Worshiping the Lord (indoors) on Sunday, January 10th, at 10:00am

Desiring to love and to promote the health of our church family, friends, and community, and following national, state, and county guidelines, the elders and pastors of Ontario United Reformed Church and the El Mesías Spanish-language ministry had suspended public worship services for six weeks, from March 22nd through April 26th. Then, on May 3rd, we began drive-up worship services in our parking lot on Sunday mornings. On Monday, May 25th, Governor Newsom issued guidelines for places of public worship to facilitate their reopening, and that day we also received guidance from County Supervisor Hagman via an email to churches. And so we resumed Sunday morning worship services indoors beginning May 31st (and on Sunday, June 21st, per updated guidelines, began requiring face-coverings for our entire time indoors together). Beginning July 19th, given new guidelines, we continued gathering for worship services, but outdoors, at 6:30pm, in the courtyard, through Sunday, August 23rd.

At our elders’ and pastors’ meeting on August 25th, we ‘hit the reset button’ and decided to resume our morning worship service inside our church building beginning Sunday, August 30th, at 10:00am, while encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing, and continuing to provide both the FM radio transmission to our parking lot and live-streaming options for those who would not join us inside. We did not make that decision lightly. The ministers and elders discussed a variety of reasons for that decision, the main one being:

‘After months of patient compliance, we now perceive that ‘the cure has been worse than the disease’ – both for society at large and for our own congregation. Due to social isolation, digital interaction, and burdensome restraints, our society has witnessed a steep rise in suicides, domestic abuse, and economic distress with the loss of jobs and businesses. Many of our members have expressed to us the psychological toll the quarantine has had on them and their children. At this point, we fear that our compliance with the mandate to forbid worship indoors would support a cure that is more destructive than the disease. What is more, we hope that by reopening our doors for worship, our church might become, for our members and our local community, a spiritual haven in these dark times. Thus, we will resume our indoor worship service quietly and peaceably for love of God and of neighbor (1 Thess. 4:10).’

We even more strongly now encourage everyone who joins us inside to exercise caution, and to social distance, and to wear masks. Please don’t come to church is you aren’t feeling well, or if you have any of the typical Covid-19 symptoms. We also ask everyone to take special care of those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19’s serious outcomes.

As always, we commit our decision and plans to the Lord our God, with the earnest desire to serve Him with humility and love. We look forward to gathering with you all indoors every Lord’s Day to rest in our belonging to King Jesus, which is our only comfort in life and in death.