November 20, 2020
Dear CPC family,
We hope to see you this Sunday on our patio for another great day worshiping together in-person at 9:30am and 11:00am or online. We’re wrapping up our Treasure Principle series as we focus on God’s generosity toward us which brings out His generosity in us. You can bring your Thanksgiving meal groceries bags/boxes this Sunday or drop them off at church on Monday to help with hungry families through Martha Henry’s food pantry.
With some area churches deciding to meet indoors, the Session (elders and pastors) chose to address this issue at their monthly meeting this week. After much thoughtful discussion, Session affirmed both the Church Reopening Team's 5 guiding principles (see below) and their recommendation to continue outdoor worship on the patio. The primary factors leading to this decision are:
A) We believe that worship outdoors is safer than indoors at CPC, even with colder weather coming.
B) We do not wish to defy county orders, wanting to be a good witness to our immediate neighbors and community of Carmel. Monterey County is currently in the purple tier (widespread risk) in the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which requires that churches can open outdoors only.
C) We desire to protect CPC employees and volunteers from a potentially unsafe work environment.
D) We are not being restricted in our ability to meet to worship and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. As a Christian church, we are not being discriminated against by the government guidelines. We are simply being asked to meet outdoors in the interest of public health and safety.
The 5 guiding principles that we have been following, and which were reaffirmed by Session, are:
1) The health and safety of our church family and guests is the utmost importance, especially our beloved second half of life members, and those who are more vulnerable.
2) Decisions will be made with great faith in King Jesus who is in control of our church and our lives. Psalm 112:7 says, “[The righteous person] is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”
3) We will follow federal, state and local guidelines as requested by governmental authorities and medical professionals (Romans 13:1-4).
4) Being a good neighbor involves helping those suffering during this quarantine as well as following health guidelines to protect the broader community.
5) We will strive to speak highly of other churches and Christians even when we differ on decisions related to COVID-19.
Every member of Session longs for the day when we can all worship together again in the Sanctuary but we did not think it was the best decision to meet indoors at this time.
Knowing that we will not be meeting indoors until we move into the next tier led us to follow through on plans to winterize the patio by adding a large waterproof tarp and heaters to keep worshippers dry and warm.
In the spirit of upholding the peace and unity of the church, it is our prayer that we all support this decision, even if we do not agree on every point.
Thank you for taking time to read this lengthy letter. Know that we are praying for you and choosing gratitude with you as we remember all that Christ has done for us.
Pastor Tim and the Church Reopening Team
Staff: Tim Yee, Luke Barnes, Bob Spencer, Abby Warburg
Laity: Lily Ogden, Matt Bell, Susan Kuhlman