Dear Chaparral Family,
This week I was shocked when I heard Arizona was named the worst place to be in the world as it is related to COVID. I knew things were bad, but that’s incredible and disappointing to read. On top of that, a public demonstration went sour at our nation’s capital building that resulted in the loss of life and the trust of many. This email will address the first issue and I will address the violence in the capital on Sunday.
While Arizona continues to struggle with the pandemic, we are doing our best to continue meeting in a safe way and I think we have an ace up our sleeve. As you might know, we have a beautiful amphitheater on the south side of our campus. Since I first laid eyes on it I began wondering how we might use that great space for church and we think we found the answer. Next Sunday, January 17, we will have our Sunday morning services outdoors in our amphitheater! Not only will it be great to worship outdoors, the weather is nearly perfect albeit a little chilly in the shade.
Here are a few answers to some questions you may be wondering:
Won’t it be cold?
It will likely be in the low to mid 50’s in the shade. Sitting in the sun is quite comfortable, but we would recommend bringing a jacket and perhaps a blanket. The concrete is a little cold so you may want a seating pad or blanket to sit on.
Will the amphitheater be accessible for those with wheelchairs/walkers/other needs?
Yes! The south/west entrance of the amphitheater is easily walkable. We will have special seats in the back for those with mobility needs as well as some heaters, if desired.
What about the online services?
Nothing will change for those who continue to watch from home. Everything will “go” at 10am as usual.
What are we going to do for music?
Kim and Mel will lead out a great acoustic set. We will have a PA system that will help us create a good experience for all. Volume levels will be appropriate for our neighbors.
Can we socially distance appropriately in the amphitheater?
Absolutely. We had approximately 180 people in the amphitheater socially distanced at our Preschool/School Thanksgiving Program and it felt great. Our numbers will be lower than that, so you can come with confidence there is plenty of space.
Will we still have Nursery and Kids Programming?
Yes, we will have the same programming located in the same part of campus (the Nursery in the Auditorium and Kids Room). Since the adults will meet in the amphitheater and the kids will be in a different part of the campus, we are placing members of our security team to monitor both rooms and the courtyard during services. If you would like to join our security team, contact Dakota!
How long will we meet in the amphitheater?
We are going to meet there for at least 3 weeks. We will do our best to communicate well in-advance any changes to our services.
Where do I park?
You are free to park in any spot, but the South Parking Lot will give you the easiest access to the amphitheater. Drive down either 64th PL or 65th PL and turn into the campus. You will see the amphitheater and plenty of good parking all around. There will be directional signs and some volunteers around campus to help guide you.
Our hope is to create the most reasonably safe place for our church to gather and worship. Thank you for being a part of it!
Next week we are launching something brand new called Theopraxis. The word “Theopraxis” combines two Greek words: theos (God) and praxis (practice). It’s not about theology for theology’s sake, but how we live and lead based on what we know about God. Beginning Wednesday January 13 at 7pm on Facebook Live we are going to spend 50 minutes learning what the bible is about and how we can approach it faithfully. After the live event we will do a brief Q&A. When the event is completed, the video will be posted on our website and Youtube channel. I would love for you to join us as we learn more about the bible and what it means for us today.
Also, we are a community that loves to serve our neighbors, especially those in need. An area food bank, Vista del Camino, is in need of additional items to give out, so they loaned us food bins to collect donations right here on campus! When you are shopping for your family this month, consider picking up some extra pantry items to donate. Bring in your donations either Sunday mornings or during the week. It will be located outside the church office during the week Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm.
Finally, I am going to address the situation and circumstances that have been simmering in our nation over the past several years (decades? centuries?) this Sunday. I hope and pray you join us and hold the same open-hearted spirit of Christ we seek in all things.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about our plan to meet in the amphitheater or anything else!
Austin Martin, Lead Pastor