Many of you have already heard on Friday that President Trump declared all houses of worship to be “essential” and strongly urged state governors to reopen churches, synagogues and mosques, effective this weekend. We agree with the president that churches are essential for our communities to truly thrive, and look forward to the day we will all be able to gather in the same place again.
What this presidential declaration actually means for us and churches across Washington state is still somewhat unclear. Governor Inslee and many other state and county officials are scrambling to provide clarity, which we eagerly await.
As we discern what our future should look like, it’s important we recall how we, Reach Church, got to this point. Ever since Kirkland was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, our primary commitment has been to the well-being of our neighbors, especially those considered at-risk and vulnerable to this virus. I am very proud that we consulted with medical professionals, prayed diligently, and made the decision to be one of the first churches in the country to suspend Sunday gatherings. We did not make this decision out of fear, or to blindly bow a knee to a government official, but out of Spirit-led conviction and love for our neighbors.
Since that time, our team has been hard at work on a plan to maximize connectivity, care, and mission for the Reach family during each of the forthcoming phases. When we emerge from quarantine to resume our weekly times of worship together (and we will!), it will be in the wake of more wise counsel and plenty of prayer. We believe we will be emerging from all of this as a stronger church than we were before. Until that day, we will continue to host our Sunday services online as an important aspect of our commitment to be the church and reach the city, regardless of the circumstances.
For now, we’re asking you to stay committed to prayer – for our church, our city, our country, and our world. We’re asking you to stay connected – dialed in to our online services and prayer gatherings, and leveraging technology for as much meaningful interaction as possible (real as the Zoom fatigue may be). And we’re asking you to stay committed to serving others, persisting in the radical generosity that has marked this church family since it came into existence almost 8 years ago.
Brian McCormack and Rob Garey