Dear Thrive Family,
In light of a coalition of California churches deciding recently to re-open their facilities for in-person gatherings on May 31st, we wanted to communicate with you the intention of Thrive Church. We will not be opening our doors on May 31st. Rest assured that we are working hard now to be ready to open up just as soon as we can! We are excited about seeing your faces, worshipping with you, and enjoying the power that comes when we are gathered in unity! We can’t wait! In fact, when you come back you’ll see the building has been freshly painted, the floors redone, the place deep cleaned…almost like new! We are doing that for YOU! And that day is coming soon!
So, to give you an update of our particular approach, we want you to know that Thrive Church remains dedicated to loving and investing in people so that they may know Christ and have the capacity to thrive in every aspect of their lives as they grow in faith and knowledge of the Word of God. We believe the Gospel clearly teaches us to value and honor human life, treat one another with mercy, submit to authority and declare the salvation message of Christ as the only hope for the world.
In this spirit, we have three key guiding lights as we navigate the Coronavirus season and the restrictions implemented by our local governance:
1. Current Effective and Excellent Ministry:
We are committed to ministering excellently and effectively through all means available, so that our Thrive Church Family can continue to grow in their faith, be encouraged in their spirit, be unified in community and continue to impact those around us with loving and powerful ministry. Through On-line Sunday Experience, Pastor Eric and Lori Live, Worship Live, On-line Thrive Kids ministry, On-line Warehouse Youth ministry, weekly On-line Thrive Devos and our very important Digital Thrive Groups, we have provided steady and intentional spiritual support. These efforts have been about spiritual growth and community. Over the past two months we have also blessed the needy with thousands of meals worth of groceries! Our team has done an excellent job, you have been so very generous and we will continue to provide the best ministry and care we can.
2. Care and Concern for Our Family:
Thrive Church will continue to prioritize the well-being of our congregation by caring for your physical health, as well as your spiritual health. We will do our very best to not endanger our precious congregation with unnecessary risks, especially the most vulnerable among us. This will mean that when we gather, we will apply the best practices known by us, so that every person can feel safe and cared for even while we worship together.
3. The Biblical Imperative of Submission to Authority:
Thrive Church understands and accepts the biblical imperative to submit to authority, so long as that authority does not require unrighteous actions, behaviors or adherences to practices in direct conflict with the law of God. In that spirit, and in unity with the leaders of our CPMN Network and A/G Fellowship, Thrive Church will continue to abide by the San Joaquin County’s restrictions, for now. We have been in direct contact with county and city officials as it pertains to the restrictions on the local church and have expressed our conviction that corporate worship and the ministry of the Church is essential for the psychological, social and emotional wellness of the population. We believe our voices have been heard and restrictions will ease soon. We are also under the conviction that if there is good reason to believe the church of Jesus Christ is being prejudiced against, in practice or in spirit, we will have a responsibility to take recourse to correct any injustice against our religious freedoms and/or the rightful place of the local church in society.
We thank you for your patience, your commitment and your love! We cannot wait to see you!
-Thrive Board of Directors and Thrive Pastoral Staff
A final note from Pastor Eric:
Family, we are just as excited as anyone else at the prospect of gathering again, and we respect the decisions that others are making. Each church leadership is responsible for their own decision-making and we are in no place to judge another in this matter. The Board of Directors and Pastoral Leadership of Thrive Church are making the decisions that seem right to us and the Holy Spirit. We also understand we are a part of a larger Family, this is the family of our CPMN Network and the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Our current position is in unity with their counsel. There will be an end to this season, and the beginning of a new one soon! Together, we will forge ahead. I am confident of this: we will be a better church and we will be a better people because of this season!
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to respond!
Lori and I love and miss you! See you online, until we see you at church!
-Pastor Eric Baca