Our plan to resume In-person gatherings

NewHeart Family,
As you’ve likely heard the news, due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, our state leadership has one again prohibited churches (and other similar businesses) to cease from meeting indoors.  We knew this reopening schedule would be a fluid situation— and as such have already moved our worship outdoors, while to this point, have kept our teaching time indoors.  In light of these new recommendations, we’ve made the decision to move our entire service online & in-person outdoors for at least the next 3 weeks.  
Practical Considerations.
Worship service outdoors has been a learning experience for us all— and as you’ve noticed over the past few weeks, we’ve modified our configuration to maximize the amount of available shade for our congregation during worship.  We’ve also added folding chairs outdoors— and moving our entire service outdoors will require even more.  As a church, we have a few “EZ” up canopies that will be used for our audio/visual and Worship Teams—in addition to our beautiful trees that provide ample shade.  This is a temporary solution, and thankfully this weekends forecast will be “Warm” and not terribly hot.
Feel free to bring your own beach / camping chairs to make yourself more comfortable, and if you’d like to bring and setup an “EZ-up” style canopy we just ask you come early and have them setup by 9am (so as to not provide distraction for those participating in our outdoor gathering.)
Meeting outdoors will allow us to be properly physically distance, while continuing to meet safely together, and like all things during this COVID-19 season— this too is temporary as we hope to slowly re-emerge into normal life.  That said, the idea of meeting outside is a fun way for us to meet together, and though somewhat spread out, we can enjoy the beauty of God’s creation in the outdoors together.
Technological Challenges.
Moving our entire service outdoors, will also require our Creative /Tech teams to move both sound and LiveStream / video equipment outdoors.  Please bear with us as we adjust to this new environment— and these teams could certainly use new Dream Team members to assist with the large new work-load required of them.  (Feel free to reply to this email if you’d like to help with one of these teams)
God’s Grace during this season.
God has certainly been with NewHeart during this entire Pandemic, and though we long to return to “normal”, we believe God has something for us to learn in this season.  As I’ve said a few times during this crisis, we want to move by FAITH, but also recieve wisdom and instruction from our State and Federal governments on how to operate in a way that will ensure your safety (and the safety of your family.)
Whether you choose to join us online or in-person outdoors this weekend, know that myself and our entire team are praying for you— praying that not only that God would protect and watch over you, but also praying Philippians 4:4-7 over you:
Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Pastor Brian Fox
PREVIOUS UPDATE from March 18th 2020

The time is almost here for us to resume our in-person gatherings….
and boy is it a good time for the church to gather together.  The various teams around our church have been working overtime to get both our campus, and our processes together to make sure we’re ready to keep you and your family safe as we transition back to on-campus worship and gatherings.  As I said a few weeks ago— we will be “experimenting” with a new way to gather, and want to ask for your patience and your prayer covering as we open up our doors.  In the short term, our gathering might look a bit different, and we will certainly be more spread out— but it should be a fun time of reconnecting and seeing each other face-to-face again.
I’m most excited for our time of worship together outside.  This will be a fun way for us to all worship together out in the beauty of our lawn and parking lot.  We will take up the entire lawn area as well as the parking lot area between the worship center and Kids building to spread out…and though we will be physically spread out, we will all be together to worship.  Practically….bring a lawn chair, or blanket to hang out in the sun (or shade) and worship with us!
Below is a long list of updates about what has been done to our facilities, and what you can expect when we resume in-person gatherings this weekend.
I’m so excited to see you face-to-face again this weekend!
With Love,
Pastor Brian Fox

WE’RE READY FOR YOU!


We have spent a considerable amount of time preparing our campus for your return. Here are a few things that have taken place:
We have disinfected the following: 
• Worship Center
• Bathrooms 
• Nursery
We have installed several new hand-sanitizer stations in the following areas: 
• Lobby Entrance
• Lobby
• In addition to the existing sanitizer stations that are available in our offices, Classrooms and Kids Check-in station.

WHEN YOU RETURN TO THE CAMPUS

Out of an abundance of caution and wisdom, and to adhere to state and CDC guidelines, we are implementing the following procedures for your safe return to our campus. Please note: We encourage those at high-risk or who are feeling sick to continue enjoying our Livestream services from home.  If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or who have a family members who are ill, please stay home and join us online.

 

  1. Seating has been redesigned to meet physical distancing guidelines, as well as state guidelines capping indoor attendance at 25% of seating capacity. As a result we will be having multiple indoor services, with a joined outdoor worship gathering that will allow us to properly spread out and sing together.
  2. In compliance with CDC guidelines, those who attend are encouraged to wear a mask. Masks should not be worn by children age 2 and under.
  3. We are creating a “touchless” environment. This means from the time you arrive in your car to when you leave our campus, you will not have to worry about touching any surfaces.

        Here’s what that looks like:

    • Doors will be propped open so you will not have to touch any handles.
    • Ushers, greeters, and staff are discouraged from hugging our church family in this season.
    • Sermon notes will not be passed out— Feel free to follow along with the YouVersion Bible app, or bring a notebook for notes.
    • We will move to pre-packaged communion elements during this season— and after sanitizing our worship center, ushers will place elements on each chair for the following service.  (We’re asking you to leave them untouched on any chairs not in use by your family)
    • Offering buckets and envelopes will not be passed by ushers. As always, Tithes and offerings are available online, or you can drop your gift in the black box in the rear of the worship center.
    • Windows in the worship  center will be opened (weather permitting) to allow additional fresh air into the worship center from the outside.
  1. We will take the temperature of our any staff and volunteers on campus (or recommend them to take their own temperature prior to arrival), but will not take the temperature of our church family who are coming to attend a service.
  2. Nursery and Kids Church will be not be available during this time.
  3. Hospitality coffee and donuts will not be available during this time.

DURING OUR IN-PERSON GATHERINGS

Here are a few things we ask our church family to help with during the service:
  • Have your family sit together.
  • Whenever possible, stay six feet apart from others who are not part of your family unit.
  • Follow the lead of our ushers as they guide you in entering and exiting the service. 
  • Water fountains will be blocked off per CDC guidelines. You may bring a water bottle to service if needed.
  • Parents, please consider bringing a tablet, coloring page, or other quiet activity for your little ones.  We have a few take and keep items for the kids during service, or they can checkout other items with our kids church team (which will be sanitized for another use).
  • Please exit the building immediately following the service. The Worship Center doors will be closed ten minutes after the service ends so our team can begin preparing for the next service.
In between each service our team will clean and sanitize: 
  • Chairs in the Worship Center
  • All door handles
  • Bathrooms
(If you’d like to help serve on this team, please let Pastor Brian know as this DreamTeam is forming now!)
We will have two Indoor Services on Sunday, 9:15am and 10:30am…with one outdoor Worship time all together in between the two services at 10am.  We recommend if you come to the first service, that you head out after the message for a time of worship in the Lawn / Parking area.  If you’re planning on coming for the second service, we recommend you join us at 10am for worship outside, then head in during the second service.  (Note that we will be worshiping exclusively outdoors during this season).

KIDS CHURCH

We love children and students at NewHeart!  While we miss seeing them, we also want to be considerate of their safety.
All Children ages newborn and older, along with middle school and high school students, will enjoy the service in the Worship Center (and outdoor Worship) with their families.  (Whenever California Guidelines are modified and eased, we will make announcements regarding the resumption of in-person Kids and Nursery ministries.)   Our plan is to offer outdoor Youth services sooner rather than later— stay posted for more on these.
That’s it for now… hope to SEE you this weekend!

– Pastors Brian & Rebecca Fox

 

 

Our Previous COVID-19 Updates are below:


UPDATE – 31-MAY 2020 — Time is finally here.  Starting June 14th 2020, we will be resuming a modified in-person service schedule…and we will be getting creative.  Our team has put together a fantastic plan to allow us to both meet in person, AND comply with the current CDC guidelines. Our seating capacity in our worship center will be reduced, and our service times will be multiplied to accommodate each of you (along with your kids) safely.

Service Times:  9:15am – First Service,   10am – Outdoor Family Worship,   10:30am – Second Service (Family Service!)

Parents: At least for the short term, Sunday School and Nursery ministries will not be resuming— and we will have some fun activities to keep your kiddos occupied as they worship and sit in service with you. We will have two service times inside our worship center at 9:15am and 10:30am (minus musical worship), and have a combined outdoor time of worship at 10am— allowing us plenty of space to spread out and physically distance ourselves a bit as we worship with song. This will be unique and new format for us—and we’re looking forward to seeing you all face-to-face once again soon!

Note, even as our in-person services resume, our online gatherings will also continue…so however you join us, we look forward to opening God’s word with you!

Previous Updates Below…

UPDATE – 3-MAY 2020 — Ventura County is still under a “STAY WELL AT HOME” order, and as such, In-Person gatherings are still prohibited within our county.  Please check back here to find updates— and we will email an update when this order has been lifted and we are able to resume in-person services.  For now, Join us for Online Services — View the service from our homepage or our YouTube Channel.

 

UPDATE – 24-MAY 2020 — We can’t wait to gather together again for face-to-face services…. and we will again soon, but not quite yet.  While we are thankful and optimistic about the President’s recent announcement regarding church services being deemed essential, we are also watching closely with recent developments in our state government…specifically as the Ninth Circuit Court Ruled (2-1) Against the President’s emergency motion to allow for religious services to proceed..  We are praying for a quick resolution  and a clear legal path for our gathering together very very soon.  For now, Join us for Online Services — View the service from our homepage or our YouTube Channel.

Previous Updates Below…

UPDATE – 3-MAY 2020 — Ventura County is still under a “STAY WELL AT HOME” order, and as such, In-Person gatherings are still prohibited within our county.  Please check back here to find updates— and we will email an update when this order has been lifted and we are able to resume in-person services.  For now, Join us for Online Services — View the service from our homepage or our YouTube Channel.

NewHeart Family and Friends,
Our world is experiencing a unique season of time at present, and I wanted to give you some updates on some changes we’re making over the next few weeks as a church.  (Summary and then details to follow)
  • Our regular weekend gathering will be happening Online only (there will be no in-person service)
  • Community Groups will gather on Sunday mornings for Fellowship and Watch Parties
  • Resourcing our Neighborhoods and People.
Our Weekend Service will be ONLINE.  With the most recent recommendations by our President and the CDC recommending cancellation of gatherings over 50 people, we’ve decided to move all of our weekend Gatherings for March to ONLINE ONLY.  (There will be no in-person mass gatherings at the NewHeart campus this weekend or next).  We will re-evaluate the status as we approach  the end of March as to plans for our April services.
We will stream this weekend (as we always do) on Facebook Live.  You do not need a FaceBook account to join our service and you can watch at http://fb.com/enewheart after our stream starts.  We will start streaming right at 10am, so please be ready to start the service stream as we would love for you to join us online this weekend.  Facebook makes a video “app” for all modern Smart TVs and Devices (including Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV).  Please take a moment to download those apps on your TV so you’re ready to join us this weekend  (and you can also watch our previous messages there as well).  If you don’t have a  smart TV but would like to watch or stream the service this weekend, please consider joining a community group gathering, or reply to this email as we have a small number of Roku devices we can lend out for use over the next several weeks.
 
Watch parties in Community.  Most of our community groups will be gathering for a time together to WATCH the service, and pray together in community this Sunday—so we are living out our mission to Live “multiplied.”  If you are part of a community group already, please contact your Community group leader for details on where your group will be meeting.   If you are not part of a community group and would like a place to connect this weekend,
Note— if you, or any member of your household is sick, or is at a higher risk for COVID-19 we are asking you to stay home and self-quarantine (and not join your Community group for a  watch party).
Resources for You and your Neighbors.  

If you are a regular at NewHeart, please let us know if you are self quarantining or sick so we can check in on you and support you through this season— don’t wait until you have a need, let us know ASAP!

Additionally, If you are self quarantined (or know of someone who is), and are in need of assistance, help shopping, or simply need prayer— please reach out to us. You can send an email to this email address, or text ASSISTANCE or PRAYER to (844)947-6156. Our teams would love to pray with people, and to help where possible.

Let’s be good neighbors.  Im encouraging our entire church family to consider the elderly, and those at risk in our community and neighborhoods.  Check in on your neighbors, offer to pray for their fears, and help wherever you can.  (Even share your toilet paper 😉)
Our NewHeart Food pantry will be still open for those in need this Sunday in a new “Grab and Go” Format— and we need volunteers to help with food delivery and pickup on Friday as well as distribution on Sunday afternoon.
As our nation is in the midst of this dark season of Pandemic, and fear and darkness seems to be winning, I wanted to remind you of Jesus words to His followers— to you and to me from Matthew5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Church has never been a building, but it is a movement of people — A WAY.  Let us in this moment of hightened need in our nation, let us show the way and light the path towards God to an onlooking world.

See you this weekend…. online!
Pastor Brian Fox