Citadel Square Church Family,
We miss you! Although we are incredibly thankful for technology and virtual connection, we look forward to the time we will be able to gather again in person. As we've seen a clear shift toward re-opening in various aspects of life and community, we have been seeking wisdom as we steward the people and space that God has entrusted to us.
Here are some steps we have been taking as we look toward congregational re-gathering:
- Praying consistently and seeking the Holy Spirit's leading
- Aggressively monitoring the latest COVID-19 developments and its impact in Charleston
- Consulting regularly with outside, qualified voices including city leaders, health officials, and other church leaders
- Initiating an advisory team of staff and church members to plan and make recommendations
Your health, safety, and well-being remain our top priority as we discern the best way to move forward. Since a significant portion of our church family are senior adults, young families, and health professionals, we want to proceed with caution and careful preparation. We are also keenly aware that our decisions have implications on the communities outside our church as well.
As always, we desire the Word of God to be our guide in decision making. A few principles jump off the pages of scripture that are particularly informative in our decision-making process:
- The priority of others over self. In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul urges us to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others." As we move forward, we must decide what is best for the whole, not for any one individual or family.
- The call to obey the authorities that God has established. In Romans 13:1-2, we are reminded that governing authorities are established by God and should be obeyed as long as they don't directly conflict with the Lord's will. We are continually praying for and looking to our God-ordained governmental authorities to give direction during this pandemic.
- Judgment should be withheld on disputable matters. Romans 14 highlights the fact that godly people can have different convictions. As a result, we must "make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Romans 14:19). The vast (and sometimes conflicting) spectrum of information can create differing conclusions among our people. We must strive to display Christ-like humility and offer much grace towards one another.
- Scripture prioritizes patience and watchfulness over speed and decisiveness. Proverbs 19:2 warns us that "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." As the information on the virus is rapidly changing, we desire to exercise patience and caution above making a hasty decision.
- The desire to gather together as a church is good and God-honoring. Hebrews 10:25 has a clear admonition for the church: "Let us not give up meeting together… but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the day approaching." We affirm and celebrate your desire to gather together as God's church.
With these principles in mind, here is what you need to know as we move forward:
- We are continuing to gather information from government authorities and health professionals as we develop a strategic plan for re-gathering.
- We do not foresee any changes to our current "online only" structure by the end of the month.
- We will continue to provide online worship and resources to help you worship at home each week.
- Our community groups will continue to meet online as designated by each group leader.
- Our re-gathering strategy will be in phases over a period of time with precautionary modifications and protective measures.
- We will communicate the details of our plan within the next two weeks.
Please join us in prayer as we trust the Lord to direct our steps. Know that we are praying for each of you and the various challenges you may be facing during this season. We look forward with great expectation to the opportunity to gather again. In the meantime, we trust in God's gracious protection, provision, and peace.
Love in Christ,
Citadel Square Elder Team