Service Time Changes

Dear North Hills Family,

For the past 15 months COVID-19 has dominated the news and disrupted all of our lives. Over the past six weeks we have seen a very encouraging trend in COVID illnesses and, most importantly, deaths. We thank God for this, and we pray this trend will continue.

Over the course of the pandemic, a team of elders has carefully watched the trends – both nationally and in our region – and has worked very hard to lead North Hills in a rational and loving response. I can say quite literally that this team has spent hundreds of hours staying abreast of the statistics and scientific perspectives from a number of sources. I am so deeply grateful for their work.

Led by this team, our elders believe we should now move to relax some of the policies and procedures put into place to protect our people and love our community. These changes will take effect on Sunday, June 27.

  • Move to three in-person services while continuing the livestream as a fourth service offering. New service times will be 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.

  • Change our 5 p.m. service from “mask required” to “mask recommended” and provide a special seating section for those for whom continuing in a fully-masked setting makes sense.

  • Remove pre-registrations for all services, including Children’s Ministries and Student Ministries.

  • Throughout Wisdomfest (which begins on June 27), Nursery and World View will be offered at the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services with a modified Nursery only (no Worldview) provided during the 5 p.m. service time.

We anticipate these changes continuing into the fall, but our COVID team will continue to monitor case numbers in our region focusing on hospitalizations, death rates, and percentage of positivity to guide our future decisions and stages.

I want to close with three things. First, we have heard about churches which have been ripped apart by conflict over the proper response to COVID-19. We are aware there are strong feelings around this issue in our congregation. That being said, we want to honor you, the NHC family, for the restraint, mutual honor, and understanding we have seen as we live together in one family drawn from so many perspectives and backgrounds. That mutual love and honor are so much more meaningful than being “right” or winning an argument. Thank you!

These changes do not equate to a full “return to normal.” Hotspots of COVID transmission are still possible. While we pray the positive trend will continue, we will still be careful and vigilant. I know every one of us is so ready to be finished with COVID, but it is not yet clear that COVID is finished with us!

Finally, while the pandemic seems to be on its way out in America (praise God), it is far from over in other parts of the world. Partners in India have reported that hundreds of pastors have died – especially in the latest outbreak. Please pray for our brothers and sisters around the globe as they continue to deal with the disruption caused by this awful virus. Please pray for those in our midst who are still recovering from serious and prolonged cases of COVID. And please continue to be known by your love and patience as we walk carefully through what we pray will be the final stages of this pandemic.

And remember, You are loved!

For the elders,
Allan Sherer
Elder Chairman

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