UPDATES ON RE-OPENING
THE LATEST COVID STATUS AT GRACE
July 21, 2020
A couple of important updates for you, including some awesome news:
Construction Begins This Week on the Grace Counseling Center
We are celebrating the start of construction on the new Grace Counseling Center this week! We paused this project at the beginning of the pandemic, but I’m so excited to let you know that we will begin demo this week to turn our warehouse space at our Pembrook property into a space to partner with Christ in the work of emotional and spiritual healing.
The need for gospel-centered counseling is greater than ever before — we are maxing out our current part-time team and our space as we speak. Pray with us for this project. We expect construction to take 4-5 months, and we’ll update you along the way!
New Date Set for Evaluating Grace’s Re-Opening: Aug 26
As a pastor, I have been given the charge of shepherding this church. That means leading it, but it also means protecting it. I don’t take that lightly.
Right now, we’re sticking with online worship only, but we’ve set our next evaluation point for August 26th. At that time, we will review the data and our systems and update on the potential for re-opening Grace.
I promise you that no one wants the church open more than I do. This is my life’s work and my calling. But we’ll do it with wisdom, and we’ll do it when we can serve people well.
Celebrate and pray with me today about both of these things!
P.S. I hope you’re staying dialed in to weekly worship to encourage you! Everything you need for Grace at Home is right here
June 23, 2020
Hard times call for hard decisions. And one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make is closing our doors to in-person worship because of the pandemic back in March.
Unfortunately, this week, I’m making that decision again. Grace is temporarily closing to in-person worship and classes effective immediately — we’ll have online only weekend services again beginning June 27-28. Here’s why.
If you watched my video messages or came to our volunteer nights, you might remember that we had four goals with re-opening:
- to stay focused on our mission,
- to offer the maximum care for the maximum number of people,
- to represent Christ well in our city, and
- to stay responsive to data.
A month ago, those goals and numbers led us to re-open. Florida cases were low and, even after five weeks of opening our state, our local county numbers remained even lower. When we decided to open our church doors again, our local hospitals had been virtually emptied of COVID patients. Our city was on the move again. Churches around us were opening. And our government officials were personally encouraging us to meet again.
As with everything this year, a few weeks changes things dramatically. Now, in our conversations with both local officials and local health professionals, we know that:
- COVID cases are rapidly on the rise in Orange and Seminole Counties over the last two weeks
- Hospital admissions are on the way up, including PCU and ICU patients
- Patients admitted for complications are far younger than in our area’s previous case spike
We’ve also seen a few churches right around us forced to close because of COVID cases in their church or on their staff teams.
We are fortunate to know of no positive confirmed tests right now at any of our campuses (we know of one pending case at Grace Oviedo of a person who did not attend this past weekend). But our deep love for our staff teams and our Grace family means we would like things to stay this way.
There is no one who wants the church doors open more than I do. But we are in agreement as a staff, leadership team, and elder team that closing again right now is the right thing to do.
In the meantime, we are going to do everything we can to make this season a fruitful one and to help people take their next steps toward Christ. We are thinking through new ways of worshiping, connecting, and learning even beyond what we did in our first online season. Stay tuned for more!
Please pray for us as we pray for you in these days.
Pastor Mike Adkins