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News

We’re Moving Inside

​Dear RiverLakes Church Family,

In an effort to give as many people as possible the opportunity to worship in-person on Sundays, we've been meeting outside since July. But as anticipated, the weather is becoming too cold and inclement to do so any longer. As a result, we have decided to move our in-person worship services indoors beginning this Sunday, December 27. We will be meeting in the Main Auditorium and hold two morning worship services at 9:00am and 10:30am.                 

Families will check in at the Education Building and will take their children with them to the worship service to worship together. After the first two songs, we will dismiss them to their teachers who will take them to their respective class. At the end of the service, Grades 1st - 6th will be available for pick-up on the patio. All younger children will be picked up at the back doors of the nursery and preschool on the westside of the Education BuildingJunior Highers will worship with their families for the first two songs and then transition to their recently remodeled Junior High Room on the east side of the Community Center

Obviously, this decision will generate differences of opinion regarding COVID-19 concerns. We will address those concerns briefly, but Pastor Matt will provide a more thorough explanation in his sermon on Sunday, January 3.  

We believe that we are honoring the New Testament command, "be subject to the governing authorities" (Rom. 13:1) insofar as this command refers to the government's role in civic matters. However, as it pertains to governing matters within the church, this authority comes from Scripture alone and cannot be superseded by the mandates of government officials. God commands us to meet to carry out the "one anothers" of the New Testament (Heb. 10:24-25), and although the Governor says we shouldn't meet to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we must obey God over men (Acts 4:19). It is also worth noting that our local Public Health Department has long rescinded any orders related to church gatherings. 

We are aware there are some of you who are concerned that by meeting we potentially might expose people to the virus. And while we acknowledge that this virus is real and particularly affects the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the overwhelming data supports that church gatherings are safe for the vast majority of the population. To date, there are no known cases of Coronavirus in Kern County connected to church gatherings, and for months now, churches have been gathering in-person (indoors and outdoors) across our county and state, and we are not aware of any that have resulted in COVID-19 outbreaks. 

We strongly believe the most loving thing we can do in this difficult season is keep our doors open so that we can minister to people relationally, emotionally and spiritually. Isolation is extremely damaging to our health and well-being, and we can best shepherd and love people in-person. 

This does not mean we are conducting "business as usual." We have a number of protocols in place to help us space out and minimize any spread. 

  • We have separate entrances and exits to eliminate cross traffic. 
  • We are not passing anything out in our services. 
  • We have hand sanitizer at entrances and exits. 
  • We are reducing and spacing out seating to spread people out between multiple services. If you are able, we would ask that you attend the 10:30am service to help make room at the 9:00am service.
  • We will provide sanitation of high touch areas between services.
  • We welcome mask-wearing in all our services and ask everyone to respect the decision of others to wear or not wear a mask.
  • We will open up a "mask only" venue in the Rehearsal Room on the southwest side of the Main Auditorium for those who are more comfortable indoors with others wearing masks.
  • We will continue to livestream at 9:00am and 10:30am for those who are more comfortable in their homes.
This decision has not been arrived at quickly or easily, but we believe it is time to transition inside for the duration of the winter months. We will reevaluate as the weather changes, as does the situation with COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to choose one of the options available to join us on-campus and gather as the Family of God (1 John 3:1), the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12) and the Temple of the Spirit (Eph. 2:22).

  

Much love in Christ,

RCC Elders