We are very thankful that churches in MN have been given the option to have in-person services on Sundays. That is a freedom we all expect and appreciate in this amazing country we live in. However, because of the size limitations (25% of auditorium capacity) and social distancing guidelines, Hometown Church is going to continue to meet through online services only. To learn more about this decision, please read this letter.
To sum it up, we simply don’t think we are a very good “socially distancing” church. We are a church with a deep love for each other, we show affection to one another, we love socializing, and our children can’t help but intermingle when together. So, it is for those reasons, and also out of respect for others in our congregation and in our community, that we decided now is not the right time to gather in large groups. We do strongly encourage smaller gatherings (under the allowed social gathering quantity requested by the Governor) and service watch parties for all who feel comfortable doing that!
See the chart below for our phased plan for regathering. Moving forward we will regather for Sunday services once large groups of 250 or more are allowed without social distancing guidelines. We realize that is unlikely, but we are still hopeful. In the meantime, we are grateful for the technology that allows us to gather virtually every week.
We have a lot of reasons for hope! Even in the midst of this pandemic, we are very encouraged by all that God is doing around the world to grow His church. Many of us have prayed for years for some type of revival that could only come through softened hearts and freed up schedules. Well, as you know, sometimes our prayers are answered in mysterious ways! God’s in control and He is also very good. And He has a very good plan for his church. Currently, He is using this crisis, like only He could, to draw many people to Himself.
In closing, we want to ask you to continue to pray for Hometown and our surrounding communities. We also want to assure you that Hometown Church is healthy and alive, and we feel that the Lord is preparing us for a very bright future. Whether or not we are utilizing our buildings and large group gatherings, we have a God-given mission to make disciples and to reach people with the Gospel. This summer we have a tremendous opportunity to continue doing that in smaller groups and venues!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21)
God bless and we love you,
Rob Busse on behalf of Hometown’s Senior Leadership Team