Our aim with this blog post is to provide clear communication on what’s next in terms of our Sunday Gatherings, City Groups, and church rhythms.
What’s Jesus doing in and through us as a church?
First, let me just say that over the last month, we have been unable to gather in a church building. I have missed greeting you at the door and worshiping Jesus with you! Our current reality, which includes COVID-19 social distancing practices and gathering restrictions, is different than anything we’ve ever navigated through as a church and as individuals. And yet please know, we as your pastors, are not holding our breath hoping we can get back to normal so that “real ministry” can happen.
Citylight, I am confident Jesus is doing a sanctifying work in us while using us to show and share the love of Jesus with many in our city, state, and even among the nations! Over the last month, City Groups have continued to fight for fellowship and connection digitally, 12,000 plus meals have been collected, packed and distributed to those with needs in our city, and people from more than a dozen countries around the world have been hearing the gospel through our online gatherings! In this season, I have seen Jesus activate the church in new and beautiful ways and it has been a JOY to see you all pray boldly, give generously, display mercy, care for one-another, and continue to press into Jesus in the midst of so much uncertainty. This year has not gone as expected, but God is writing a better story than we could have imagined even now!
What’s Next for us as a church?
Governor Ricketts recently announced that beginning on May 4th, churches, restaurants, gyms, and other public facilities will be allowed to reopen. This is not a full “returning to normal” as there are continued recommendations and restrictions to adhere to in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The restriction states that churches can resume gathering as long as individuals keep six feet of social distance between them. There is no limit to the number of people that could gather in the church facility but simply a physical spacing and social distancing restriction.
After praying and talking with staff and elders, we have decided to continue streaming our Sunday worship gathering and not hold Sunday gatherings in our church facilities for the month of May. The reality is it would be very difficult to accommodate larger gatherings of people while also honoring the suggested state health officials recommendations. We are eager to gather but will do so when we are confident that we can keep your family safe and comply with state and local recommendations. We know this is a fluid situation, and we will continue to assess the best rhythms for our church moving forward. So here is what the the month of May will look like for us as a church family:
- Live Stream on Facebook, YouTube, and citylightomaha.org/live.
- No public worship gathering at either of our gathering locations.
- City Groups will continue to meet digitally.
- City Group leaders can discern and decide if meeting physically while maintaining six feet of social distance is possible and beneficial. We want to empower your group to continue living out the biblical “one another’s” in whatever gathering rhythms make the most sense for group age, family, and health dynamics. To get connected to a city group. visit citylightomaha.org/citygroups.
Meals and Mercy Ministry
- Meals will continue to be collected on Mondays, packed on Wednesdays, and distributed to those who have needs in our church and city on Fridays. More information can be found at citylightomaha.org/covid19/respond.
Citylight Kids Ministry
- Our Kids Ministry team will continue to email discipleship materials to parents, while also posting age-specific worship videos and content to their Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/clkomaha.
- There will be no on-site Kids Ministry for the month of May.
Care and Counseling
- Care and Counseling will continue and can be facilitated. Care ministry will be available digitally or at both of our campus locations.
- Our Youth Pastors will continue to communicate with parents and students.
- Student Ministry activities will not resume at either campus.
Citylight, thank you for your continued flexibility, faith, and love for Jesus. We’ve never navigated through a pandemic before, so this is new for all of us. Gavin and I don’t know when we will be able to all be back in the same room or even what June will look like, but we are confident that Jesus is still seeking and saving the lost and still actively working for the good of those who love Him! It’s our joy to serve you!
You can continue to stay up to date on Citylight's COVID-19 response online at citylightomaha.org/covid19.
Chris and Gavin