RE-GATHER PLAN

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed all of our lives. The last time we gathered in our building on a Sunday was March 8th. We have recorded 11 online services, celebrated Easter and Mothers' Day, and worked through the entire book of Philippians, all without being together physically. In the midst of that, God has poured out his grace. We have seen so many of you stay connected, care for each other, and press into Jesus by faith. As stay-at-home restrictions begin to slowly lift in our state, we've put together a plan to incrementally re-gather our scattered church.

What's Next

As we’ve sought God’s direction for our next season as a church, we’ve explored a variety options for us to regather. At this point, we are committed to following the directives given by our government authorities, as well as the guidelines provided by the CDC. It is increasingly clear based on these guidelines that the steps needed to regather in our building are complex, restrictive, and at times a moving target. Though we deeply value gathering all together as the church on a Sunday morning in our building to worship, under these guidelines, that can't happen in the way we’re used to. Because of this, we feel the best expression of our identity and values as a church in our initial steps of regathering is to gather in smaller groups in homes around the gospel, community, and mission.

"We feel the best expression of our identity and values in our initial steps of regathering is to gather in smaller groups in homes around the gospel, community, and mission."

Our greatest strength as a church in this moment is flexibility. If you’ve come with us this far over the last few months, you’ve already demonstrated an incredible willingness to adapt and adjust. We will need to continue exercising those qualities. In the weeks ahead, the elders will regularly assess, discuss, and potentially adjust our plan. We know we are asking for sacrifice from all of us, but our prayer and firm belief is that God will use this moment to refine, shape, and deepen us for our good and for his glory!

The steps below define a simple plan for us to incrementally regather as a church simultaneous with Washington State’s re-opening.

STEP 1

Simultaneous to Washington State "Safe Start" Phase 2
  • Virtual service on Sunday will continue.
  • Community Groups will continue to meet digitally via Zoom.
  • Micro-groups will being gathering on Sundays mornings.
  • We'll explore options for outdoor gatherings.
  • Church building will remain closed to outside groups.

Lead/Host a Micro-Group

Join a Micro-Group

STEP 2

Simultaneous to Washington State "Safe Start" Phase 3
  • Virtual services will continue.
  • Community Groups will begin meeting on Sundays in homes.
  • Outdoor gatherings will continue.
  • Small groups will be allowed to meet at the church building (Bible studies, men's groups, Lifechange counseling, etc.)
  • Church building will remain closed to outside groups.

STEP 3

  • Begin in-person gatherings in our building.
  • Livestream will be available for those unable or uncomfortable attending.
  • Gatherings will likely still feel different as we follow guidelines from WA state and the CDC.
  • Building will open up to use by outside groups.

FAQ

What is a micro-group?
A micro-group is a small group of 2 to 3 families (max 6 adults), gathering in a home on Sunday morning to worship together through our online virtual service. Each group will have a leader/host who facilitates the group by engaging in the worship service, participating in the Lord’s supper, and enjoying fellowship and encouragement together. If you're already connected to a Community Group, micro-groups will be formed with other members of your Community Group. If you're not connected to a Community Group, find out how to get plugged into a micro-group below.
How do I get plugged into a micro-group?
If you're already in a Community Group, your leader will help you get connected to a micro-group of 2 to 3 families within your Community Group. If you are not currently connected to a CG, we would love to help you get connected, but it is even more important to us during Step 1 of our regathering plan that you have a micro-group to worship with on Sunday mornings. We're working to connect those willing to host a micro-group with those looking to join one. Sign-up above.
Can I switch up who is in my micro-group each Sunday?
We know that many of you are excited to begin opening up your lives and homes to others. We want to encourage you, as stay-at-home restrictions lift and as you are comfortable, to find all kinds of ways to practice hospitality and love for your neighbor. However, for our micro-groups, we’re asking you, for a limited period of time, to be consistent with who you meet with. Our goal through micro-groups is to have a venue for each person who is a part of Summit to have a place to worship together with others on Sunday. To do this, we need structure and consistency. Your commitment to 2 to 3 other individuals and families (max 6 adults) will help us have structures that keep others from slipping through the cracks.
What will happen to the online services going forward?
Church leadership across the country has realized the need for and benefits of offering an online service option during this unprecedented season of isolation. As we transition into futures steps in our plan, the elder team is aware that a few specific groups in our midst will remain served by this medium:
  • Those who are vulnerable
  • Those who are concerned about being in the church building with larger groups of people
  • Those who are new and finding out more about our church before possibly attending in person
Our plan is to continue providing pre-recorded service content during steps 1 and 2, and then we will look to transition to a live-stream model in step 3. We are excited and thankful to see the gospel proclaimed through the various mediums and technologies God has given His people to use to serve Him. 
How will you ensure a safe environment for individuals and families through this step-by-step regathering process?
We're working diligently on details for what sanitation and social distancing best practices are needed for our regathering process to move forward. We're committed to following closely the guidelines given to us by state, federal, and appropriate health organizations as we look to meet together again in our building. These guidelines will inform everything about how we hope to see the church meet together for services, Bible studies, and weekly office hours as well. Be on the lookout for specific direction coming during Step 2 of our plan.
What will we do if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall or if the government reinstates a stay-at-home order?
We don’t know what the months ahead will look like. Some epidemiologists have projected a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall and winter. It seems that our future living with this pandemic will be more of a “dance” than a complete return to ordinary life. One of the qualities we will need to exercise individually and corporately is flexibility. The honest truth is, we don’t know what this will look like. Proverbs reminds us that “the heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Pr. 16:9). God is in control. We need to plan and prepare, but we are prepared to flexibly respond to changes the Lord in his sovereign goodness allows, whether that means pulling back or pushing ahead in our re-gathering steps.
What do I do if I have questions?
We want to hear from you! Please don’t remain silent if there are questions or concerns that you have. We’re committed to patiently and gently shepherding the body through this challenging season. We also want to help you stay connected to the life of the church. Reach out to us through the form below.

Send us your questions.