We are currently in: Phase 3
Updates below are in order of most recent to older
July 14, 2020 Update
People over Traditions
Current Phase: 3
June 30, 2020 Update
Current Phase: 3
In light of the Governor’s press conference today and continued guidance from our state and cities, our regathering worship set for July 18/19 is paused . No new date will bfe set until we are in a position to determine more public health guidance from state and city officials.
As always, since March we have kept the best interests of the entire Body of Christ in mind. If we as a leadership team make any errors, it will be on the side of keeping everyone safe. As your senior pastor, if I have made any errors these past four months, it is in making sure our members and staff are safe.
While we all may be disappointed , never forget that God is good, and I often reflect on my grandparents who in the space of their lifetimes lived through four years of a world war and a pandemic in 1918.
Things will get better, and as Paul wrote from a prison cell, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say rejoice” . Under the threat of prison and death , he still found solace and joy in the Lord of all life. I repeat what I first said in March, “Faith, not fear”.
While I am signing this email, it comes from your entire leadership team and Board of Trustees after consultation this afternoon.
Pastor Jeff Ruby
June 4, 2020 Update
Move to Phase 3
Current Phase: 3
The leadership team, consulting with our Board of Trustees, has moved us into Phase Three as a congregation effective today, June 4. The team has assessed public health in our area and has initiated the gateway to entering this phase.
This means the leadership team is actively engaged and working hard in planning for our Phase Four regathering on site, and hopes to share our regathering date for on-site worship in the very near future. Remember, we are not “reopening” as the church has never closed!
A reminder that even when we regather on site for worship, LaCasaLive.comand our other streaming platforms—YouTube, Facebook, Roku, the La CasaApp, and Apple TV—will continue to be a vital part of our ministries for both weekend worship and midweek gatherings on Wednesdays. We understand that each individual must make their own decision about when they feel ready to return to in-person worship and we respect and support those decisions.
When we have a regathering date, it will be for worship only, in the Sanctuary only for all worship services including Contemporary. This will reduce the number of spaces our custodians will need to clean. The Sanctuary is also a larger space in which to practice social distancing. When we resume on-site worship, our other ministries will remain online only and will resume in the fall on a case-by-case basis following all health and safety protocols.
Think of the concept of a dimmer switch that turns light on slowly, unlike a light switch that flips it on instantly. We cannot flip a switch and resume as we were in early March. Your safety, and the safety of our staff, is our priority. Things may look a little different, but we worship the same God through His son Jesus Christ. While other things may change, He does not!
Your leadership team,
Pastor Jeff Ruby
Pastor Matt Knopf
Elizabeth Geenen, R.N.
May 28, 2020 Update:
In Diversity we Respect One Another
Current Phase: 2
May 19, 2020 Update:
Move to Phase 2
Current Phase: 2
La Casa de Cristo has entered Phase Two in our four-phase plan, Our Path Forward. The leadership team of Pastor Ruby, Pastor Knopf, and Parish Nurse Elizabeth Geenen will continue to monitor public health circumstances and our local situation and make decisions on the gateway to Phase Three when appropriate. A reminder that we will resume in-person worship at Phase Four.
May 7, 2020 Update:
Our Path Forward: The Four-Phase Plan
Current Phase: 1
Our Path Forward
The four-phase plan comes from our federal and state governments. Effective May 6, La Casa de Cristo is in Phase One. As we have made decisions since the beginning of the pandemic, the exact timeline of moving through the phases and our arrival at Phase Four and in-person worship will be determined under the guidance of state, local, and federal government authorities. The final decision will be made by our senior pastor and pastoral leadership team, the Board of Trustees, and our parish nurse.
In-person worship will begin in the Sanctuary only, with specific protocols to follow. All services will be held in the Sanctuary for cleaning and sanitary purposes, as this will provide fewer areas for our custodians to clean. All other ministries will remain online until we meet our Phase Four benchmarks. While we expect our phased approach to line up with the phases that have been laid out by federal, state, and local governments, everything hinges on the health of our community and the CDC’s recommendations. We love PEOPLE more than our TRADITIONS. As a large public institution, we must be more cautious about how we reopen due to the size of our gatherings. Therefore, we will likely open a little later than other local businesses. We will advance through the phases only as the city and state, board, pastors, and parish nurse approve, and we meet the benchmarks to continue reopening.
Once in Phase Four, you are free to worship in-person or online as you desire. The choice is yours. However, through Phase Four and beyond, we will encourage the most at-risk population to return to in-person worship or other activities only when totally comfortable. If you have underlying medical conditions, asthma or other respiratory issues, or have a compromised immune system due to medical treatments, please continue to worship via LaCasaLive.com.
Will regular activities look different?
While we expect our in-person gatherings to feel the same as before when we reach Phase Four, like the rest of society, we expect that the way we interact with each other will look a little different for a while. We will continue to modify the parts of our worship services that required physical contact previously (such as passing offering plates and Sharing of the Peace), and will do everything we can to keep our facilities clean and safe. Even if you see facemasks and social distancing when we gather together again in-person, we know it will feel like coming home.
Clergy visits and prayers will continue, as they have since early March, with pastoral care over the phone, FaceTime, or Zoom. Pastors are not allowed to visit local hospitals but will pray with you. Please let us know if you are going into the hospital. We also have resources with hospital chaplains.
Baptisms will be emergency only until further notice. Weddings will not be occurring unless previously scheduled until further notice. Prior to Phase Four, funerals and memorials will take place as necessary, limited to three family members of the deceased in the Sanctuary; clergy will wear masks. Livestream is an option. The Memorial Garden remains closed and burials and inurnments are postponed until at least June 1.
Pastor Ruby will approve all in-person pastoral acts on a case-by-case basis.
What about regular weekly or monthly events?
In the near term, all of our events, other than worship in Phase Four and beyond, will be held online only. Gradually, as we see how in-person worship begins in Phase Four, we will open up other ministries according to the benchmarks and our leadership team in Phase Four and beyond.
How can we gather together now?
In-person gatherings may be on hold for a little while longer, but La Casa de Cristo has a number of great ways to gather digitally on a weekly basis. Join us at LaCasaLive.com as often as you can, and watch for more opportunities coming soon!