PASSAGES LAVEEN
Friday, August 14, 2020
Connect...Challenge...Impact!

COVID-19 Updates

What to expect for Passages Kids Regathering on Saturday, August 15 (Posted August 14, 2020)

 

Passages Kids Ministry will be regathering this weekend.  We will begin with two consolidated classrooms as we gauge the number of children that will be involved and ramp up volunteers to staff this important ministry, and will adapt as circumstances and participation requires. 

Kids will begin the service in worship with their families and then be dismissed for Passages Kids Ministry mid-worship.  Child check-in will be in the lobby of Building A (the classroom building directly across from the Sanctuary building).  

We are so excited to see our Passages Kids and volunteers again!  If you have an interest in volunteering, click here to reach our Children's Director, Crystal Marvin to discuss opportunities.  

Sincerely, 

The Leadership Team

 

Regathering Plan (Posted July 31, 2020)

 

Regathering Plan Details, Times, Locations: In Person Saturday, August 8 at 7:00pm at Laveen Baptist Church.  Streaming on YouTube, Saturday August 8th at 7:00pm and Sunday August 9th at 10:00am

Good afternoon!  We want to ensure you have enough information to make the right decision about how to attend services at Passages, whether that is in-person or via our stream on YouTube.  Information on COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving, sometimes even at odds between credible sources.  Likewise, we will continue to adapt over time, and we encourage you all as Paul encouraged the Colossians (Colossians 3:12-14) to, “...put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another...Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Let us be gracious with one another as we  venture forward in these uncharted waters!

 

Streaming

We will continue to stream the service (recorded Saturday evenings) on Sunday mornings at 10:00am on Youtube, so that anyone who is not comfortable attending in person for any reason, still has an opportunity to participate in the service.

 

In-Person

We  encourage following the guidelines, published by Arizona, for gatherings in places of worship, recognizing that we each have the freedom to make decisions according to the needs of our families.  Those guidelines can be found in full here.

In summary, we encourage the following:

·   Please stay home if you are sick

·   Those who are at high-risk may want to consider attending the streaming service.

·   Use of masks

·   Use of Hand Sanitizers (available on site)

·   Social Distancing (We will block certain rows to help maintain distancing)

 

We are planning to begin including a concurrent children’s program on Saturday, August 15 at 7:00pm.  If you have a passion for working with kids and want to help, please contact Crystal Marvin.

 

 

Opening Our Doors (Posted July 31, 2020)

We are delighted to share that a new opportunity has been opened up to us to worship together in person. We met with the leadership at Laveen Baptist Church on Thursday of this week, and they have offered us the use of their facilities to gather in worship and fellowship. We are so encouraged to see God moving through His people and we appreciate the spirit of collaboration that our brothers and sisters at Laveen Baptist have demonstrated in this gesture!

 

Laveen Baptist holds services on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings. So that we do not conflict with their schedule, we will be shifting our worship gathering at the Laveen Baptist facilities to Saturday evenings at 7:00pm. We are planning to have our first gathering Saturday, August 8th at 7:00pm, and will let you know if that changes. There will not be a kids program our first week gathering. Our Director of Children’s Ministry, Crystal Marvin, is coordinating the concurrent children’s program to start the following week, Saturday August 15th. We are still evaluating our ability to stream the service from our YouTube channel on Saturday evenings, and we will stream it at its usual time on Sunday mornings as well. There will be various needs for volunteers, as usual, so please be praying about how you might be led to serve. Masks are encouraged, but not required and there is ample space in the auditorium to spread out and socially distance while worshiping.

 

Laveen Baptist is located on the Northeast corner of 51st Ave and Dobbins Rd. We will share a reminder next week and we are looking forward to gathering together once again!

 

In His Love,

The Leadership Team

 

IMPACT (Posted July 29, 2020)

The third foundational principle of our vision at Passages it to Impact Laveen and world around us with God’s love and the gospel message.  Home teams are the vehicle through which we organize and mobilize to accomplish just that!  As we look at the community around us right now, we see people aching and longing for hope and stability.  We want to make an impact in those people’s lives and let them know that Passages is here to serve our community.

 

We are challenging our home teams to identify those opportunities where they have a particular passion to make an impact on the community around us and mobilize so that we can be a source of light and hope for others.  Outreach derives from the joy, peace and hope each of us has found in our relationships with Christ, which compels us to share that with others.  So we are eager to see how God is leading our home teams to serve our community, and support our home teams in those efforts. 

 

In His Love,

The Leadership Team

 

 

CHALLENGE (Posted July 28, 2020)

The second bedrock of our mission at Passages is to challenge one another to grow in our relationships with Christ.  We do that through the messages that Keith, Ben and visiting pastors bring during our Sunday morning services.  We also do that in our home teams, where we gather in more intimate groups and build deep relationships with one another as we live life together, study God’s word together, and experience opportunities to exercise (grow) our faith with one another. 

 

Keith will be reaching out to arrange a home team leaders meeting in the next few weeks so that we can be ready to launch our home teams in early September.  It is our hope that home teams will be comfortable enough, and exercise responsible care for one another, to gather together safely and continue their fellowship and growth throughout the week.  As usual, once we have home team leaders committed to leading their teams, we will publish those teams that are meeting so that anyone not already part of a home team can get plugged into one!

 

Home teams are an excellent way to participate together in the online services (until we are allowed to return to Betty Fairfax, or we identify a new location to meet) in person.  Obviously, we want and need to be respectful of one another’s wellbeing, so we need to exercise prudent discretion and refrain from gathering when we have any symptoms of feeling unwell, or if we’ve been exposed recently to extensive travel or others with COVID-19.

 

Home teams are also the driving force that empowers us to engage in the third foundation of our mission: to Impact the community and world around us, which we will touch on more in our next email, tomorrow!

 

In His Love,

The Leadership Team

 

 

CONNECT (Posted July 27, 2020)

Connection is so important in our relationships with one another and with God.  Being a mobile church, we have enjoyed the blessing of being able to rent the facilities at Betty Fairfax , and other Phoenix schools, since our arrival in Laveen.  At this time, we do not have a definitive date when, or if, we will be able to return to the Betty Fairfax facility.  We have moved to the YouTube live-stream platform for our Sunday morning services to meet that need while we evaluate other options.   

 

As a leadership team, we have explored renting from charter schools, retail spaces and commercial spaces, and have not yet been able to identify a space that is financially viable or available.  We need your  help identifying alternative locations.  Another possibility may be to partner with another struggling church who has a facility or space already that we could share.  If you have any ideas, please communicate them to us so that we can explore those further. 

As we explore those alternatives, we will continue live-streaming the service, and want to encourage in-home small group / Home Team worship gatherings.  Weather permitting, we are also coordinating a monthly outdoor gathering for worship and fellowship.

We have been engaged in a clean-up effort of our databases to ensure that we have contact information for those who are still active in our congregation and those who are new to our congregation, so that we can do a better job of communicating with those in our body; we recognize that we have an opportunity to improve communications.  We crave your feedback as well so please reach out to us as you have ideas, feedback and needs.

 

We will be resuming our Home Teams in early September.  This is another way to connect in person with others for fellowship, encouragement and growth.  Home teams bridge the Connect goal of our mission with the Challenge goal of our mission, which I’ll dig into more in my next message, tomorrow.

 

In His Love,

The Leadership Team

 


UPDATE POSTED JULY 16, 2020

From Pastor Keith

 

The Phoenix Union School district has informed us they will be doing online classes through the first quarter of the new school year and are not sure when they will be opening the school up for public use. As a result, we should expect our current Live Streaming on You Tube to continue through September/October or until the district tells us otherwise.

 

UPDATE POSTED JUNE 26, 2020

From the Leadership Team


Passages In The Woods Camping Trip (July 10-12): We have received confirmation from the Crook Campground at Woods Canyon Lake that our group reservation for July 10th - 12th has been cancelled by the Forest Service due to COVID-19 safety concerns.  Of course we are disappointed that we cannot hold our traditional Passages In the Woods camp out this year.  We will broadcast a service on YouTube that Sunday (July 12th) at the usual time, 10:00am.  We also encourage those of you who are still planning to camp on your own that weekend to do so safely.  If you are making plans to camp, you may want to share those via your home team leaders as others may enjoy the opportunity to camp nearby and still enjoy the outdoors together.  This update will be posted to our Facebook page for Passages Church and those who would like to coordinate camping trips together can utilize the comments section to share plans with others as well.


 

UPDATE POSTED JUNE 19, 2020

From the Leadership Team

 

Dear Passages Family,

I want to share an update with you all from the Leadership Team regarding the status of resuming in-person services. 

First, I want to thank everyone who completed the survey online.  Your feedback has been helpful as we contemplate what a return to meeting in person at Fairfax High School might look like. 

With regard to when in-person meetings may happen, communications from the school district nearing the end of May were that they anticipated being able to make the school available to us to rent once again, beginning in mid-June.  With the recent news of spikes in coronavirus cases in Arizona, the school has returned to a more conservative stance on re-opening.  Therefore, we do not have an ETA for when they may allow us back for in-person services.  We feel this is likely a prudent stance.   

We want to reassure you that we have considered and will continue to consider alternative locations in the Laveen area, including potential space-sharing opportunities with other churches and also leasing vacant retail/commercial spaces.  Neither appear to be viable options, either because of availability of space, or because it is cost-prohibitive.  Additionally, with COVID-19 cases on the rise here in AZ, and out of an abundance of caution, we want to ensure that we are caring not only for the spiritual needs of our Passages family, but also for their physical needs. 

For the time being, our options appear to be limited to continuing the streaming service format on Sunday mornings, which we are committed to doing.  I am reminded that the early church was built on “home teams”....it was the format in which the early church met and came together for worship, fellowship and mutual support; large buildings for groups to gather were not what the early church would have recognized as “the church”.  I personally feel confident that we are not forsaking the gathering together by participating in the streaming service.  I also feel strongly that it is an important structure (home teams) for shepherding and caring for one another at this time, and I want to encourage everyone in a home team to remain committed to that care of one another. 

For our home team leaders, we have the awesome opportunity to shepherd and care for those in our home teams and make sure we are staying connected, engaging, and remaining aware of what those in our home teams are going through.  We can support, encourage and invest in one another during this time all the more!  If you are not part of a home team, but you are feeling disconnected, click here to contact Pastor Keith and he will get you in touch with a home team.  Our home teams can be that bedrock of community while we are unable to gather collectively in a larger setting.

We recognize that these circumstances are unprecedented in our own lifetimes in terms of the impact to gathering together for worship, not to mention many other aspects of our day to day lives.  Fellowship is extremely important at a very core, human level as well as in our relationships to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are navigating “uncharted waters” in many ways.  As a board, we will continue to humbly, with much prayer and consideration, try to make the best decisions possible about how, where and when we can resume gathering within the circumstances around us. 

Passages in the Woods Camping Trip (July 10-12)

At this time, Crook Campground, where we have our annual Passages in the Woods camp out, has restrictions in place through the end of June, prohibiting group camping.  We are looking for other options, all of which will be subject to any restrictions from the National Forest Service.  We will continue to monitor those restrictions and provide an update on the status of our planned camp out at the beginning of July.