Pastoral Letter (5/21/20) – New Sermon Series; Worship Plan; Ministry Plan and Building Use

Upcoming Events 

Sunday (5/24/2020)

  • 8:30 am – First Service (No Livestream)
  • Sunday school class will be uploaded for viewing online (Link Here for YouTube Channel )
  • 9:45-10:15 Cleaning
  • 10:30 Second Service (Livestream:
  • 4 pm – Youth Discipleship Group (look for Zoom Link from Jay Storms) 
  • Evening Word & Fellowship: Missionary Jon and Olya Powell Speaking (at 6:00 pm via Zoom); Also available by Live Stream
  • RSVP Requested, but not required (RSVP here)

Meeting Together: Worship Plan for May 24, 2020

Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,

Psalm 122:1 – “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”” 

Since the beginning, God has called His people together to worship. That is why it was such a glorious thing to be able to expand our worship service to include more people this week. The last few months have been an extremely challenging time for us. That is why it was nice to take the first steps of public gathering again. I’m glad so many came out and I’m glad for those who stayed home and watched online. God has been merciful to us all.


I am going to start a new three-part sermon series through the book of Haggai this week. Haggai is a really small book in your Bible, having only 2 chapters. You may never have heard a sermon on it. But we have something in common with the people it was written about. It is written to Israel after they had returned to their homeland after a long exile. In a similar way we are returning back to society and church after being sequestered in our homes.

What does church look like now that we are back? If you were there, or you saw pictures, you will see how different it looks. Some shed tears over how different it looked. While there are differences, our core remains. We are the same church, with the same people, and the same mission. We have the same Savior. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). And so we look to Him. I am calling the sermon series “Rebuilding Days” as we look at what it means to rebuild our lives, and God’s church, after a crisis like we have experienced.


Whether in-person or online, I hope we can all join together Sunday for worship.

As you continue to read, you will see new information and old information. Again, I ask that you take a few minutes to read what is happening. In the next section of this email, you will learn some things about our Ministries and Building Use. Please take a minute to look at that as well.


In service to God, love for one another, and love for our neighbor we believe we should host in-person worship services. That does not mean every person should come. COVID 19 is a genuine health risk. Please use your best judgment in deciding when to rejoin public worship. While we are doing our best to provide a safe worship environment we cannot remove all risk. We believe everyone has to make this decision for themselves and we will give grace, understanding, and compassion to everyone in the decisions they are making. People at risk, per Center for Disease Control (CDC) standards (you can find the CDC risk factors here), are strongly discouraged from attending in person at this point, until we enter into a future Phase of our reopening plan to mitigate the spread of the virus.


Also, we insist that you not attend if you are sick, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have been with people who are sick with the virus. You should already know the symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell (source). Again, if you have these symptoms, for the love of your neighbor and your own health, please stay home and watch the livestream. Join us when the symptoms pass.


Here is our service plan, moving forward:


First service will be at 8:30 AM.

** Second service will be at 10:30 AM ** Note Time Change

We will livestream the 10:30 AM service (

We will continue to use a quick survey to plan our service attendance. This will help us ensure we have adequate seating at each service (RSVP here). It is only three questions, and it will help us immensely.


To reiterate

  • We will have two services to reduce the number of people present at any one service.

    Please come to whichever service you prefer. We believe natural preferences will balance attendance between both services. If one service is smaller than the other, that’s okay! Again, please RSVP to let us know which you will attend.
  • We will clean after the first service and after the second service. Anybody who comes in for the second service should expect to have a clean environment to worship in. If you would like to visit with others, we simply ask that you not loiter in the sanctuary after the service, but visit outside so we can get the sanctuary cleaned after both services.
  • We have taken out most of the chairs to keep wide aisles and to maintain 6’ between rows. There are about 200 chairs in the sanctuary.
  • We welcome and invite children to the services. Please sit together with the members of your family. We will not have a nursery, but the cry room will be available. We know the services will be a bit “louder” because children will be present. While we appreciate you working to limit the noise, it is a sacrifice we are willing to make. 
  • Leave three empty seats between households to ensure 6’ separation standards. Please ask an usher if you need help finding a seat.
  • Please be willing to move if we need to make room for others. Please be patient with us and one another at this time.
  • We have overflow rooms available if we are not able to fit everyone who comes. 
  • We will not have adult or children Sunday school so we can clean the sanctuary. We will continue the class on the Apostles Creed by making it available online for streaming.
  • You are welcome to wear a mask but they are not required for those worshipping at the services. We are requiring our volunteers, who are working with or around others, to wear masks. While masks are optional, the CDC recommends, “Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.” Please read this website for clarification and safety practices: 
  • All other official group meetings will continue to meet virtually. This includes Evening Service, Youth Group, Care Groups, Bible Studies, Mission Teams and everything. 
  • You will see pedestrian paths marked into and out of the sanctuary. The main doors will be for coming into the sanctuary. The side doors will be for exiting the sanctuary.
  • We will have soap and sanitizer available.
  • Tithes and offerings can be given online at our website, through the app, and we will make the offering plates available at the exits after the service.
  • We will not use hymn books or have a greeting time. Everything in the service should be available on the screen.
  • Please come a bit early so we can get situated before the service starts. It may take a bit longer to get seated.
  • Again, if you are not able to attend in person, the live stream will still be available for your use.

Please be prayerful and be flexible. Churches are not exempt from the virus and some churches have had to close after reopening after a few members became infected with the virus. We do not want that to happen at NLIC, so please use prudence and let’s love each other, even as we worship the Lord.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day and the Lord gathers us to His presence on that day. I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday, whether live or by the livestream. If you or someone needs a CD copy of the service, please contact the church office at 540-786-4848.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

Remember: If you have specific needs, please let us know ( || 540-786-4848) so that we can pray for you and offer any practical help. Our elders are available as are our deacons ( Please be aware of your neighbors needs, especially the elderly and vulnerable. We are here for you.


Ministry Plan and Building Use (Phase 1)

Our session has put together a plan for Ministry and Building Use. It touches on worship services, children’s ministry, food at church, small group meetings, choirs, and funerals. As Virginia moves to Phase 2, we will adjust the plan to help more ministries open. Please let a pastor know if you have any concerns or questions.

Here is a link to our Phase 1 Ministry and Building Use Plan


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