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Re-opening the Church

05.07.20 | Updates | by Rob Holster

Re-opening the Church

    Church Family,

    So we are going to open the church for an in-person gathering this Sunday, May 10th. As I said last week, it doesn’t mean we will have a typical service—at least in terms of what we remember pre-pandemic. I think it will be good, however, to start back slowly as there are many who have indicated they would rather wait a little longer to return to church. That’s ok because we will continue to live stream for the foreseeable future. Don’t feel pressured to come—you will still be worshipping in unity with the body if you decide to stay home and live stream. 

    Let me say that this decision has been incredibly difficult, with people on both sides of the argument who love Jesus and have compelling reasons to open or wait. We are all watching the daily updates, we’ve heard the news from Mason County, and we’ve been keeping up with the count here in Gillespie County. The Elders, Deacons, and I have also heard from you and we have considered many options. But it seems fitting to us that we open this Sunday—with restrictions to keep people as safe as possible. 

    We love you and because we love all of our people we ask that anyone who feels even the slightest bit sick—or their spouses—to stay home. We also strongly encourage those who are in the at-risk group (as designated by the State of Texas and Gov. Abbott) to continue watching the live stream service and not attend in-person. This would include those who are 65 or older; those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system.

    If you do decide to attend, here’s what to expect:

    Social Distancing—Every other row of the sanctuary has been closed and we ask that each family unit would sit six feet from the next. The Service will be live-streamed into the newly opened Hierholzer Hall. Seating will be available there—again—six feet apart. Deacons will serve as ushers to help you get into your seats, as well as when you exit—you will be dismissed in small groups or rows. I know you will want to greet people and hug and shake hands, etc, but please love your neighbor by staying six feet apart.

    Masks—Masks are not required, but they are highly encouraged. We ask that you would be loving and understanding of those who wear masks and those who don’t. Each person views this differently, yet each probably has a good reason behind their decision.

    Hand Sanitizer—Will be available upon entering the Sanctuary and Hierholzer Hall. We encourage you to make use of it—or bring your own. 

    Communion—There will be no communion offered this Sunday, and we have a tentative plan to begin very soon.

    Bulletins—Will be available on a table as you enter the church.

    Children, Youth, and Sunday School—There will be no children’s classes, youth group meeting, or Sunday School classes—at least for a while. We’ll have more info on when they will begin at a later date.

    We will make every effort to create a safe environment, including the facility-wide use of a disinfectant that stays active on all surfaces for 30 days. Doors will be propped open and frequently touched surfaces will be wiped down periodically. We have taken the Governor’s recommended steps to provide a safe environment and we are going to trust in God—above all—and lean on His Wisdom.

    Again, if you feel uneasy about attending Sunday, that’s ok. No judging here. We would like for you to worship the Lord with us. Live streaming will be available should you choose to be at home or we look forward to seeing you here this Sunday and more to come!


    Pastor Rob, on behalf of the Elders and Deacons of Hill Country Church

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