What strange days we are living in! Unprecedented. Difficult. But God is still good. We are still God’s people. And we will come out of these days with greater love for Him and one another!
We are continuing to monitor the pandemic and its effects. Our desire is to protect the health of our church members, of course, but also to afford that same protection for our community. The impact of the coronavirus is not as great in San Antonio as in many other places because of how responsive folks have been here. That’s great. While we are not yet out of the woods, we are beginning to find our way. We are hopeful about the possibility of coming back together.
We are continuing to listen to the medical experts—nationally, locally, and within our congregation—as well as city, state, and federal officials about the best ways for us to respond as a church. In the next day or so, Jim Martin will be sharing a video with the congregation. As both a medical doctor and an elder, Jim is in the best position to provide the information we all need to know at this time.
Here is where we are:
We all want to return to face-to-face services as soon as we reasonably can, but we don’t see any evidence that we will be able to do so during the month of May.
Before we can meet together, the number of COVID-19 cases in San Antonio would first have to show a clear decline, which will need to be demonstrated over a two-week time period. All indications are that the cases in San Antonio will not peak until the middle of May. Our health advisors will continue looking at local and national information every day, and they will give us a green light as soon as is reasonably possible.
Meanwhile, we have begun to plan for our return to face-to-face gatherings, including worship services. When that time comes, we will start with worship in smaller groups. That will allow for each member’s safety. We are thinking through the best ways we can take communion safely while still encouraging one another in fellowship and prayer. We will be communicating with you in the coming days about what those services will look like and will be seeking input from you. We will also continue having online worship services for a period of time even as we reenter face-to-face worship. (update: see Jim Martin’s update video below)
Many of the Life Groups are meeting regularly right now by Zoom. We want those virtual gatherings to continue. We encourage every opportunity for this sort of engagement with one another. Some members have discussed having limited face-to-face meetings. While gathering in groups is not against the law, we still believe it is unwise at the current time. You will need to make the best decision for you and your family about that.
We will continue to monitor this situation. We pray for wisdom as we navigate these difficult days. Thank you, Northside, for your faithfulness during these days. We are the body of Christ—not because we meet at a church building but because we share a common faith and a commitment to care for one another. Christ died for us, and so we die to ourselves and for the sake of others.
Stay strong, Northside. Pray hard. Keep the faith.
The Response Team
- Jack Reese
- Jim Martin
- David Allen
- Sandy Applewhite
- Amber Galway