“Restaurant Rules” for Our Sunday Services

ENews Headers_COVID (5)Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is good to remind ourselves of this identity in Jesus:  we are brothers and sisters in the family of God!  As a family we need to make an adjustment to our family gatherings – our Sunday services in particular.

Let’s be honest:  as a family it is really hard to socially distance ourselves consistently and effectively.  To “distance” yourself from other family members feels antithetical to what we’re called to be and do as believers in Jesus.  So, to protect all of our members, we are going to implement “restaurant rules” for our Sunday services.

“Restaurant Rules”

My family likes to eat at Chipotle.  (Yes, I know for San Diegans Chipotle is a poor knock-off compared to genuine Mexican food, but bear with me.)  When you enter a Chipotle, or any restaurant for that matter, you have to wear a face covering from the time you enter, while you stand in line to order, and as you go to your table.  Once seated at your table, you are free to remove your face covering and enjoy your burrito.  Then, when you get up from your table and as you walk through the restaurant toward the exit, you must wear your face covering again.

As the family of God, we eat out together every Sunday as we feast on God and his word!  Before and after our services we are going to employ those same “restaurant rules.”  That means, as you enter the amphitheater area for our service, as you interact with people beforehand, and as you interact with people afterwards, you need to wear a face covering.  We realize that wearing a mask or face covering is not comfortable for many of us, so let me explain why we are making this adjustment.

Why “Restaurant Rules” Are Needed

Quite simply, this is a health issue; we are protecting the health of our fellow family members this way.  And so, this is a love issue.

We realize that we do not all view the current circumstances in precisely the same way.  However, if we are not as proactive as possible to protect each other’s health, we will unintentionally exclude some of our family members from being with and benefiting from their brothers and sisters in Christ.  At a minimum, we greatly restrict everyone’s ability to enjoy fellowship together before and after the service if we are not as proactive as possible in these ways.  These adjustments are needed to make sure all of our brothers and sisters can fully participate in and benefit from our family gatherings.

Friends, God’s word requires us to do no less.  Volumes could be written expositing the pertinent passages for how Christians should relate to each other in a pandemic, but here are a few biblical principles and passages to consider:

  • Love your neighbor as yourself, as an expression of love for God (Matt 22.37-39; Gal 5.14; James 2.8)
  • Show brotherly love and affection, and outdo one another in honor (Rom 12.9-10)
  • Sacrifice your “rights” if doing so serves your brother or sister in Christ (1 Cor 8.9, 13)
  • Do good to all, especially to those of the household (family) of faith (Gal 6:10)

But perhaps most directly, consider Philippians chapter 2.  In that passage God commands us to do what we would never want to do ourselves:  humbly count others more significant than ourselves as we put their interests above our own.  (“…in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”)  I trust you can see how directly applicable that passage is to this health-related issue.  Then realize the grounding for that command:  the astounding humility of Jesus Christ in his incarnation, life, and sacrificial death for us (Phil 2.5-8).

You may not agree that wearing a face covering is helpful or necessary, but I know you will agree that God is glorified as you count your brother and sister in Christ as more significant than your personal preferences.  If we will wear a face covering to stand in line for a burrito, how much more should we do so if it blesses and serves someone for whom Christ died.  He endured far more than temporary discomfort to make us his beloved children; let us gladly embrace any temporary discomfort that will bless and serve our brothers and sisters!

Summary of Plans & Adjustments

In summary, here’s the plan for Sunday mornings, as an expression of love for one another:

  • Wear a mask when you’re out of your seat in the amphitheater area
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from members of other households
  • Exchange enthusiastic waves instead of hugs or handshakes
  • Stay home if you feel ill, especially if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath

In addition, we will more clearly demarcate our “mask-required” area of the amphitheater.  We will also seek to have someone there, most likely one of our elders, who will lovingly remind members seated in that section to keep their face coverings on for the entirety of the service.  Please consider the rest of the amphitheater area as a “mask-recommended” area, though wearing a face covering is not required while you’re in your seat in those other portions of the amphitheater area.

If you have any questions or concerns about these adjustments, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the elders.  Joshua, Steve, Marshall and I are glad to talk with you at any time.

We look forward to feasting on God with you as a family this Sunday!

Tab

PS.  Our livestream on our Facebook page will continue each Sunday for the entirety of our service, beginning at 9 a.m.  If you have health-related issues or concerns that preclude you from any gatherings right now, please continue to “tune in” online HERE.

Sunday Service Prep: 07.05.20

Grace Church Family,

Can you believe it’s already July? With the new month, we’re bound to see warmer weather, so as we head into the summer be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, lots of water, and maybe even an umbrella to our Sunday services. We look forward to seeing you all this Sunday, July 5th at 9:00am.

WHEN & WHERE
We will be gathering at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa, which is located at: 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. Remember that we will only have ONE service at 9:00am for the remainder of the service.

For a full list of what to bring, the guidelines we’ve been asked to follow (masks, distancing, etc.), and other important information, please visit out designated Sunday Services page HERE.

MASK REQUIRED AREA

Beginning this Sunday, the far-right side of the amphitheater (CLICK FOR IMAGE) is going to be designated a “mask required” area. We’re implementing this in an effort to make sure that all of our members feel comfortable gathering with us for worship. We’ll have signage indicating that it is a mask required area, so please make sure that you’re wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate social distancing before entering.

07.05 SONG LYRICS – PRINT OR ACCESS ON YOUR PHONE HERE.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON
If you are unable to attend this Sunday, you can live stream our service at 9:00 am on FaceBook Live by clicking HERE. Please note that you do not need an account to watch the live stream.

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE LITURGY – 07.05.20
Call to Worship
     Is He Worthy?
     Rejoice
Apostle’s Creed – Click HERE to read/print
     Glorious Day
Pastoral Prayer
Sermon Text: John 5:1-29
Sermon – “A Glimpse Behind the Scenes”
Lord’s Supper
     Made Alive
Announcements
Closing / Benediction

GIVING
There are two ways that you can worship God through your giving at this time.

1. Clover Give: www.gracechurcheast.org/givingWe’ve added step-by-step instructions for how to give online HERE.

2. Mail a check (or have your bank do so) to our mailing address: P.O. Box 247, La Mesa, 91944.

Most importantly, let’s continue to be faithful in prayer as we ask our heavenly Father to “give us our daily bread” (Matt. 6.11), knowing that he knows our needs and is faithful to provide (Matt. 6.25-34).

Thank you for your faithfulness in this area as we glorify God through our finances.

Mid-Week Update: 07.01.20

Hello Grace Church Family,

In this mid-week update, we’re going to focus on a few things we’ve previously talked about: Wednesday Prayer Meetings, 3rd of July Picnic, Sunday Sermon Follow Up, Administrative Assistant Position, and Mask Required Designated Area.

May these reminders and announcements be a helpful as you plan and go about your week.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER MEETINGS
Prayer Walk: Beginning TONIGHT, July 1st, and continuing through the summer, our prayer meeting will go offline and we will be doing a prayer walk in La Mesa the 1st Wednesday of each month. Plan on joining us from 7-8pm to pray for our city. We’ll start at the La Mesa Community Center and disperse into the city from there. A FACE COVERING IS REQUIRED FOR THOSE WHO WILL BE WITHIN 6 FEET OF OTHERS NOT IN THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY. 

Wednesday Prayer Zoom: All other Wednesdays, the prayer team will gather via Zoom from 7-8pm for a time of prayer.

Zoom Link: CLICK HERE
Meeting ID: 883 8193 1781
Password: 775403

3RD OF JULY PICNIC
We regret to inform that our annual July 3rd Mission Bay Picnic has been CANCELLED. We are cancelling this event to be prudent and to better reflect the current county health order.  We are sorry, and hope to gather for a picnic next year!

SUNDAY SERMON FOLLOW UP
We thought it would be encouraging to offer this sermon follow up from John 4 and Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman: If you see yourself in her, there’s hope – great hope!  As the church father, Augustine, said, “There is no saint without a past. No sinner without a future.”

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT POSITION
After serving us very faithfully for over two years, Tiff Arthur has decided to take a step back from this role to further pursue her education. This means that we are now looking for a new administrative assistant, if you have interest please review the job description (attached) and return your completed application (also attached) by Friday, July 3rd. To apply or ask questions contact me at joshua.david.morgan@gmail.com

MASK REQUIRED DESIGNATED AREA
We hope this designated “mask required” area was a blessing to those who utilized it this past Sunday. We will continue to designate the far-right side of the amphitheater (see attached image) as a “mask required” area. We’re implementing this in an effort to make sure that all of our members feel comfortable gathering with us for worship. We’ll have signage indicating that it is a mask required area, so please make sure that you’re wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate social distancing before entering.

Sunday Service Follow Up – 06.28.2020

This past Sunday we had continued our summer series in the Gospel of John: Signs of Wonder & Hope as Tab preached from John 4.1-26. In this passage we listened in to an encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well about living water and true worship.

Below you will find questions to help you respond to God’s word with your hearts and your lives, so that you might become more like Christ.

Discussion and Response Questions

Read John 4.1-26 and consider the questions below.

– How would you summarize the main point of this passage in your own words? Do you have any questions about this text?

– Where or what do you look to, to satisfy your soul? Where does Jesus want us to look? What does it practically look like to look to Jesus to satisfy our souls (cf. Ps. 16.11, Isa. 55.1-3)?

– What effect does this passage have on your view of God, yourself, others, or your circumstances?

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE: 06.28.20

Grace Church Family,

It was really great to gather in person last Sunday at one service, and we look forward to doing it again this Sunday, June 28th at 9:00am.

WHEN & WHERE
We will be gathering at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa, which is located at: 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. Remember that we will only have ONE service at 9:00am for the remainder of the service.

For a full list of what to bring, the guidelines we’ve been asked to follow (masks, distancing, etc.), and other important information, please visit out designated Sunday Services page HERE.

MASK REQUIRED AREA

Beginning this Sunday, the far-right side of the amphitheater (CLICK FOR IMAGE) is going to be designated a “mask required” area. We’re implementing this in an effort to make sure that all of our members feel comfortable gathering with us for worship. We’ll have signage indicating that it is a mask required area, so please make sure that you’re wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate social distancing before entering.

06.28 SONG LYRICS – PRINT OR ACCESS ON YOUR PHONE HERE.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON
If you are unable to attend this Sunday, you can live stream our service at 9:00 am on FaceBook Live by clicking HERE. Please note that you do not need an account to watch the live stream.

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE LITURGY – 06.28.2020
Call to Worship
     All Hail the Glorious Christ
     Lead Me to the Cross
     His Mercy is More
Pastoral Prayer
Sermon Text: John 4:1-26
Sermon – “A Woman, Water, & Worship”
Lord’s Supper
     O Come to the Alter
Announcements
Closing / Benediction

GIVING
There are two ways that you can worship God through your giving at this time.

1. Clover Give: www.gracechurcheast.org/givingWe’ve added step-by-step instructions for how to give online HERE.

2. Mail a check (or have your bank do so) to our mailing address: P.O. Box 247, La Mesa, 91944.

Most importantly, let’s continue to be faithful in prayer as we ask our heavenly Father to “give us our daily bread” (Matt. 6.11), knowing that he knows our needs and is faithful to provide (Matt. 6.25-34).

Thank you for your faithfulness in this area as we glorify God through our finances.

Mid-Week Update: 06.25.20

Hello Grace Church Family,

I hope you all are experiencing God’s grace this week and growing in gratefulness for the gift of the new birth that we heard about this past Sunday. Here’s what we have in store for you in this week’s update: meditation on God’s heart toward you, updates and announcements, and a podcast recommendation.

GOD’S WILLING HEART

[2] And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” [3] And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. [4] And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” (Matthew 8:2-4).

Whenever I read this account in the Gospels, I’m always struck by the leper’s question, “Lord, if you will…” – what about you?

I mean, do you notice what this man actually asks Jesus? He doesn’t ask, “Lord, if [you’re able], you can make me clean.” In some regard we could understand if that was his question. Perhaps he had heard the stories about what Jesus had been doing around town, but healing leprosy just seemed too good to be true, so he comes and asks Jesus if he is able to heal him.

But that’s not what he asks Jesus.

No, his question is not one of ability but of willingness. This man has no doubt that Jesus can heal him, but that’s not what he’s concerned about. His question is whether Jesus was willing to heal him. “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

We can understand this man’s question better when we realize that, most likely, his entire life he had been rejected by one person after another; it’s likely that even his family had rejected him. You see, no one was ever willing to do anything for him and given this experience, it’s not hard for us to imagine that he didn’t think Jesus would be willing to heal him. After all, we’re all tempted to project our experiences with others onto our relationship with God. Thinking, sensing, and perceiving that God relates and reacts to us in the same way that everyone else does.

But that’s where the beauty of this passage comes into view. It shows us that Jesus is not like everyone else. He is willing to do good for us. This encounter displays Jesus’ willing heart to heal this man and do good for him.

I don’t know your story, but I can easily identify with this man’s plea, “if you are willing,” because it is my struggle as well. I don’t doubt God’s ability – I’m absolutely convinced of this – but I do wonder if he’s willing. Does God want to do good for me? What is his heart toward me?

If you can relate, like me, you’re tempted to question God’s heart toward you. So look to Jesus, see his heart of compassion, and know that he is willing.

UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Admin Assistant Opening

After serving us very faithfully for two years, Tiff Arthur has decided to take a step back from this role to further pursue her education. This means that we are now looking for a new administrative assistant, if you have interest, please review the job description and return your completed application (CLICK HERE to view both) by July 3rd.

To apply or ask questions, contact me at joshua.david.morgan@gmail.com.

Mask Required Area

Beginning this Sunday, the far-right side of the amphitheater (CLICK FOR IMAGE) is going to be designated a “mask required” area. We’re implementing this in an effort to make sure that all of our members feel comfortable gathering with us for worship. We’ll have signage indicating that it is a mask required area, so please make sure that you’re wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate social distancing before entering.

Wednesday Prayer Meetings

Prayer Walk: Beginning this Wednesday, July 1st, and continuing through the summer, our prayer meeting will go offline and we will be doing a prayer walk in La Mesa the 1st Wednesday of each month. Plan on joining us from 7-8pm to pray for our city. We’ll start at the La Mesa Community Center and disperse into the city from there.

Wednesday Prayer Zoom: All other Wednesdays, the prayer team will gather via Zoom from 7-8pm for a time of prayer.

Zoom Link: CLICK HERE
Meeting ID: 883 8193 1781
Password: 775403

PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS

I wanted to recommend a podcast that I personally found very helpful with author Jemar Tisby, about his book, The Color of Compromise (one of the books that we’ve previously recommended to you). This podcast gave me an opportunity to posture myself to listen, understand, and learn more about the topic of racism, especially how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices.

Click HERE to listen in your browser, or you can listen to the show in your favorite podcast app, just search Mere Fidelity and find this episode from September 2019.

On behalf of Steve, Marshall, and Tab, grace and peace,

Joshua

Sunday Service Follow Up: 06.21.20

Sunday Service Follow Up – 06.21.2020

This past Sunday we had continued our summer series in the Gospel of John: Signs of Wonder & Hope as Joshua preached from John 3.1-16. In this passage we listened in as Jesus explained to Nicodemus the what, why, and how of the miracle of the new birth – of receiving new spiritual life from God.

Below you will find questions to help you respond to God’s word with your hearts and your lives, so that you might become more like Christ.

Discussion and Response Questions

Read John 3.1-21 and consider the questions below.

– How would you summarize the main point of this passage in your own words? Do you have any questions about this text?

– What does it mean to be “born again/from above” (vs. 3)? What does this tell us about God’s initiative in salvation?

– What effect does this passage have on your view of God, yourself, and others (especially non-Christians)?

Sunday Service: 06.21.20

Summer Series in John_ENews

Grace Church Family,

It was really great to gather in person last Sunday and we look forward to doing it again this Sunday, June 21st. However, beginning this Sunday, we will only have ONE 9:00am service! There is no longer a need to register, so please, just come join us.

WHEN & WHERE
We will be gathering at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa, which is located at: 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. Beginning THIS Sunday (06.21) we will only have ONE service at 9:00am.

For a full list of what to bring, the guidelines we’ve been asked to follow (masks, distancing, etc.), and other important information, visit our blog post HERE.

06.21 SONG LYRICS – PRINT OR ACCESS ON YOUR PHONE HERE.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON
If you are unable to attend this Sunday, you can live stream our service at 9:00 am on FaceBook Live by clicking HERE. Please note that you do not need an account to watch the live stream.

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE LITURGY – 06.21.2020
Call to Worship
     Build My Life
     What a Beautiful Name
     I Stand Amazed
Pastoral Prayer
Sermon Text: John 3:1-16
Sermon – “You Must Be Born Again”
Lord’s Supper
     Receive the Glory
Announcements
Closing / Benediction

GIVING
There are two ways that you can worship God through your giving at this time.

1. Clover Give: www.gracechurcheast.org/givingWe’ve added step-by-step instructions for how to give online HERE.

2. Mail a check (or have your bank do so) to our mailing address: P.O. Box 247, La Mesa, 91944.

Most importantly, let’s continue to be faithful in prayer as we ask our heavenly Father to “give us our daily bread” (Matt. 6.11), knowing that he knows our needs and is faithful to provide (Matt. 6.25-34).

Thank you for your faithfulness in this area as we glorify God through our finances.

Mid-Week Update – 06.18.2020

Greetings Church!

Going to keep this week’s update short and sweet. First, we have some great news about our Sunday gatherings and some updates from our missionaries.

SUNDAY GATHERING UPDATES

In light of recent guidance by the County of San Diego we have two exciting announcements about our gatherings moving forward.

First, we are now able to gather together as a church in once service since the capacity requirements have been lifted for outdoor gatherings. So, beginning this Sunday we will have ONE service which will start at 9am

Second, face masks are no longer required as long as we are practicing social distancing.* So as long as you (and your family) are at least 6 feet away from anyone not in your household you will not have to wear a face mask.

* We are aware that there is an increased risk of exposure to the virus caused by singing, so we ask that you keep this in mind as you decide where to sit, at least during the singing portion of our gathering, especially if you are at-risk or have contact with those who are.

MISSIONARY UPDATES

Over the last couple weeks we’ve received some encouraging updates from two of the international missionaries that we support.

Seita and Emma

Click HERE to watch the latest video update about what the Lord is doing in Toyosu. If you are not already signed up to receive their updates and prayer requests click HERE to sign up.

Jazmine

Jazmine’s latest updated can be read HERE. As she mentions in the update out of safety for the Tarahumara people she is not entering the village, while she misses being able to see and care for them, her time in the city has been very productive as she’s been able to prepare teaching materials for when she is able to go back to the village. Be sure to read her update to see her specific prayer requests.

On behalf of Steve, Marshall, and Tab,

Joshua

Sunday Worship Service: 06.14.20

Grace Church Family,

It was really great to gather in person last Sunday and we look forward to doing it again this Sunday, June 14th! Following are important details on how to register (if you haven’t already) and important details to help you prepare for our park services.

WHEN & WHERE

We will be gathering at the amphitheater at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa, which is located at: 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. We will have two services at 8:30am and 10:00am.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

06.14 SONG LYRICS – PRINT OR ACCESS ON YOUR PHONE HERE.

Two Services – PLEASE REGISTER ONLINE

For the first three weeks of June we are only allowed 90 people at our gatherings per county guidance. because of this we are going to offer two services so that all who are able to come can join us! Our hope is that this will not continue past the first three weeks.

So we will have gatherings at 8:30am and 10:00am, but we need to know from you which one you will be attending beforehand so we can be sure that we’re not over our numbers. Please follow the links below to register for the gathering you plan on attending.

Click HERE to register for 8:30am gathering

Click HERE to register for 10:00am gathering

We will send out new links each week so you can register for that week’s gathering. Please contact the church office (info@gracechurcheast.org) if you need any assistance registering.

For Those Who Are Unable to Attend – LINK TO LIVE STREAM BELOW

If you are unable to attend this Sunday, you can live stream our service at 10:00 am on FaceBook Live by clicking HERE. Please note that you do not need an account to watch the live stream.

For a full list of what to bring, the guidelines we’ve been asked to follow (masks, distancing, etc.), and other important information, visit our blog post HERE.

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE LITURGY – 06.14.2020

Call to Worship
     Glorious Day
     All Things New
Corporate Confession – Book of Common Prayer
     O Come to the Altar
Prayer
Sermon TextJohn 2:13-22
Sermon – “A New Kind of Temple”
Lord’s Supper
     I Come by the Blood
Closing / Benediction

GIVING
There are two ways that you can worship God through your giving at this time.
1. Clover Give: www.gracechurcheast.org/givingWe’ve added step-by-step instructions for how to give online HERE.

2. Mail a check (or have your bank do so) to our mailing address: P.O. Box 247, La Mesa, 91944.

Most importantly, let’s continue to be faithful in prayer as we ask our heavenly Father to “give us our daily bread” (Matt. 6.11), knowing that he knows our needs and is faithful to provide (Matt. 6.25-34).

Thank you for your faithfulness in this area as we glorify God through our finances.