We’re Moving To One Gathering Starting June 5th!
News | by Pastor David Parker
As Pastor Adam mentioned yesterday, starting on June 5th, we’ll be moving to one gathering at 10 am for the summer! Spread the word!
If you missed the announcement, please watch this important short video below for the rationale behind why we are making this change.
While we know this adjustment will require flexibility on everyone’s part, we are really excited to pull everyone together and are praying that the Lord would use it to further strengthen our church into this next season.
We know there will be many questions, so we’ve tried to address the most common ones in the FAQ below, but if there are other questions you have, don’t hesitate to let us know.
For the Gospel in Seattle,
Q: Why are we doing this?
See the linked video above for a longer explanation. But, in short, coming out of the pandemic, our church can fit in one (very full) gathering better than two (not very full) gatherings. This will allow us to regroup as a church over the summer, better steward our resources, grow our relationships with one another, worship together at the same time, and enjoy weekly post-gathering connecting.
Q: How long will we be at one gathering?
At this point, we’re planning to have one gathering through the summer, and then reevaluate as we head into the fall.
Q: How will we fit everyone in the building?
Over the last several weeks, we averaged 300-350 people sitting in our auditorium across both gatherings. We can currently fit about 320 people in our auditorium with another 25-30 in the Commons. We can also fit another 75+ folks in our Multi-purpose Room (MPR) who will be able to worship via livefeed. The MPR should give us enough room to accommodate any overflow and/or create space for those looking for a little more room.
Q: Can we still invite others? Will there be room?
Of course! Please invite others, as always! We will make it work. By arriving slightly earlier, your seats will be guaranteed every week. We’ll also have ample overflow seating. It’s true that some may not feel there is room for them if we’re full. But, conversely, others may not feel welcome if the room is empty. At this point, we believe one full room is the healthiest option for us as a church as we head into the summer. This means we’ll need to be on the lookout for, and be welcoming to, those who are new week-to-week. Why not make it your goal to meet someone new each week?
Q: How early should I/we arrive for the gathering?
Generally, we recommend arriving ten to fifteen minutes prior to the gathering. This will allow you time to park, check your children into CKids (if applicable), find a seat, greet others, and prepare your heart for worship. This will also ensure you are able to participate in the whole of the gathering, from the welcome to the commission.
Q: Will there be any changes to parking?
No. We’ll continue to reserve the lots next to the building for families and first-time visitors. Free parking is also available on the street and validation will still be provided for the Bell Harbor Parking Garage (located at 2323 Elliott Avenue). Please bring your ticket with you so we can validate it in the Commons, by the Connect Desk.
Q: Will there be a rotation for those sitting in the MPR (downstairs)?
For now, no. Our first aim will be to fill the sanctuary, followed by the Commons, then the MPR. Seating will generally be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, those arriving last, will usually be directed downstairs if upstairs seating is full. After all, we don’t want people downstairs if there is still room upstairs.
That said, our hope is to strike a balance over time. If you or your community are open to taking rotations downstairs, we’d welcome that. We also hope to have pastors and leaders present in the MPR each week. While not ideal, it's important that we don’t see MPR as second-class seating. You’ll still be with the church, in the same building, at the same time, with opportunities to connect with others before and after worship.
Q: What’s the difference between a livefeed in the MPR and a livestream at home?
All throughout scripture we see that the church gathers. In fact, the very definition of “the church” isn’t a building, but God’s people gathered in a particular place, coming together to worship our Savior together. We discontinued our livestream last July in order to bring our church together. While we might be scattered in different parts of the building, the distributed livefeed will allow us to worship, all together, under one roof, at the same time. Additionally, we’ll be inviting everyone to stay and join our post-service fellowship.
Q: Are there ways we can help in this transition?
Yes! There are five things you can do right away to help:
- Pray that the Lord would continue to unify us and grow us in our love for each other.
- If you’re not serving, please join a serving team. We’ll especially need additional volunteers in Cornerstone Kids, and volunteers in all of our teams to backfill those moving to serve in CKids.
- Be thinking about who to invite this summer.
- Be intentional about welcoming those who are new or whom you don’t know.
- Plan to arrive early and help the ushers and greeters fill every seat by sliding into the middle or end of a row to give room for others.
Q: How will this affect my serving team?
Be on the lookout for an email from your Ministry Lead this week about how this change will impact your serving team's responsibilities and schedule. The biggest impact of this shift will be on our Cornerstone Kids ministry. Our hope is that we’ll have enough CKids volunteers so that we can move to a four-week rotation, and no one is missing more than one gathering a month.
Q: I’m planning to participate in the Foundations class. How will this affect me?
We’ll be moving the start time of our Foundations class to 8:15 am, to ensure it is completed before worship begins.
Q: I typically use the Commons with my toddler who needs a little extra wiggle room, what should I do?
First, in addition to providing Cornerstone Kids and our Nursing Mom’s Room, children will always be welcome in our worship gatherings! Second, if you’re having a harder morning with your child, we’re opening the conference room downstairs as a “wiggle room” that has a TV with the livefeed that you are welcome to utilize as needed.
Q: When will we be able to move into our new building?
We’re continuing to wait for our building permit and a final round of bids so we can move forward. Please continue to pray that the City would issue a building permit soon and that we’d be able to start construction this summer. Once everything is in place to start construction, we expect the initial phase of renovations will take 6-8 months before we can move.