Hi Everybody,

As you know, our plan has been to relaunch in-person Sunday services on August 9th. Unfortunately, due to several reasons beyond our control (see below for details), that won’t be the case. We have decided to wait until at least Labor Day to reassess the situation.

Like most of you, we are disappointed that we won’t be able to see each other in person on Sundays yet, and we are frustrated by so many things that are keeping us from getting back to normal life again, but… we are not afraid! In fact we are confident that God’s Church, and our local church, will not only survive all this craziness, but I think ultimately, when all this blows over we will realize that we have grown through all of it and we will once again thrive as we continue in our mission to be a safe community where anyone can discover, develop and deepen a relationship with Jesus.

The beautiful thing that we have discovered, and that 2020 has forced us to see, is that the church is NOT a building, but a community, a people. And the church is resilient. This kind of situation is not new to God – just think about the persecutions of the 1st century when church buildings never even existed. The church not only survived that… but grew immensely through it! Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 (NLT), “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

So we are not afraid. We know God is working inside of it… and we will continue to fight through whatever means we can through this time and beyond, to be that safe community where anyone can discover, develop and deepen a relationship with Christ.

We are grateful for the gift of online services that we will continue to emphasize. We are grateful for the ability to connect with so many people through technology. We are grateful for our small groups that continue to connect, both in person and online. We are grateful that our church community has continued to serve and love Chattanooga in so many different ways during this season.

So we are taking it in stride and continuing to surrender to our faithful Father as we navigate this broken world.

Since we can still not ALL meet together… we are working on ways that we can have opportunities to connect in some way. We will let you know what that may look like soon.

Finally… If you need any prayer or would like to connect with someone from the church, please let us know by clicking this link.
Thank you so much for your grace, your prayer and your support as we do our best to navigate this with as much wisdom courage and grace as possible!

Sincerely,

Justin Grunewald
Lead Pastor
RockPoint Church Chattanooga


More Details
 
For those of you who are interested in how we came to the decision to postpone relaunching in-person services, here is some more information:

As you can imagine, decisions like these are not simple or casual decisions. We are working hard to do what is best for you, RockPoint, and our community. As such, based on the uptick in COVID-19 cases, increased local area hospitalizations, the results of our surveys, the experience of churches that have already reopened, and the current state of our building repairs we have decided to postpone the relaunch of in-person services until further notice.

The basic reasons are as follows:
  • No matter how many social distancing measures we put in place, we cannot guarantee your safety.
  • Because of social distancing measures we know that we could not create quality environments for children or adults that reflect RockPoint’s heart.
  • If we did open and even one volunteer, child, student, or staff member tested positive we would be forced to close down and help in the incredibly difficult process of contact tracing. (We gained some perspective when several of our staff members separately came into contact with people who had COVID-19 and had to get tested. Thankfully, the tests all came back negative, but we experienced the reality of the danger and potential repercussions.)
  • We have been in conversation with several churches that have already opened and based on what they have learned and experienced about their services, their social distancing measures and the impact on the community we believe it is best to wait.
  • We are also still navigating the slow process of building repair. We are at the mercy of others and when so many people and organizations need to rebuild after the devastation of a tornado, it just takes longer. The good news is that things are moving forward, but the bad news is that we still have no HVAC in some areas of the building
  • Finally, as we all move toward a new school year there are still so many questions about how schools, children, and parents are going to navigate the next few weeks and months. And how our community and city will respond. We believe it is best to allow space and time for that process to happen, providing us more insight into how best to relaunch in-person services.

As you can see, a lot has gone into this decision. We understand that it is frustrating, but, again, we ask for your grace, your prayer and your support as we do our best to navigate this with as much wisdom, courage, and grace as possible!