Why has VC chosen to follow the governor’s mandate for large gatherings regarding social distancing, masks, temperature monitoring, contact tracing, and other measures? Check out this letter from Pastor Chris:
FREE TO COMPLY
We are choosing to voluntarily comply with the governor’s mandate. While political agendas are certainly being advanced — as they always are — we are keeping an eye on potential political abuses, while allowing potential health concerns to get first priority in our decisions right now. If that’s a mistake, we believe it’s the better mistake to make. If we perceive a strategic and sustained effort to impede the freedom of worship, we will reevaluate our voluntary compliance, reserving the right to respectfully choose to not comply. We also carry deep concern for the economic effects of marketplace shutdowns, as this has the greatest negative effect on the most vulnerable. Therefore, we support the effort to resume as many normal marketplace practices as can be done with reasonable health precautions.
Our mission is to effectively reach out to our churchless neighbors with empathy, grace, and truth. The truth is that many of our neighbors carry a high level of concern over the well being of high-risk individuals. With great sincerity, they are making big sacrifices in hopes of protecting the most vulnerable. We want to affirm that biblical value.
While there is much debate about the actual health impact of COVID-19, there is ample evidence compelling us to err on the side of caution. Our hope is to look back and tease ourselves about being way too vigilant, as opposed to throwing caution to the wind and regretting it later.
In a survey of some 250 VC members, 43% of you indicated you are in regular contact with someone who is high-risk or immunodeficient; and 64% of you said you’d prefer to meet outside for now. Nationwide, churches are seeing 10-40% of normal attendance at Sunday services. People are slow to return, and many desire assurances of caution.
Our online presence has elevated exponentially in the past few months and we believe our mission is best advanced if we keep this ministry vitalized. This demands a tremendous amount of staff time and focus. (Shout to all who make that happen!) Therefore, our goal is to pace our return to Sunday on-campus worship as our staff sets up new ways of operating both on campus and online.
We delight in the declaration that God is not shaken by all this turbulence. While he is compassionate to our frailty, pain and disappointments, he is not anxiously waiting, hoping everything will work out. He is sovereign and filled with peace. He is willing to turn every sweet circumstance and every tragic event to his glory and to our good! Let us not forget, Jesus often challenged the lack of confidence of his disciples, even saying, “Oh, you of little faith!” Our calling is to possess great faith (by the power of the Holy Spirit) in God’s ability to work all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes! Jesus overcame the devil, our debt of sin and even death itself. These present troubles are “small potatoes” for him. Praise be to God!
Much love in Christ,