Letter from the Elders 5-16-20
Suffering through trials together brings a sense of comradery. It’s an interesting thing, but every veteran instinctively feels a sense of brotherhood with every other veteran. Even if they didn’t serve in the same conflict, they are able to share stories that, understandably, others who have not served can’t relate to. People who suffer with sickness also relate to the difficulties they live with in ways that healthy people can’t. In our present world-wide pandemic you might expect that everyone is having the same experience, but that isn’t true, there are differences in the impact it is having on people. Where you live, what profession you’re in, your family dynamics are all factors in how this crisis is impacting your life. If you live in a state that has relatively few cases, then the effect will be minimal, but if you live in New York City, the effect is much greater.
But as Christians, our bond is much deeper than these outward experiences because our bond is built on God’s divine eternal Spirit. It’s the part of every believer that relates to and resonates with every other believer – and it binds even stronger between brethren who worship and fellowship together at their local churches. We grow together and thrive together as a unit, put together by God’s sovereign hand, to bring Him glory and encourage one another to grow and flourish in our faith. While in this pandemic situation we’re still that church unit, we’re still bringing God glory and encouraging one another, and we’re still flourishing in our faith with every day as we look to our Savior for His divine love, guidance and provisions in our current situation. We thank our gracious God for our brethren! We can help and support one another like no one else can – with God’s mind for us and God’s desire for His church.
Even though there are quite a few conditions we must follow in order to get back to meeting together again, we have been looking into some possibilities for meeting at the church parking lot, inside our own individual cars, for a Sunday morning service. We haven’t navigated all the conditions yet, but we are diligently working on ideas. Below is an outline of what we’ve done and where we presently stand on this possibility:
Grace Gospel Church, FCC, and Somerset Town Regulations for Proposed Drive-in Church and Proposal for Live Streaming 5/13/2020
- FM transmitter for FM transmission to radios in cars has to be 200 feet (in every direction) away from any powerline. Any violation will be $10K or $75K depending on determination as to whether use of device in violation was accidental or negligence. We cannot achieve that required 200’ distance. (FCC Rules)
- We have not found an acceptable device to broadcast a signal that is FCC approved even if we could use one (which we cannot do because of #1).
- Everyone must stay in their vehicles at all times with all windows fully up and all doors closed. No one is allowed out of their vehicles at any time for any reason. The town, we believe according to communications will be monitoring us for compliance. We have been notified that any violations will result in immediate “shut down.” (Somerset Board of Health regulation).
- No restroom facilities can be used by attendees (Somerset Board of Health regulation).
- We are looking into live streaming where parking lot attendees will access worship and messages through streaming on personal devices connected to the internet. We will still need to abide by Somerset regulations #3 and #4.
Please contact us if you have any questions about these things, or if you have any ideas we may be able to use.
God bless you,