March 13, 2020
Dear Grace Chapel Family,
As you know, concerns about COVID-19 are sweeping the globe. Sporting events and conferences are being cancelled. Financial markets are in turmoil. Borders are shutting down, and fear is settling into many parts of society.
As I mentioned last Sunday, there is no doubt coronavirus and our financial crisis is an emerging threat which we must address seriously. Our desire must be to hold a biblical framework when thinking about the virus, the market, and our response to it. We must keep Philippians 4:6–7 in mind, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and Thanksgiving, submit our requests to God.” We trust in the sovereignty of God solely and are not fearful, while take measured and informed steps to be as safe and free from fear as possible.
Today, Governor Polis asked that there not be any gatherings of 250 people or more for 30 days. This is a big ask, but an understandable one. As our governmental leaders are making informed decisions on how to keep the public safe, we are choosing to submit to their requests. Therefore, beginning this Sunday, March 15, we will not meet as a church together on our campus for at least the next two weeks and this could be for as many as four subsequent Sundays. [UPDATE: we will not be meeting until after May 3rd due to state mandates]. However, we will hold our services entirely online at both 9:00 and 10:45 a.m. You can join us for either of these services at www.GraceChapel.org or by streaming our YouTube Channel (search “Grace Chapel Englewood Colorado”) on your television. We will reevaluate this decision weekly with communication and information from the Governor’s office.
We are not choosing to cancel our public gathering out of fear or panic; rather, it is out of respect to our leaders and as an act of care for our community. We are striving to love our neighbors better than ourselves and seek peace in our city. In fact, I would say, we are not canceling our church services, we are just choosing to do our services differently. We will still have live preaching and worship broadcast from our home to yours, and hundreds of us will still worship Christ as supreme from wherever we are. Each service will be unique, no replays. God is not bound by space and His Church doesn’t have to be either. On Sunday, Grace Chapel will gather in our individual homes, yet still worshipping God collectively.
Our mission is to lead people to find and follow Jesus…even in the face of crisis. We will continue to do that in every way possible. In the coming weeks, we will:
- Stream worship services online at our regular services times on Sunday.
- Post daily content on our website and social media to help you grow spiritually and prompt Gospel-centered community.
- Be available to pray with people or counsel at our offices during our normal hours.
- Have a 24-hour pastor on call for people to speak with if needed: 303-799-4900.
- Have people available to pray at the church on Sunday mornings with individuals or small groups of people who are healthy and unaffected.
- Meet the needs of the sick or the elderly in our community through delivering meals and other practical care.
Also, for 10 days we will not be holding any other gatherings, including home groups. [UPDATE: we will not hold gatherings until after the state stay at home order is released]. We are asking all bible studies, adult communities, kid, youth and young adult groups, and Grace Chapel small groups not to meet until after March 23. On that day, we will reevaluate this decision and communicate appropriately. [UPDATE: Current target date to re-evaluate is May 3rd]
While I am sad about the circumstances we are facing, I believe God is sovereign over all things. This is also a tremendous opportunity to live out our mission of leading people to find and follow Jesus by sharing the love of Christ with those around us. I encourage you to be intentional about serving the surrounding community. Call and check on your neighbors who may be more at risk or stuck at home. Offer to get groceries or other essentials for those who are fearful of going out. Ask how others are doing and offer to pray with or for them. What an amazing time to display the hope of the Gospel with those who need to know there is a God who loves them and is not surprised by what is transpiring around us!
Please reach out with any concerns or questions. Our office is going to remain opening during normal business hours, Monday through Thursday. We also have a pastor on call 24 hours a day to speak with you and pray with you if needed. Call 303-799-4900 for anything you need. [UPDATE: Offices are open, but the staff is working virtually].
Please join me in praying the Lord does something truly remarkable through this season of uncertainty. This could be one of the greatest Gospel opportunities we have ever seen!
I look forward to worshipping Christ with you, at this important time, through our website on Sunday at 9 or 10:45 a.m.
You are GREATLY loved,
Pastor Josh Weidmann
“Is Grace Chapel still holding Sunday Services?”
We hold fast to what the Bible says, “Let us not give up meeting together…” (Hebrews 10:25), so we are not giving up on finding ways to meet together.
We are using the modern conveniences of technology to meet together to
(1) express Christ as supreme through prayer and worship, (2) grow in our biblical understanding together as we study God’s Word, and (3) share in fellowship with one another.
All of these objectives can be met through our Live Online Church Platform where people can interact, prayer with each other and/or pastors and interact with a live service.
Will both services be live or is there a replay of one service?
At this time, there will be one pre-recorded service to be simulated live streamed live at both 9am and 10:45am. Staff will be interacting live in the livestream chat during the stream.
Can I watch the service later?
Yes, the service will be kept on our YouTube Channel and posted on Facebook after the service.
Where will the service be broadcast from?
We will be recording the service in a designated room on campus at Grace Chapel.
Can I share the live feed with my friends and family?
Yes, please share the service times with others so that they may “Come to church” with us, virtually. This is a great time to be inviting others to join you for church from the comfort of their own home.
Invite your friends and family to this link:
How soon do you anticipate we will be having Sunday service again?
The Governor has ask that people not meet in groups more than 10 and keep a 6 foot of distance. As a church we are doing our best to honor this recommendation. Therefore we expect to not hold Sunday services through May 3.
If I want to pray with someone or meet with other believers, what should I do?
First, please “Consider others better than yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3) and ensure you are healthy to meet in person. If not, please ask for meetings and prayer through FaceTime or the phone. If both parties are comfortable and healthy, meeting with other believers in small settings is up to your discretion and dependent upon the state requests for your particular county. We encourage you to utilize our prayer board which can be found here: https://www.gracechapel.org/resources/prayer/
Is my Sunday Adult Community still meeting?
Not at this time. All Sunday Adult Communities are asked to not meet in person. If classes can find ways to virtually “meet” thru online outlets, we encourage that form of community.
Are you still offering mid-week ministries?
Not at this time. We will let you know when these programs can resume. If groups can find ways to virtually “meet” thru online outlets, we encourage that form of community.
How can we help the people in our congregation?
If you have needs, or if you are able to help with grocery delivery or errands for the elderly, we have set up a form to connect those who have needs in this time to those who can help fill a need. Please visit: https://www.gracechapel.org/gccares/
Can I give online?
Yes! You will find a “GIVE” link on the upper right side of the Grace Chapel home page, or click here: https://www.gracechapel.org/give/
We ask that you move your giving to be online, if you have not done so already. We would like to keep our church mission health by still having the church people being generous and obedient to give to God’s mission.
Will the offices be open?
The church offices are open Monday thru Thursday from 8pm-5pm, but not on campus. In order to comply with the state “stay at home” order, staff will be working remotely and phones will be forwarded to the appropriate staff home office. As always, our 24-hour pastor on call can be reached by calling the church office, 303-799-4900.
Has someone at Grace Chapel been tested possible for COVID-19?
Not that we are aware of at this time. We are not moving services to online because of a possible exposure, rather to respect our Governor’s request to not meet and slow the spread of the virus.
Will Biblical counseling continue?
Yes as long as both the counselor and the counselee are healthy and feel comfortable with meeting. If a counselee or counselor do not feel comfortable with meeting, they need to cancel the session with adequate advanced notice. We also offer counseling through video. New cases are asked to fill out this form in advance and upon completion, will be placed with a counselor within a week.
What can I be doing at this time?
We encourage you to wash your hands and stay healthy! However this is also a tremendous time to be intentional about serving the community around you, especially those who are more at-risk. Check on your neighbor who may be stuck at home. Offer to go to the store. Pray for them. Sign up to offer help at https://www.gracechapel.org/gccares/
What precautionary measures are in place when we return?
When the state gives the green light on large gatherings, we will continue implementing the following additional measures to help keep our campus clean and safe until the crisis has subsided and it is deemed safe to return to business as usual:
- FACILITIES: We have asked our facilities team to take extra measures in cleaning public areas after each ministry use. We also have installed additional touchless hand sanitizer stations in our worship center.
- KIDS: Our GCKids leadership team and volunteers will ensure all kids ministry areas and toys are thoroughly wiped down after each use.
- GREETINGS/PHYSICAL TOUCH: We understand people may be sensitive about personal touch/contact at this time. We encourage you to avoid handshakes and hugs for the time being. Smiles, elbow-bumps, etc. are always welcome!
- FOOD: We will be serving coffee in the HUB before and between services. No other food service will be offered for the time being.
- OFFERING: In lieu of passing buckets, our ushers will hold buckets at the doors at the end of services. We also encourage you to look at online giving through our website.
Will this delay the renovation of the worship center?
The renovation was already being delayed for other reasons. The pews will be removed in April and the chairs will be in place in early May. This was a plan and paid for prior to the current circumstances.