On Sunday 16th August we were so relieved to hear from the President that the entire country was to be moved to level 2. We have all been experiencing the difficulty of isolation and challenges in business, and so we knew that level 2 meant more opening up of business as well as more braais and renewed time with friends and family.
But what does level 2 mean for Riverside Community Church? As far as large group gatherings and school related restrictions go, those have not changed as of yet. However, the government is permitting people to meet in homes under certain guidelines. The leadership has spent the last week talking and praying about what opportunities this gives us as a church.
SMALL GROUP SUNDAYS
Under these level 2 guidelines, we would like to encourage Riversiders to connect with other Riversiders to do church together on Sunday mornings. This provides opportunity to begin doing fellowship together, praying together and worshipping together. Here are some thoughts as you consider gathering this Sunday:
- Please do not exceed the government regulations of no more than ten visitors, children included.
- Please follow safety protocol, including providing hand sanitizer
- If you do not feel comfortable to join in with others yet, please continue to do church at home with Riverside Online.
- Please respect those who choose differently to you.
- Larger LifeGroups or LifeGroups with lots of kids may need to multiply into smaller groups. Consider switching it up, using different peoples’ homes, and rotating the groups so you all get to connect again.
- Aim to begin between 9:30 and 10. Open in prayer, do church online, pray together, and then enjoy the fellowship with tea, coffee or lunch together.
- As a group, discuss how you will include kids ministry. For example, consider having a parent take turns to guide the kids in a separate room, or let the kids do church online half an hour before. But parents, please stay connected with your kids’ faith journey. Keep having those discussions, and don’t stop dancing along with some of their songs!
- If you are not in a LifeGroup, please still think about gathering with some Riversiders you know or joining up with your family.
- If you would like to make your home available, or if you have a smaller group of people meeting and you have space for more, PLEASE DO LET US KNOW!
- If you do not know who you can connect with, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and connect you.
We’ve already mentioned that some people are comfortable to begin gathering in homes around Jo’burg, whereas others still prefer to continue to isolate. Doing weekly LifeGroups online are still an excellent way to continue to include everyone in the weekly LifeGroup discussions and fellowship. We will continue to resource the weekly LifeGroup meetings.
Finally, we do not want anyone to make any decisions that you are uncomfortable with or you believe will make you potentially unsafe. However, whether you choose to gather with others or not, it is important that we all maintain our spiritual unity and the spiritual discipline of word, worship and fellowship. So please make use of every opportunity, online and offline, to continue being the church and growing in faith.
The leadership will continue to seek to honour the Lord and find ways for us to express who we are as Christ’s church, while at the same time keeping an eye on infection rates, spikes and government recommendations. We are called to love God AND love our neighbour, and while we are all sacrificing some of what we want and maybe even some of what we need, we trust in our God who is sovereign over all of this and will lead us through this difficult season.
Yours in Christ,