July 13, 2020
Due to an increase in our second service attendance numbers, we have opted to offer a third Sunday service in order to better accommodate for social distancing.
As a result of this addition, we have adjusted our service times to allow for ample cleaning time between each service. We will now offer services at 8:10a, 9:45a, and 11:15a. Our online Livestream service will now start at 9:45a and is available through Facebook, YouTube, or you can watch it the next day on our website or in the Cedar Falls Trinity app.
NEW SERVICE TIMES
- 8:10a: Vulnerable-friendly service | Face mask required | Traditional Music | No Congregational singing
- 9:45a / 11:15a: Face mask strongly encouraged | Contemporary Music | Congregational Singing
**THE SAME RE-GATHERING GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS APPLY AS BEFORE. SEE COMMUNICATION BELOW**
June 23, 2020
Beginning Sunday, July 5th, you can attend one of our in-person Sunday services, or continue to join us online at 10:00a via Livestream through Facebook or YouTube, or watch the next day on our website or in the Cedar Falls Trinity app. We are so excited to gather with you in-person and to share with those watching at home our new Livestream video features!
IN-PERSON SERVICE TIMES
8:00a – 9:00a: Vulnerable-friendly service | Face mask required | Traditional Music | No Congregational singing
10:00a – 11:00a: Face mask strongly encouraged | Contemporary Music | Congregational Singing
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- God's inspired and infallible Word, amazing worship music, and a welcoming community!
- A nearly touch-free environment. Communal items will be removed such as pens, bibles, bulletins, and hymnals.Doors will be propped open, or opened for you.
- Coffee, donuts, and water fountains will not be available.
- Nursery and TreeHouse Kids Ministry will not be open. Children are welcome in the services and we have small activity bags to take home!
- Offerings can be placed in the offering boxes located in the sanctuary, or by giving online.
- All staff and volunteers will be required to wear face masks.
- The North and West entrances will be unlocked to enter and to exit the building. All other doors will be locked.
- Everyone will be ushered into the sanctuary by household units (families, students who share an apartment, etc) to their seats to ensure proper seat spacing.
- Socializing between services will occur outdoors only. We have established a couple of “outdoor lobbies” with seating areas where you are welcome to socialize after the service.
- Surfaces such as chairs and doors will be sanitized between services.
WHAT WE ASK OF YOU:
- Face masks are required for the first service and are strongly encouraged for the second service. If you need a face mask, we will be offering free face masks at all entrances.
- If you are not feeling well, please stay home and watch online.
- Bring your own coffee, water, bible, and pens.
- Please exit the building immediately following the service to ensure proper cleaning between services.
- Avoid handshakes and hugging and practice 6 feet of social distancing whenever possible. We know this is a hard one!
- Come with a heart prepared to worship God!
As we learn more about the virus and recommended social distancing guidelines, precautions that we have in place now may change in the weeks to come. We ask for your continued patience, flexibility, and grace for our Trinity community. We look forward to worshiping with you in-person and online in July!
June 11, 2020
This week the Regathering Taskforce met to review the latest COVID-19 data provided by state and local officials. We continue to see a decrease in cases in our area, and as a result, Trinity will move to Phase 3 beginning July 5th which will include in-person Sunday Services. We are, of course, monitoring the situation closely and will continue to evaluate as new data comes in.
In Phase 3 we will be offering two ways to engage in our Sunday services:
We understand that many of you are eager to gather and that this is exciting news. We also understand that there are some who may want to continue to gather virtually for the time being. This is a good opportunity for us to practice Ephesians 4:2, which tells us to “bear with one another in love.” We want to be considerate and honoring of each other, and for our Trinity leadership, that means offering a high quality, safe Sunday morning experience that is available both virtually and in-person.
We are currently in the process of upgrading our camera equipment so that our live-streamed services will offer the same video quality that you have gotten used to these past several months with our prerecorded services. However, this new system will not be ready to go until July 5. We deeply value those of you who are going to continue worshiping online with us on in the months to come, and you are just as much a part of our church as those that come in-person.
In the coming weeks, we will have more information pertaining to what our Sunday in-person experience will look like, and what precautions we plan to implement. We look forward to gathering with you together in-person for Sunday worship!
In the meantime, we will begin offering some outdoor in-person activities. On Saturday, June 13th, at 6:30p we will be hosting an outdoor Night of Prayer for Racial Reconciliation at the Trinity Field which will be open to both our Trinity Family and the Cedar Valley community. Please join us in-person for a time of prayer for racial reconciliation for our nation, and for these recent events to bring glory to God. Only He can reconcile our nation and bring unity.
May 29, 2020
Starting June 1st, Governor Reynolds has announced that most gathering-related activities can resume normal operations at a 50% capacity rate. In addition, 14-day trends for Black Hawk County have shown a steady decline. As a result of this information, the Regathering Task Force has opted to move Trinity's COVID-19 response from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
In Phase 2, we will continue to offer Sunday services in an online format only. However, for those who feel comfortable, we encourage you to consider hosting or participating in a Sunday Watch Party with a group of friends, neighbors, or even your small group. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "watch party", it is simply a time where a group of people gather together in-person to experience an online service on either your TV, computer, or any type of media device. For example, if you have been gathering with your family these past several weeks to watch online services, technically you have already been engaging in a Sunday Watch Party! The next step is to simply start inviting others to join you in-person.
In addition to hosting or participating in a Sunday Watch Party, all of the following areas can continue to meet in an online format, or begin to gather again in-person:
- Student Ministry (6th grade - 12th grade)
- Small Groups
- 1 on 1 Discipleship
- Ministry Teams
When gathering in-person, social distancing is encouraged when possible, as is wearing a face mask. During this time, the church building will remain closed as a way to reduce custodian and utility costs. For further details on our decision-making guidelines and Trinity's 4 Phase Regathering Plan please view previous communications below on this webpage.
Individuals who feel uncomfortable with in-person gatherings at this time, we love you and respect your decision to remain cautious. For those that identify as a part of the vulnerable population, (over the age of 60, have underlying medical conditions or immune-system compromised), we strongly encourage you to continue to gather virtually. We understand that while social isolation can protect you physically, it can also create an emotional and spiritual strain. If you are feeling the burden of this, please don't go through it alone. Let us know how we can help you by going to bit.ly/TBCsupport.
Our Regathering Task Force is continuously monitoring data provided by local and state officials and we will re-evaluate mid-June to assess the next appropriate measures to take. We hope to regather corporately in our building soon, but regardless of where we worship, let us remember that we are still the Church. In the meantime, we ask you to pray and consider hosting a Sunday Watch Party and thinking of those you could invite. God's grace still allows us to be the Church, even while we can't meet in our building.
Please continue to pray for wisdom for our church leaders, healthcare providers, and government officials as we work through this pandemic together.
May 15, 2020
This week, Gov.
Reynolds eased some of the shutdown restrictions in Black Hawk County,
allowing certain businesses to reopen, but Iowans are still asked to limit
gatherings to 10 people, social distance when in public and wear a mask when
not able to social distance. Additionally, their recommendation is that any
Iowan over 65 or those with underlying health conditions should still continue
to stay home as much as possible.
Meanwhile, some churches in our area and around the state are beginning to resume in-person gatherings, which is our constitutional right. I (Pastor Peter) am grateful that the Governor has recognized this right and has given churches the freedom to decide when to regather for public worship, but this decision has to be very carefully evaluated.
To do this, our Shepherding Board has appointed a Regathering Task Force to decide how and when to transition into the next phase of Trinity’s 4 phase re-entry plan, as well as establish guidelines for what procedures we need to follow once we regather as a church. This task force consists of Trina Landmesser, myself, and some of the doctors in our church: Dr. Mike Berstler, Dr. Gary Moyer, Dr. Steve Riggs, Dr. Jeff Sutton. We have decided that at this time, our building will remain closed for in-person gatherings, and our worship services and small groups will continue to meet online until social gathering limits have increased.
There are 4 major factors we’re considering as we continue to evaluate how and when to regather as a church.
1. Respect for governing authorities. 1 Peter 2:16-17 says: Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Even though we are free to gather, we don’t want to abuse this freedom. We want to honor and respect the social gathering guidelines put in place by our governing authorities, and right now those guidelines limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Our worship services and most of our small groups are over 10 people.
2. The Great Commandment: Love God. Matthew 22:37-40 sums up the Christian life by first saying: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. We believe that it is possible for us to grow in love for Jesus even during these extraordinary circumstances where we aren’t gathering for public worship. Regular public worship is clearly modeled in the New Testament Church, but there are also examples in the New Testament where believers were able to thrive in their relationship with Jesus while unable to gather, such as the Apostle Paul while he was in prison.
3. The Great Commandment: Love your neighbor. Along with the command to Love God, Jesus also taught us to Love your neighbor as yourself. For Trinity, this means:
- Caring about the public health of our community. We care deeply about human life because we believe that every person is created in God’s image. Our Regathering Task Force believes that gathering isn’t safe for our staff, volunteers, attendees, or for the broader community at this time.
- Giving grace to one another. There are a wide range of opinions about COVID-19, the government’s response, and how churches should respond. We need to extend grace to each other during this stressful time. I ask you to extend grace to our leadership as we are all trying to do what’s best for our personal health, our church, and our community.
- Unity as a body. Various churches in our community will phase in regathering at different speeds, and we aren’t going to try to compete with other churches. We ask you to stay committed to each other and to our local church during this time, as there is nothing the enemy would want more than to see this crisis result in a division in our church. We need to be unified and committed to one another now more than ever. As we begin regathering in the future, there are many who won’t be able to join us because they are especially vulnerable. We need to be considerate, gracious and bend over backwards to ensure that everyone feels included.
4. The Great Commission. Our
mission is to make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). We envision
a movement of spiritual generations that transforms the very fabric of our
community. The last thing we need is to damage our reputation in the community.
We want to be known as a blessing to our community, not as ground zero for a
new outbreak. Additionally, when we come back together for Sunday morning
worship, we want worship to be a joyful and welcoming environment for you and
for your “ones”.
In the last 8 weeks, we have seen that Trinity is much more than a building. We are gathering together weekly to participate in online worship on Sunday mornings, and we have had newcomers join as well! We also have started a YouTube Channel and we are doing daily Facebook Live videos to encourage spiritual growth and community. Our small groups are meeting on Zoom to study the Bible and to support each other. We have been calling each other and praying for each other. We are finding creative ways to serve each other and to serve our community. We are sharing Jesus with friends and neighbors. Our church staff and lay leaders are learning and growing and are utilizing new strategies that will allow us to better serve our congregation and community through this season and beyond. This disciplemaking movement continues to grow even during this season! So be encouraged that we aren’t taking a step backwards, we are continuing to press on in faith (Phil. 3:14).
May 1, 2020
This week Governor Reynolds issued an advisory for Black Hawk County to continue to shelter in place until May 15th. This extension does not apply to religious gatherings. However, under the advisement of several doctors in our congregation, we feel that returning to our normal Sunday services would be an unnecessary risk to our community.
In order to better prepare you for what to expect in Trinity's response against the COVID-19 outbreak, we have created a 4-Phase Re-entry Plan. We will continue to utilize the guidance of state officials, as well as doctors in our Trinity community, to determine when we will transition from one phase to the next. When a decision has been made, we will communicate more specific details on what the next phase may look like. Based on our re-entry plan, we are currently operating in Phase 1 (Strict Operations). While our hope is that we continue to progress towards Phase 4 (Normal Operations), we want to prepare you that reverting back to a previous phase may occur.
These phases are to serve as a guideline for how we will operate, but we want to keep your safety in mind. For individuals who are considered vulnerable populations; such as those are over the age of 60, have underlying medical conditions, or immune-system compromised, we would advise you to stay home until no evidence of a rebound in the outbreak is present in Black Hawk County. For when we do return to public gatherings at Trinity, our staff has been working together to discuss what elements we need to consider to reduce communal spread.
In the meantime, we will continue to meet for our Sunday Services through Facebook, YouTube, and on our Website. We also encourage you to continue to engage with each other through phone calls, text messages, and online call-in Zoom meetings. If you aren't currently plugged into a Small Group, we would love for this to be an opportunity for you to consider a no-commitment trial run of attending one of our Zoom Small Groups. If this is something you'd be interested in, please contact Pastor Steve at email@example.com.
We thank you for your prayers for our leadership team and your patience as we work through this crisis together. We ask that you continue to pray for our governing officials, healthcare providers, and those directly affected by the virus. Let us continue to put our hope and strength in the One who continues to be with us through these troubling times (Psalm 46).
April 16, 2020
Recently, an Outreach Team was formed at Trinity, and we want to provide you with some ways you can be helping others here in the Cedar Valley during this time, as well as offer some tools for you to engage with those around you. CLICK HERE to find out some ways you be involved!