On this page, you’ll find letters that have recently been sent out with respect to the Coronavirus and its impact on Granite Springs. For more information about in-person gatherings and to RSVP for services, visit granitesprings.org/regathering.
February 18, 2021
As you likely know the US Supreme Court released a decision a couple weeks ago making it possible for California churches to meet again indoors. The ruling upholds limits to 25% capacity or 100 attendees whatever is less, and keeps the other protocols we have followed before, including six feet social distancing and vigilant mask wearing.
After considering pros and cons, the elders decided to move our Sunday worship services indoors again beginning Sunday, March 14.
Like in each of our COVID decisions, there is a variety of ways to think about this possibility. None of our next steps have been obvious or automatic. But given the drastic drop in infection rates and the rise in vaccinations, given the growing pastoral needs to meet together, given our extensive and thorough safety protocols for indoor worship, and given the collective wisdom of partner churches we have been in dialogue with throughout COVID, we are grateful to take this step together. If circumstances change, if there is for example, a sharp spike in cases, we will re-evaluate.
We plan to return to previous patterns for indoor worship that we implemented during COVID—meeting both at 9:00am and 10:30am each Sunday, and livestreaming at 9:00am. Services will be reduced to 40-45 minutes, with temperature taking on arrival, social distancing, registering attendance, a single way in and out of the facility, the back half of the atrium closed to refreshments, and the rest.
Outdoor eucharist mid-week worship services will continue on Tuesdays at 12:30pm for those who feel more comfortable worshipping outside. In the event of rain or inclement weather, these services will move inside.
Further logistics will follow, including information about when the building will be available for small groups and other gatherings.
Thanks again for your love for, participation in, prayers for, and giving to the ministry of Granite Springs during these extraordinary times.
For the Granite Springs staff and elders,
November 19, 2020
Dear Granite Springs Friends,
As we head toward winter, the coronavirus surge that many predicted is here. And, as you know, this means additional restrictions throughout California. We’re grateful for the way our church community gracefully navigated the many ministry and worship changes of 2020. And now, to love each other and our neighbors, we need to navigate them again.
With Placer County being moved into the State’s “Purple Tier” earlier this week, we are no longer able to have indoor worship services. So we will return to what we were doing before moving inside: a prerecorded service available Sunday mornings that includes music, an opportunity to pray together, and preaching, along with a complementary outdoor Eucharist service in-person at 9:00am.
As we move back to this rhythm, we encourage you to RSVP for the Eucharist service each week at granitesprings.org/regathering. As we move into the winter months, weather may be a factor for in-person gatherings and we will communicate any changes both on that page as well as directly to those who have RSVP’d.
The church calendar calls this Sunday, November 22, Christ the King Sunday. In a season where so much of life feels chaotic, this day invites us to pause and remember that above the chaos of life, Jesus does reign, and by his grace works to make all things right. As Psalm 95 reminds us, “The Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”
We are grateful for this timely reassurance as we continue to live the ups and downs of 2020. In so many ways, we see you leaning into that truth and practicing grace day to day. Thank you for your good spirit and patience as we traverse this together!
If you have any questions, please refer to our website or please feel free to reach out to us via phone (916-645-9620) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Pastor Kevin (on behalf of the Granite Springs Staff and Elders)
July 3, 2020
It is with sadness that we announce the postponement of our re-gathering Sunday worship services scheduled for this weekend. Many of us have been looking forward to this day for months. And our anticipation has grown. Our staff has worked tirelessly and skillfully to make this a reality. Careful safety protocols were thorough and ready to go. Still, for the sake and safety of our church and our neighbors, we have postponed our re-gathering for Sunday worship until at least August 9.
There are many reasons we believe this is important to do:
- A new and serious spike of COVID cases is happening throughout California and throughout Placer County, especially in Lincoln.
- Our governor issued an order yesterday that banned singing in worship services.
- Large indoor gatherings are in the high risk categories for spreading COVID.
- Multi-generational gatherings have triggered outbreaks.
For some of us, this news offers little change to our plans. In our recent survey, more than 60% of you had already determined to not attend a worship service for (at least) the next several months, for health and safety reasons. For those of us with our hearts set on regathering, this news is another grief to the ongoing heartaches of these past months. It is a kind of consolation to know other congregations in our community are also delaying or discontinuing in-person worship as we navigate the pandemic together.
We are delighted to report that due to the stellar work of our staff, starting this Sunday we’ll be switching from pre-recorded video to livestream. Each Sunday going forward, staff and technical volunteers will lead and broadcast our 9 AM service. You will be able to join us live, or watch it recorded at your convenience at youtube.com/granitespringschurch. We will also be posting the livestream link on our app and Facebook page at 8:45 AM for your easy access. This significant step forward makes us fully ready for the day we will regather for Sunday worship—joining together those in-person at the church building and from their home online. We have spent considerable time and expense on this project, knowing live streaming will be a key part of our ministry going forward.
Again, we share disappointment at this turn of events, for us a church community, and all those feeling the tangible and sometimes deadly effect of this pandemic. If you have questions or comments about this decision or would like to talk about anything else, please contact one of the elders or staff for further conversation. Our motive is to show careful love for each other and our neighbors.
Grace is our watchword as a community. And navigating this unexpected season calls for deeper grace from all of us. Together we are wise to remember God’s promise of watching over us, so beautifully said in Psalm 121, “My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”
Grace to you all!
On behalf of the GS elders and staff,
Note: This page will only have the 3-4 most recent letters. For a full archive, please see our Granite Springs App.
The following letter was emailed to subscribers to the Weekly on June 11, 2020. Please check the Granite Springs App or your email for any more recent updates. If you are not subscribed to the Weekly, you can do so here. You can download the App here.
June 11, 2020
Thank you! Thank you for your faithful love and support during this extraordinary time of global pandemic. It’s a delight to see many of you online—as you participate in Daily Prayer, online small groups, our video worship service, and other online activities for youth and children. Thanks too for your faithful prayers and ongoing financial support.
We are excited about the day we can meet and worship together in person. We are thankful for medical personnel and government officials and Granite Springs staff who are working to make gathering together safe.
Our first in person worship service will now be Sunday, July 5. We had hoped to re-open at an earlier date. But we were not able to secure important sanitation supplies and a critical computer part we need to switch from pre-recorded services to live streaming them. Since we are committed to providing quality and safe experiences for both online and in person attendees we determined that it was better to delay two weeks than to push forward. Needed items are on their way, and this new date is secure.
We recognize that not every person will choose to worship in person, as current health guidelines continue to recommend sheltering in place for people in at-risk categories. For those who wish to remain home, we would love for you to “join us” by continuing to worship online. We think live streaming will provide a special way for us to be “together” as we continue to navigate this season together. We want you to know we love you, and are glad to provide this ongoing worship experience.
For those who will be worshipping in person—either at our regularly scheduled 9 AM or 10:30 AM services, we want to begin orienting you to the following changes made to honor state and county medical safety guidelines. Such as:
- Quick temperature checks of all participants
- Masks worn (or provided) for all participants and leaders
- Reduced singing—while this is much loved, it has also proved to be contagious
- Shorter sermons (we suspect this is an answer to many prayers J)
- Communion that includes receiving bread, but without the cup
- Shortened worship services
- No children or youth ministry (as per county guidelines). We will have a handout for children.
The full list of safety protocols we will employ will be shared in coming weeks. While this will change the worship experience, we are grateful for the opportunity to be together. We know our fellow church goers have a wide variety of personal feelings about specific safety protocols. Still we ask, for the safety of our more vulnerable friends, that in worship everyone honor the ones chosen. Staff and elders have spent many hours researching and assessing wise practices for this unique time.
If you or someone you love has a need we can meet, please don’t hesitate to call the church office or to email Amy at email@example.com.
Grace and health to you all! And we hope to see you soon!
For the GS staff and elders,
Kevin Adams, Senior Pastor
P.S. In the coming days and weeks we look forward to sharing updates about when the office can open at the church and when small groups and youth groups can meet in person.
The following letter was emailed to subscribers to the Weekly on April 23, 2020. Please check the Granite Springs App or your email for any more recent updates. If you are not subscribed to the Weekly, you can do so here. You can download the App here.
April 23, 2020
We hope this finds you and those you love safe and healthy. As we honor the shelter in place order together as a congregation, I have been reflecting on four words that mark this time. The first word is “be safe.” We anticipate the day we can be together again—in whatever form that takes! Until then, take good care.
The second word is “thanks.” A huge thanks to the Granite Springs staff and volunteers who worked hard and selflessly to continue vibrant ministry. In a few days, we shifted our entire ministry online – an amazing feat, especially during the season of Easter.
Here’s a sample:
- Children’s ministry is online and Marrissa has been sharing Bible lessons on YouTube.
- Youth ministry has been holding Zoom calls and Kyu has been sharing encouragement.
- Worship ministry is online here.
- Daily prayer ministry is online here.
- If you have a special prayer request, share it here.
- Learn about two new groups studying the Lord’s Prayer as part of our Easter practices through our Deepening Practices mailing list.
- Start online giving here (a group that has doubled in size since Sheltering in Place began).
- Much of this can also be accessed easily through the Granite Springs App.
The list goes on and on. Volunteers are checking in with GS friends, getting groceries and medicine, and offering technology help. Thanks too for the many people sending in weekly and monthly checks to the church office, many with lovely and encouraging notes! Again, a huge THANK YOU to all who are serving in such tangible ways!
A third word is “pray.” The global pandemic feels like an unending, dizzying storm. At such a time we turn to the prayer book of Jesus and the church of all ages, the Psalms. With rascal-turned-monk Thomas Merton we remember, “We can never be more sure we are praying with the Holy Spirit than when we are praying the Psalms.” They give us words to say when it feels like there are no words to say. Personally, I’ve been praying Psalm 46 repeatedly. It has been much needed ballast to me in the ongoing chaos. Join others praying the Psalms during the morning prayer, or find musical versions in Aaron’s work, or simply pick up a Bible. (There’s also a book we at GS give away on the Psalms.)
That leads to the fourth and final word, “share.” We who know Christian community, who belong to each other and to our Savior, who live with hope, have so many gifts. So many of our neighbors don’t. As you walk through your neighborhood or chat online, offer a (silent) prayer or encouraging word. May God use this awful virus to draw people to him.
If there’s anything you need, any way the community can serve or help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office (firstname.lastname@example.org) – there is a team ready to help you! Grace to you all as you navigate this unimagined season.
For the GS Staff and Elders,
Kevin Adams, Senior Pastor
The following letter was emailed to our mailing list on March 21, 2020. Please check the Granite Springs App or your email for any more recent updates. If you are not subscribed to the Weekly, you can do so here. You can download the App here.
March 21, 2020
Dear Granite Springs,
On Thursday afternoon, after we had sent The Weekly, the Placer County Medical Officer issued a directive that each of us engage in “Shelter in Place.” This directive began yesterday and is schedule to extend to April 10 (Good Friday).
To honor this directive, the Granite Springs facility will not be open until this directive is lifted, including being closed on Sunday mornings.
Please know that even with shut doors, we remain open as a community, seeking to live love and grace, even in these circumstances. I am taken by how many of you have volunteered to get groceries and medicine for people in our church family, and the contagious spirit of service that shows. I’m also taken by the way small group leaders are already reaching out to their groups. All of us are actively looking for creative ways to live the message of grace in the coming days. For ways to remain connected with Granite Springs, please see our previous letter in the Weekly, in the App or on the Granite Springs website.
Please join us for video worship tomorrow (video uploaded by 9am)—we think we’ve upped the quality considerably since last week, and you can look forward to all the typical worship pieces, including thoughtful prayer and music and kids involvement.
The Apostle Paul, who experienced many hardships personally, wrote, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (II Timothy 1:7)
Grace and peace to you all,
Kevin Adams (for the GS elders and staff)