday Watch Invitations, Camp BELA | However, we’re excited to start reconnecting in some smaller ways. We understand that no social interaction is risk-free at this point. But with wise precautions taken, there are some ways that less-vulnerable people may ease into small forms of fellowship.
- Life Groups are free to restart in-person meetings if your group has willing leaders, participants, and a host home with some basic protocols in place. If you’d like to join a Life Group, contact Bobby de Leon [click to email]. Leaders will work through these decisions with your own groups and with guidance from our staff.
- Sunday Watch Invitations might be an option if you feel comfortable inviting a friend or family to watch the service with you on a Sunday. We’d ask everyone to practice diligent sanitation and proper distancing, but these small home gatherings are an option for those comfortable with them. Be sure to agree on the precautions you’ll be following if you do get together with someone else.
- Camp BELA will be open for two weeks in both June and July (12 total days). This camp serves the preschool families who are eager for their little ones to participate in this beloved program, and our trained BELA team is well-equipped to follow the additional protocols needed to serve them.
All other groups and ministries will remain online through June, with the exception of creative gatherings like this one:
SUMMER KICKOFF: Outdoor Worship Night on Sunday, May 31 at 7:00pm! | Before Houston really heats up, we’re excited to hold a short outdoor worship night on Sunday evening, May 31 at 7:00pm at BridgePoint! Obviously, this event will still require social distancing and other precautions, but the open-air environment will reduce risks and let us sing together, hear testimonies, and see many faces we’ve been missing. Please be on the lookout for more information.
JUNE FOCUS: “Putting God First” | Going forward, we want to stay focused, united, and growing as disciples. To help, our first monthly theme will be “Putting God First.” On May 31, we’ll start a short five-week series in the OT book of Haggai. We’ll also provide resources and practical challenges to put God first in our own lives, relationships, and priorities. I’d encourage you to start asking God how he wants you to put him first during this season and beyond.
STAFF PREPARATION: Laying the Groundwork | We know it’s inevitable that the church will meet again. The suspension of in-person gatherings is abnormal for God’s people—a temporary measure to submit to our government (when asked for the common good), love each other, serve our neighbors, and protect life. Because we’re eager to restart our larger gatherings as soon as it’s wise, our staff is already laying the groundwork that will enable us to move forward efficiently when the door opens.
HELPING EACH OTHER: Sharing Needs and Resources | If you have specific needs or would like to help others, please contact Cindi Gundersen[click to email]. Cindi and her team have been connecting needs with resources since March, and are eager to continue.
QUESTIONS? | Please send group-specific questions to your group or ministry leader. If you’re a member, feel free to contact your shepherding elder. You can also send general questions to our Executive Pastor Jeremy Griswold [click to email].
ONWARD | For the next 40 days, we’ll be walking in the footsteps of so many who’ve gone before us: Moses and Elijah fasting for 40 days, Israel wandering the desert for 40 years, and Jesus fasting for 40 days as he overcame the devil’s temptations. Know this: God will be with us, as he was with them, and through the power of our Savior, no matter what happens, he will watch over our souls.
I love you and miss you, BridgePoint. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Pastor Gunner Gundersen