Life is slowly beginning to resume in Arizona in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as our governor has allowed the stay-at-home order to expire. Our desire to honor Christ by loving God, serving one another, and reaching the world remains the same, but we recognize in these challenging times the way that looks is different not only from person-to-person but often from week-to-week. Throughout the pandemic we have tried to serve the entire body of Christ at Desert Hills as well as ministering to those outside our body, and we continue to seek the best way to do that as we move forward.
On May 17 we had two worship services for the first time in many years. Our goal with the 8:30 service was to create an environment where those who are vulnerable or more strictly physical distancing could return to church, hear the Word, and partake of the Lord’s Supper. Registration was requested to attend the service to help us manage the seating and physical distancing. We praise God for how well the service went and the people who were able to attend.
The 10:30 service was well-attended and also went well. Overall between the two services our attendance was at or above our average attendance before the coronavirus pandemic began. We praise God for the way He continues to sustain and grow Desert Hills during these days.
Because of how strong our attendance was on May 17, the elders believe it is necessary through the rest of May to hold two worship services each Sunday. Like last week, the early service is primarily for those who are in a vulnerable demographic, more strictly physical distancing, and/or uncomfortable being in larger groups. However, we are no longer asking for people to register, and those who would prefer to attend the earlier service are welcome to do so even if it is not for the above reasons. We ask all who attend the 8:30 service to be especially mindful of the physical distancing standards due to the more vulnerable population at that service. As always, if you have a fever, are feeling sick, or are showing any other symptoms of illness, please stay home and watch the livestream, which will continue to be offered at 10:30am on Facebook and YouTube.
We also have written new health and sanitization protocols for the nursery as we plan to re-open soon. The nursery for birth through 2 years old will only be available during the 10:30 service. We could open the nursery as soon as this Sunday, May 24, if we have the volunteers willing to serve and the necessary cleaning supplies on hand. More information about that will be coming from our deacons soon, and we will let you know a definitive date for the nursery to re-open in the next three days.
If you have any questions about this update, please reach out to the elders and let us know. If you have cleaning supplies that you could donate to the nursery, including Lysol Wipes, Lysol aerosol spray, and face masks, please let the deacons know.
If there is any way we might minister to you during this time, please reach out and let me know. We want to make sure that all of you know how much we love you. You are all important members of the body of Christ at Desert Hills, and we thank God for you.