Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Update:
The Elders have been meeting and praying every other week to reasonably and responsibly navigate this unprecedented time. We ask for your patience in our return to more ‘normal’ weekly gatherings.
The Elders have decided to return to more ‘normal’ services on Wednesday, September 2. To be prudent and minimize the possible spread of COVID-19 we are implementing the following:
Our worship service schedule will be as follows:
First service - 8:00am-9:00am
Second service - 9:30am-10:30am
Third service - 11:00am-12:00pm
Worship services will NOT contain:
Offering – Please continue giving in the offering box at the entrance to the building or giving on line.
Hand shaking time
The following ministries/programs will resume:
Infant Nursery, Toddler Nursery during the second and third services
Jr. Church during the third service
Children and Adult Sunday School during the second service
All Wednesday evening ministries including nursery and toddler’s class
- For the protection of those around you we ask that you maintain a physical distancing of 6 feet for those outside of your family.
- In order to accommodate this goal we are asking that you please sign up for the service you are planning to attend by using the SignUpGenius link that is emailed in the daily update and on our Facebook page.
- We will be sectioning off certain pews to allow for physical distancing.
- Please no socializing/congregating in the church foyer due to space limitations.
- Masks are not mandatory, but are encouraged.
- Bathrooms will be sanitized after each service.
- If you have ANY concerns, health risks, or are sick, we ask you to stay home and join in online. The 9:30am service will be live streamed on Facebook and later posted onto the website. Children’s Sunday School and Jr. Church lessons will also be posted online.
Our Goal: As always is to worship God, teach the Bible and fellowship in a loving and God honoring manner. In the following verse, the Apostle Paul hints at this goal:
1Tim. 3:15 … I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
If you have questions or concerns, please speak to one of the elders or pastors.
The Elders and Pastors of Garden Chapel
Thursday, July 30, 2020 Update:
Dear Church family,
Over the last couple of months, the Elders of Garden Chapel have been meeting regularly to determine the best course of action for the church during these uncertain times. The Elders want to thank everyone for bearing with us and participating in the modified services and online messages. After much deliberation and prayer, we have established a target date of September 6, 2020 for resuming our normal ministry schedule. It is our desire to restore our ministries and fellowship as soon as reasonably possible.
This plan includes all Sunday school programs for adults and children, plus childcare for infants and toddlers. As you can imagine, this requires a lot of help from you, our church family, to fill all of the teaching and nursery positions. We are aware that a few members of our church family have concerns about their own health during this pandemic and may not be able to fulfill the roles previously held; therefore, we are asking all of you to prayerfully consider where you can fill a void so that we can resume our ministry offerings.
We are taking a bold step to resume our regular activities as we believe it is important for our church family. Please understand that there may be some things that look a little different as we consider measures to ‘social distance’, sanitize certain areas frequently, etc. Also, please understand that these are uncertain times and many things are subject to change, but we have established a target that we will strive to meet.
If you are a volunteer or teacher in any ministry and feel uncomfortable returning back, please contact Pastor Peter by next Friday, August 7.
The Elders of Garden Chapel
Sign Up for Services, August 2
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Update:
Sign-up link for July 19th services -
Thursday, July 9, 2020 Update:
The elders have decided to continue the modified service schedule as well as sign-ups through July 26. Please keep praying for them as they meet every 2 weeks to make decisions. Sign-up link for July 12th services -
A live stream of the 9:30 service is also available at our Facebook page.
Thursday, June 25, 2020 Update:
Modified Sunday Services and service sign-ups will continue through Sunday, July 12. The elders continue to meet regularly to determine the best course of action for services. Please continue praying as they move forward with decision-making in the weeks to come.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020:Update:
Dear Garden Chapel Family,
Over the last couple weeks, the Elders of Garden Chapel have been discussing what it would require for us to return to church and fellowship with one another in a healthy and compassionate way. This has been a frustrating and confusing time for all of us. Unfortunately, it has been compounded by inconsistent information from governing authorities and health officials as to how it impacts us personally and for the level of restrictions placed upon religious gatherings. As we gained more and better information about the situation, we began looking for ways in which we could responsibly return to in-person fellowship of our local body.
The Elders have been meeting weekly and have been faithful in prayer, trying to responsibly navigate this unprecedented time. We have considered numerous factors and have made decisions that we felt were God honoring and for the good of Garden Chapel as a whole. We have heard concerns from many of you and have given them strong consideration in our decision-making process. Now, more than ever, we will need your help in our return to weekly gatherings.
As we navigate the return to church, please understand that the services that are planned for the next few weeks will look very differently in many ways from our traditional services. We have a responsibility to be prudent and follow recommendations of health officials to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our local body. After much discussion and prayer, the Elders have decided to reopen worship services on Sunday, June 7th as outlined below:
Modified worship service schedule:
Worship services will contain:
Praise and Worship/Hymns
Worship service will NOT contain:
Offering – Passing the Bag
Greeting – Hand shaking time
Infant Nursery, Toddler Nursery, Jr. Church or any children’s programs
For the protection of those around you and to limit distractions, we ask that you abide by the following:
1. In an effort to adhere to social distancing guidelines and recommendations of the government, we are planning to limit the size of each service to approximately 75 people. In order to accommodate this target, we are asking that you please sign up for the service you are planning to attend by using the following link. Please be sure to scroll down and select a service before clicking the “submit and sign up” button.
2. Social distancing of 6 feet should be observed for those outside of your immediate family. We will be sectioning off certain pews to allow for social distancing.
3. Children are to remain with their parents or guardians at all times.
4. Playground equipment is off-limits from 8:00am until 12:00pm.
5. Please no socializing/congregating in the church foyer due to space limitations.
6. Masks are not mandatory, but are encouraged.
7. Offerings will be collected online or in the drop box immediately inside the front doors.
8. Bathroom use should be limited to emergency needs only. Bathrooms will be sanitized after each service.
9. We understand the challenges families may experience with young children sitting with them during a worship service, but we feel it is prudent to begin our return without nursery and children’s classes. We also realize that young children in the worship service can be distracting for parents and for those around you; therefore, we have made provision in the foyer for those parents who see the need to leave the church sanctuary by broadcasting the service on the TV and by providing materials for children to color and draw during the service.
If you have ANY concerns, health risks, or are sick, we ask you to stay home and join in online. The 9:30am service will be live streamed on Facebook and later posted onto the website. Pastor Peter will also continue to post and stream the Children’s Sunday School and Jr. Church Lessons Online.
Finally, this is our first step in returning to in-person fellowship. It is our desire to return to our regular services and ministries quickly, but we ask that you bear with all of us at this time as we navigate the best way to come back together in fellowship while caring for each others’ spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs. 1 Peter 3:8-9 says -"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
For this to work, we need to be more unified than ever. Please pray for us as we pursue the best way to care for our congregation and guests. If you have questions or concerns, we ask that you reach out to any of the elders or pastors so that your voice can be clearly heard.
The Elders and Pastors of Garden Chapel
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 Update:
The elders and leadership teams of Garden Chapel have decided to cancel all activities, ministries, and services at the church till April 30th as suggested. That means Easter services will not be held at the church this year. However, as many of you know, we are still online posting videos of lessons, sermons, and teachings. Pastor Paul and Pastor Peter will be doing a live Facebook video of the sunrise service on Easter. That will start at 6:30am in the morning. Do not worry if you miss it. Pastor Peter will make sure to add the video to the website to watch later that day. We will also be sending out an e-bulletin tomorrow with additional announcements and figures for the church.
Pastor Paul and Pastor Peter want to encourage you to utilize the resources available to you through the internet at this time. To the parents, Stefanie has mailed out the Gospel Project activities sheets for her classroom and the toddlers room. We hope that your children are able to still learn with us the lessons from the Gospel Project. Pastor Peter is making videos available both on Facebook and on the main Garden Chapel website for these lessons. Pastor Peter is also working on Jr. Church videos as well for young children.
Paul is holding a 30 minute prayer meeting on zoom Wednesday nights, as many of you know. Marybeth is holding the ladies group on Wednesday nights as well. Kyle and Andre are hosting youth group zoom meetings too.
Paul's sermons can also be found on Facebook and the Garden Chapel website under "sermon" then the "online teaching" tab. Pastor Paul and Pastor Pete are looking at doing a couple short videos dealing with your questions about God, the Bible, and Life. If you have questions that you would like to submit, please message us privately with them. We will keep who asked the question anonymous. And if your kids have any questions as well, let us know!
Thank you everyone!
We greatly miss seeing everyone and we are praying for you all!
Stay safe and healthy!
Pastor Peter and Pastor Paul
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Statement:
On behalf of the Elders, Servants, and Pastors of Garden Chapel, we would like to inform you about what the church’s plan is for the next couple weeks. As of March 18, 2020, we will be closing and stopping all ministries, services, and activities until March 29, 2020, at which time the leaders of Garden Chapel will reevaluate what can and cannot be done at the church. In the meantime, Pastor Paul and Pastor Peter will be posting video’s and messages regularly through our Facebook Account. We want to encourage you to use the time spent usually at church to either tune into some of our live streaming sessions, or spend it with your family doing devotions together.
We also want to encourage you to continue to pray for the situation at hand in our country. Please be in prayer for the government leaders making these decisions. Also be in prayer for those who are sick and are impacted by this virus. Finally, pray for your friends and family that they stay safe during this time.
The leaders of Garden Chapel want to encourage you to continue your regular giving patterns unless your personal income has been significantly impacted. Further, we would like to remind you that many people count on funds from Garden Chapel, including many missionaries, mission organizations and our pastors. We would like to continue supporting the various ministries and mission organizations to further the Kingdom of God, especially in this time when many hearts and minds may be ripe to hear the Good News of our Savior. You can send in or drop off your offering at the office, which then we will get that to the financial secretary. The other option is that you can go online to www.gardenchapel.org and select the online giving tab and follow the simple instructions there.
If you are feeling down and concerned and many are; consider this from the Word of God.
- Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.
- Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight...
God is still in control and on that we can depend on him for all things.
Paul and I are always willing to talk if you have any issues or needs. Feel free to contact us at 717-939-0235.
Pastor Paul, Pastor Peter, and the Elders and Servants of Garden Chapel