We are less than one week away from gathering to worship at the Morris Museum again! In keeping with guidance from the State, we feel we are able to take the proper precautions to gather safely. These precautions include:
- Required face masks or cloth face coverings while indoors (we have extras if you need one!)
- Social distance guidelines in our seating to keep 6 ft of separation between different households
- The Museum is cleaning and disinfecting commonly used areas
- A maximum capacity of 78 people
- A temporary suspension of our children’s ministry, serving coffee, and live music (worship will look different, but it’s still worship!)
Because we have a maximum capacity of 78, we are asking that everyone who plans to attend would take one minute to register here: https://revivechurch421797.typeform.com/to/nhVcvMWT
And if you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I hope everyone is doing well! I just wanted to reach out in response to the Governor’s order limiting indoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people. The order does include an exception for religious services, although I’m not sure how that affects us since we are renting space from the Morris Museum.
In any case, we have tried to be very cautious in planning to gather again, having a number of people who are in high-risk categories or live with people who are. In that spirit, we are going to delay our plan for reopening, setting our next hopeful target date of Sunday, September 6th. Because this new order has come out, it appears that meeting together would not be as safe as we had hoped.
There are other logistical difficulties too. Even if we were to re-open this Sunday, there would be no expectation for anyone to be there, as not everyone feels safe to gather yet. This is fine, and no one should feel guilty about that. But that also means we have less people to fill key volunteer roles that are necessary for the worship service.
I also want to reiterate what we have said before, that as great a gift it is to gather together for worship, we are the church, not a building. Jesus says this in John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”
We are still able to worship in spirit and truth, and we are still the church.
We will be planning a couple more outdoor gatherings in the park so we can connect in-person in the meantime.
I’m sorry if you were really looking forward to gathering together like I was, and I still hope we might soon. Please continue to pray for the church, and for improved treatment and prevention for the virus, as well as those who have been affected by it.
So, as we announced, we are pushing back our return to the Morris Museum until Sunday, August 8th, and we will continue holding virtual services just as we’ve been doing until then. Once we do meet together in person, we will live stream from the Museum so there will still be a virtual option for those who will still stay home for now.
However, because it has been far too long, and because seeing one another outside is much safer, we’re planning to see one another at Lewis Morris park this Sunday, July 12th at 12:00 PM.
The park itself is huge, if you’ve never been there. It has sports fields, picnic areas, and hiking. If you search for the park in your GPS it should take you to an entrance off of Mendham Rd, and the road you turn onto is Doe Meadow Rd. Follow that until you see a sign for the Doe Meadow Area with a parking lot on the left.
There may be other people around, since it’s a common use area, but there is plenty of space for us to spread out. Masks are not required, since we’ll be outside, but keeping a distance of at least 6 feet is, and if you may choose to wear a mask if that makes you feel safer.
Dorrel will lead us in a few songs, and then we’ll spend some time in prayer. That will probably take 30-45 minutes, but you can talk and catch up with people after for as long as you’d like! You could even take advantage of some of their hiking trails.
There’s no need to RSVP or register; if you’re free on Sunday and want to see some people you may not have seen since March, we look forward to seeing you!
If you can’t make it to this one, we’ll do it again on July 26th, and if things go well we will be back in the Museum on the 8th.
Have a great day!
So yesterday during service we announced that we may be moving forward with a plan to reopen for in-person worship as soon as Sunday, July 12th.
According to the latest guidelines from the state of New Jersey, our room capacity in the Museum is 78 people, and keeping 6ft of distance between households and wearing face coverings are mandatory.
In addition, we will have the following measures in place:
- No children’s ministry for now
- No serving coffee
- No congregational singing
- Temperature checks at the door
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Ushers to show you to your seat
- Extra masks (in case you forget yours!)
Also, because we know some will still not feel comfortable to attend in-person (no judgment!) or may be in a high-risk category, we will also live-stream the service to our Facebook and YouTube accounts so you can continue to worship with us just as you have been since March.
This plan is not definite! We will keep an eye on the number of new, daily cases, in case there is a significant spike, and we will follow all of the state guidelines.
We also want to get your feedback as we consider this plan. Embedded below is a short survey. Please take two minutes to fill it out; it would be a big help!
I hope we’re able to gather together again soon, but only if it is safe for us to do so! Please pray for us as we make this decision, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!
Waiting for a Typeform
Here’s a few updates for us all as we’re moving into a very special weekend:
First – we have Good Friday and Easter! Unfortunately we won’t be meeting in person, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be worshipping our God together for who Jesus is and what He has done through His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
These days are very special, not only because of what we remember on them, but because it’s one of those times during the year when people who are not Christians, or who do not normally go to church, are willing to go and hear the good news.
Since we aren’t meeting in person, we’re asking that you would pray about who you can invite to listen in with us. Just like the last two Sundays, the worship service will be streamed through Youtube Live and Facebook Live, as well as directly on our website. Feel free to share the links through your social media, but also think about who you could personally invite to listen.
Second – it’s been a few weeks now since our communities season officially ended, just for a small break. Those groups will be up and running again starting the week of April 26th.
If you haven’t tried joining a group yet, now is a great time to check them out. You can request more information or ask to join and the leader of that group will get back to you directly. See our groups here: https://revivenj.churchcenter.com/groups
While the lockdown continues, Revive is purchasing a business account through Zoom for group leaders so they will be able to host their meeting digitally for as long as they would normally meet.
Third – we’ve added a new page to our website, which is listed in the menu at the top of the page, that says, “Need Help?”
This is how we will be managing prayer requests, requests for counseling, requests for financial assistance, and anything else we might be able to do. If there’s anything we might be able to help you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
You can find the page directly by clicking here: https://revivenj.org/need-help/
I’m continuing to pray for you all, and can’t wait until we can meet together again.
here are your Friday updates, we’ll be doing this every Friday while we remain on lockdown, and I’ll also do a Facebook live video going over this stuff at 6:30, so if you have any questions, definitely plan to watch then and I can answer during the video.
Today also started Friday devotionals, those will be posted early Friday mornings on our website and through Facebook, I hope they can help encourage you.
This coming week we are also starting Wednesday night prayer meetings. This coming Wednesday Dorrel will lead us in a short time of prayer, things we can focus on to pray for as a church, and that will also be through Facebook.
This Sunday will be similar to last, but we’ll have some worship as well. So Dorrel will start us off with worship at 10:00, and then we’ll start another video for the sermon directly after.
We’ve also invested in a system that will allow us to stream live simultaneously to both Facebook and Youtube, which I hope will be ready for the following Sunday (this will allow us to play a live video directly on our website, and for anyone who has a smart TV, you can watch live through the Youtube app there). Some of the equipment is back-ordered, and I’ll need some help figuring out how to set it up.
So make sure you like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel
As far as things we’re doing to be a help to people in the middle of this shutdown, we want to be good neighbors by doing everything we can to avoid becoming sick and spreading it to others, but we also recognize the stress and pain of being cut off from others, so here are a few things we’re working on:
- A resource with ideas for at-home activities, besides watching the new or scrolling through social media
- A Revive Netflix Party, a new feature they have rolled out that will allow us to watch the same thing at the same time, with a group chat. We’ll try our first Netflix Party this coming Tuesday night at 6:30, and we’ll conduct a poll to vote on what to watch – find out how Netflix Party works here: https://www.netflixparty.com
- We are also rolling out a “Love Your Neighbor” Initiative. At the following link you’ll find a PDF you can print, fill out, and drop off at your neighbors’ homes with different ways you are offering to help them. It’s a great way to both demonstrate and point to the love of Jesus, and the hope we have in Him. Pray about ten neighbors you can give the flyer to. Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vgSukJhecsfFHrNHyAhFdY9_oYejAifj/view?usp=sharing
Finally, just a note about a few events that were upcoming, but may have to be postponed:
Good Friday and Easter – we may have to celebrate the important events we remember on these days online, although by then we should be able to stream to Youtube and Facebook, which means it can be on our website. Think about friends, family, and neighbors you could invite to watch, either through sharing the link or having a few people (no more than ten!) in your home.
Membership Class – membership with a local church is important, because it is a meaningful commitment that is biblical, unifying, and helps facilitate spiritual growth. This class has been postponed.
Family Dedication – this is an amazing opportunity for Christian parents to stand before the church, dedicate their children to the will of God, and ask the church for help in pointing them to Jesus. This has been postponed.
Baptism – this is a public declaration of faith and identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, which is commanded for all believers, and is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the work of God in peoples’ lives. This has been postponed.
Hope you’re all doing well, healthy and not too anxious about the Coronavirus. I just wanted to give you all a few updates.
As I’m sure you’ve seen, the Governor has banned meetings of 50 or more people, and so we are not allowed to meet again in person until the ban has been lifted. We may also look to when the schools reopen as a measure for when it is safe and wise to meet again.
This means that for now, we will continue live streaming worship on Sundays. This week will be on Facebook Life again, although I’m hopeful the following week to be able to stream on our website as well. I, and a few others in the church, are looking into options for cameras, microphones, and a system for streaming.
It is also possible we may not be able to gather together for Good Friday and Easter (I’m praying we can!). If this is the case, Dorrel and I will work on how we can celebrate those important days together, while still being apart.
While social distancing is still in effect, on Fridays I will be sharing a short devotional thought from the Psalms that relates to the current issues we are facing with the Coronavirus (isolation, anxiety, etc.), updating you all on what we are doing in the church, giving us a focus to pray for together, and an idea about how you can safely, and practically, love and serve your neighbors.
Finally, we are a very young church (5 months old!) and we have a small staff, and not many resources to offer. However, our mother church, Emergence (I call them mom), is publishing some great, daily resources for as long as the ban remains in effect, and thankfully these resources are available for everyone. You can find them daily on their Facebook and Youtube channels, whichever is easiest for you.
I’m praying for you all. We serve a God who is sovereign; He is ruling when things are peaceful and when the world is chaotic. We can trust Him.
For now, I’ll leave you with a quote the Italian Prime Minister used in a recent speech: “Let’s remain distant today so we can hug with more warmth and run faster tomorrow.”
Original Update: 3/13/20
just wanted to reach out with an update on what we’re doing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The two main responses I’ve seen are people who think the whole world is overreacting, and people in full-blown panic mode. I’m not a doctor (clearly) so I’ve been paying attention to recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and the State.
In light of recent developments and recommendations, we are canceling this week’s service (Sunday, March 15th).
Truthfully, I hate to cancel service. It’s what I look forward to all week. Being able to gather with other believers, and having people who are new to the church invited out to hear the good news about Jesus, it’s an amazing gift. But there are people in the church who are in high-risk categories. And even for those who aren’t, we all know and love people who are.
Instead I’ll figure out how to do Facebook Live (pray for me) and preach alone at my home, which will be great and not awkward at all. Although we don’t have the technology to stream on our website (it exists, we’re just poor), thankfully there’s a free version so we can still worship together under the Word of God.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, maybe you could go to a friend’s house to watch and worship together.
Because God is a much better planner than I am, this week’s sermon is all about division, how sin separates us from one another and God, and yet how in Jesus we can still be brought near. If you have family or friends you think might need to hear something like this, invite them to listen with you.
I hope this will be the only week we have to cancel meeting in person, time will tell. But we’ll send out news about any updates on our website and through social media.
Remember, although this disease is a very real reason for concern, in Christ we also have a much more real reason for hope.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 ESV
Let’s pray to the One who has overcome the world to bring healing and peace.