At birth, baby porcupines are covered with soft, reddish fur and their tiny, sparse quills are like soft hairs. They feel more like puppies than porcupines! But only days after birth, a porcupine’s quills become intense weapons of self-protection which turns them into solitary creatures. It is called the “porcupine dilemma”, that in the cold of winter, they cannot cuddle for warmth with one another. This reality in nature is often used as an illustration for a similar emotional dilemma among humans. The more we need others, the more our tendency is to annoy and poke each other, driving us apart. Read any local newspaper for sad and vivid illustrations of this truth in our current society!
But God has graciously provided a solution when He transforms us through salvation in Jesus Christ and makes us part of His church family. Every true church is intended to be a place of warmth and unity, but the Apostle Paul realistically told us that our God-given unity and fellowship are only kept intact with intentional, constant, personal effort. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1)
The “cold distancing” of our recent experience with Covid-19 has created among believers a hunger for the warmth of close Christian fellowship once again but has also caused the many believers who make up the church in America to grow quills of strong personal opinions about everything from the use of masks to social distancing.
As churches across America (including our own) begin to find practical ways to come back together again, we must all ask God to help us keep our primary focus on worshipping Him and for the intentional effort to keep unity with one another, especially with those who may hold opinions different from our own about current guidelines and the management of this pandemic.
It is our intention to give practical effort to that by inviting believers to daily pray for God’s grace to visit our church and all churches as we seek to worship Him and practice with one another the attitudes known as The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We at GracePoint are delightedly looking forward to safely gathering outside for worship beginning June 7th at 9:00 am. Note the links below that provide guidelines as well as a Daily Prayer Guide to help us spiritually prepare our hearts for this time of worship.
Guidelines for Worship Participants When GracePoint Church Re-opens for Outdoor Public Worship on June 7 at 9:00am
In the spirit of showing care for each other, yet wanting to have a comfortable and meaningful worship experience, please consider these guidelines as we gather:
- Bring your own chairs, blankets, and shade. Dress informally. Consider bringing a hat and sunglasses. Chairs and some shade will be provided for those who are unable to bring them.
- Maintain 6 feet of physical distance between your family and other families.
- Families with children will worship together. Bring activities for your kids. There will be no children’s programming.
- Greet friends with a smile or wave. Refrain from shaking hands or embracing each other.
Masks are encouraged but are not required. Bring your own if you have one.
- Use the restroom immediately before leaving home. Restrooms are open if absolutely needed.
- Bring your own beverages and snacks. Water bottles will be available.
- Please stay home if you have been in contact recently with a COVID-positive individual or you do not feel well. Access the service online.