July 2, 2020 UPDATE
Capital’s Task Force has continued to listen and learn from local leaders and health experts, and has begun developing a PHASED RE-GATHERING PLAN for Capital’s community. With the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in our area in recent weeks, and with Salt Lake City still being in the Orange “High Risk” phase, we do not anticipate returning to weekend gatherings in Salt Lake City or Park City in the near future. However, in-person gatherings under 20 (indoor) and under 50 (outdoor) are encouraged among our community, at the discretion of individual households and within health and safety parameters.
Within PHASE ONE of the plan, we will continue hosting weekend services solely online, and our staff is encouraged to work from home as much as possible. We are communicating cautious and conservative guidelines to those who do come into the Salt Lake building for work during the week and for the weekend service volunteers and staff—including wearing face masks, maintaining physical distancing, cleaning/disinfecting surfaces & equipment, and abiding by sign-in protocols to help with potential contact tracing.
Additionally, guidelines are being provided to Small Group and ministry leaders who may be hosting and leading gatherings. Gathering in-person is still left to the individual discretion of group leaders & participants, and we encourage leaders to continue offering online options for meetings as a way to promote safety and participation among those most vulnerable.
At this time, we will continue prayerfully considering what and when PHASE 2 will be. While the Governor’s color-coded health guidance system is certainly one of our markers for when/how Capital will transition between phases of our plan, we do not anticipate Capital moving through our phases simultaneously with the state-wide phases. We are grateful for the guidance from our governing authorities, and are also being mindful of how regathering decisions specifically impact Capital. And of course, our plans are subject to change based on new information we may receive in the months ahead. We will communicate with you as we have updates!
In the meantime, we urge you to do your best in loving your neighbors well in this season by abiding by the health and safety recommendations of local authorities. Above all, please join us in continued prayer. Pray for the families of people lost to the pandemic. Pray for the front-line medical workers diagnosing and treating this disease. Pray for wisdom for our governing leaders as they make decisions. Pray for those out of work. Pray for those who are lonely and isolated. And pray for our world as we navigate this season with grace, truth, and love.
May God use Capital, and the body of the larger Church worldwide to bring heaven on Earth in the way that we love one another. We are grateful we worship a faithful God, and we trust him to provide timely wisdom as we continue life and ministry with gratitude.
May 29, 2020 UPDATE
It is a joy to journey with you—particularly in this new and evolving season of navigating a global pandemic! We know that these last couple months of social distancing have impacted each person differently, and we pray you are able to find the connections and support you need during this time. As a reminder, please reach out to God, to each other, and to us as you experience your own unique needs.
Since the time we closed our physical buildings in March and transitioned weekend services online, we have heard from many of you that—while not ideal—as a community, we are adjusting to the “new normal” of this season. Thank you for your patience, your feedback, your encouragement, and your grace as we have all adapted to these sudden and challenging changes.
Now, as communities around the globe, the U.S., and Utah enter varying strategies of re-opening, at Capital we continue to pray for wisdom, abide by recommendations of local governing authorities, and our back-to-church task force is leaning on the guidance of trusted leaders and experts, including:
- Members within the Health Departments for Salt Lake and Summit Counties, who are closely connected with the evolving science behind this virus and the recommendations for mitigating its spread.
- Mental health practitioners who are on the front lines of counseling and treating people dealing with the effects of increased isolation, relational and financial strain, anxiety, and depression.
- Medical practitioners who are in environments of testing and treating COVID-19.
- Other industry professionals whose expertise is in coordinating mass gatherings, and leading large groups.
As we weigh this input and consider how to safely execute an inviting and inclusive weekend service in our buildings, at this point, we do not have a firm timeline for opening our services. We know that’s disappointing for many of you, and we also are grieving the ongoing time of not gathering together in person. We are thankful this group of trusted professionals helping us make informed decisions around our reopening.
In the meantime, we believe that partnering with others is an essential component of our discipleship journey. We aren’t meant to live this life alone, and connecting with others authentically enriches life tremendously. In this season, we are grateful for the creative opportunities God has provided for us to continue gathering even while the building is closed. Now—as the church is more essential than ever—we encourage you to lean into your God-given creativity to continue finding ways to be the church outside of our building. Gather in a park or on your front yard to share a meal. Go on a bike ride with some folks from church. Join a Digital Discipleship Group or Small Group to encourage one another mid-week. Invite another family to join you as you project the weekend service to a sheet hung on the wall of your garage after dark. Live life with others and with Jesus in a way that safely makes sense.
As we chart our path through the days, weeks, and months ahead, we are grateful to be doing so in community with you, and with God. Even as the novelty of doing life on Zoom has long faded away, and as we become increasingly impatient with the nature of our socially-distanced circumstances, our prayer continues for our community: may we entrust every aspect of our lives to King Jesus, who knows the future.
May 18, 2020 UPDATE
You may be aware that the Utah Governor’s office moved the COVID-19 risk phase for many Utah counties from the Orange “High Risk” phase to the Yellow “Low Risk” phase. The risk phase for Salt Lake City and Summit county are both still considered to be Orange.
While we miss you greatly and are already rejoicing in the day when we’ll be able to gather again, we would like to err on the side of caution as it comes to when we return to meeting in person. For the time being, we will continue our live weekend broadcast online and will not host services in person. Our task force continues to assess the safest ways to connect with you and journey in discipleship in this season and in all stages ahead, as we lean on the recommendations from government and health officials in Salt Lake and Summit counties.
We recognize there are many perspectives regarding the issue of re-opening churches and other segments of society, and that these opinions have the potential to cleave divisions among Christians. Our bold prayer for all of society at this time is that all our ways, all our words, and all our thoughts would reveal our love for God and our love for others, as we navigate these future stages of the pandemic. As we make careful and measured decisions for entering each new phase at Capital, please know that our heart is concerned for both the spiritual well-being and physical health of our community.
In every circumstance, Capital is committed to our mission of leading people to be Christ-centered disciples. We pray that God would empower us to be creative with new ideas, even while staying safe. We pray that God would continue to draw connections among us, even while we’re physically apart.
As we continue navigating this season together, please be sure to join a Small Group or Digital Discipleship Group to stay connected to one another. As the economic crisis continues, and as anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation are on the rise, please let us know how we might be able to help. We would be honored to come alongside you and support you.
We will continue to provide updates as more information is available. We love you, and it is our joy to journey with you!
Grace & Peace.
May 11, 2020 UPDATE
We love you and we miss you!
We wish that we were able to provide more definitive answers to you regarding when and how we will return to in-person gatherings. There is much we don’t know, and the decisions we face will be complex! This past week, we established a Back To Church task force of several members from Capital’s staff. In the days, weeks, and likely months ahead, this team will discuss important milestones, best practices, and ideas as we put together a plan for us to come back to church—whatever that may look like, and whenever that may be. The task force will gather information continually, have challenging conversations as they consider multiple viewpoints, and work together to discern God’s plan for our community.
We will provide updates as more information is available. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and your grace in this season of uncertainty and change. And we ask that you would join one another in prayer over this team and their work ahead.
We are thankful that we praise a God who knows the future, and we continually put our trust in him.
May 1, 2020 UPDATE
Governor Herbert has changed the risk status for the state of Utah from Red to Orange, and we as a staff are carefully evaluating what this means for our community at Capital. As we lead people to be Christ-centered disciples, the health and safety of our community is very important to us! We recognize that there are many diverse points of view regarding if, when, and how various segments of society should re-open—so we ask for your grace toward one another as we navigate this phase of the pandemic, and we thank you for your trust as we lead through this unique time. Even in this season, may our love toward one another be evident to all.
We will continue to broadcast weekend services online, and will not yet open the building in Salt Lake City or Park City for in-person worship services. The church buildings will also remain closed to groups at this time, regardless of size. Small Groups of 20 or fewer members are welcome to meet off-site in person at the discretion of the leaders and individual members. However, we highly encourage leaders continue utilizing video conferencing in place of or as part of live meetings in order to allow participation from at-risk or trepidatious members.
Anticipating that gathering restrictions will continue to loosen in the months ahead, there is much to consider as we make decisions about what ministry will look like at Capital. Please know we are not doing this alone! We are in frequent communication with other church leaders and health & government officials in the city, county, and state regarding health and safety recommendations for churches. Our staff is participating real-time in seminars with church leaders nationally about best practices for navigating ministry safely. And, as in every season, we prayerfully consider what God has in store for our community as this situation continues to evolve.
We miss you, and look forward to when we can gather again in larger groups, safely and in compliance with health guidelines. Until then, even in the midst of a global pandemic, we are encouraged by the creative and constant ways God is on the move within, through, and around our community.
March 29, 2020 UPDATE
In the weeks since we made the difficult decision to suspend in-person gatherings at Capital Church, concern regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to grow, and local health authorities have extended recommendations for social distancing as a precaution against the spread of the virus.
Therefore, we have decided to extend the suspension of in-person services pending further guidance from state and local authorities and the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Please keep checking back for updates in the weeks to come—we can’t wait for the time when we can gather again! If you’d prefer to be notified of updates by text message, please text the word “Updates” to 801-876-4525.
In the midst of uncertainty, we pray you can experience Christ’s presence as we continue to meet online Sundays at 10 a.m. Please join us for a time of worship and teaching, through our website, on our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel. On our website, you can also find a weekly parent’s guide to help disciple children each week.
We also encourage you to join one of our many Digital Discipleship Groups that meet during the week to share takeaways from the weekend message.
Gathered or scattered, we can continue to be the church. If you are in need, or if you know someone in need, let us know. We’ve developed a short form for you to indicate your support & supply needs, as well as let us know if you’re able to donate your own time, talent, or resources during this time of crisis. #capitalcares
We also ask that you continue to join us in prayer—for our community, our government leaders, our medical professionals and all of those impacted by this disease around the world. Pray, please, for God’s healing power and wisdom, and that we reflect Him in all that we say and do. If you have a specific prayer request, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be honored to come alongside you.
“In this world, you will have trouble,” Jesus promised us (John 16:33). “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Grace and peace
March 12, 2020 UPDATE
The concern regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to grow, and given the recent guidance from the Governor we will not hold weekend services at Capital on March 14-15, March 21-22, or March 28-29.
Gathering together with you each weekend is such a joyful highlight of our week, and we feel sad about needing to cancel; however, to do our part in helping prevent the spread of this virus, and with a desire to protect the most vulnerable among our communities, we discerned this decision would be best for our community at this time.
As you know, our mission at Capital is to lead people to become Christ-centered disciples, and we are thrilled to be able to join you on the journey of faith in creative and joyful ways during this unique season. We will continue to post a new weekend message on our website, podcast, and social media accounts each weekend, and our staff is currently working together on increasing other virtual opportunities for discipleship. We will share more information about this as it is available.
In the meantime:
- We ask that you continue to join us in prayer. Please pray for our community, our government leaders, our medical professionals, and all of those impacted by this disease around the world. We are praying for God’s healing power and wisdom to be present in all that we say and do. For those who have specific prayer requests, please reach out to us at email@example.com. Our prayer team would be honored to come alongside you in this way.
- Journey together in Small Groups. If you are healthy and well, we encourage you—at your own discretion—to continue your discipleship in partnership with others through attending small groups. Where two or more people are gathered in his name, God promises to be among them. As you gather, please continue to be wise in using common sense precautions against the spread of germs.
- Please continue to worship through giving. We believe that investing our time, talent, and resources is an important aspect of our discipleship journey. And what a beautiful time to show the love and compassion of Jesus! In this season, we invite you to be radically generous with your love, with your time, and with your resources. Ask yourself how God might be encouraging you to love one another in this season. You can give financially to Capital’s ministries online at capitalchurch.com/give.
We are grateful that our God isn’t surprised by this pandemic, and that it is for a time just like this that God has equipped each of us to be examples of how to live with grace and peace in the midst of uncertainty. We know that our hope is in the Lord—not our health, finances, or ability to gather together in worship.
Information on this virus, and the recommended courses of action for places of worship are continually evolving. For additional information, please review the information from the Centers for Disease Control, and the Utah Department of Health. We will continue communicating with you about any relevant updates for our community as they are available.
March 6, 2020 UPDATE
Our mission at Capital is to lead people to become Christ-centered disciples, and we are blessed to journey alongside you in this mission.
There has been rising concern globally and nationally about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Like many local businesses, school districts, and places of worship in Utah, we are working closely with the Utah Department of Health about preparations that may be necessary if or when an outbreak occurs. We are taking precautions as a staff and putting plans in place should it be wise to cancel gatherings. Additionally, we are doing a deep-clean of the church building this week, and will be continue to disinfect surfaces around the building regularly. Above all, we are praying for the safety and health of our community, as we trust in the provision and protection of our Lord.
As you would during any cold & flu season, we ask that you take care to abide by a few basic precautionary measures in order to create an environment at Capital that is as safe and as healthy as possible:
- If you are not feeling well, please seek the care of a medical professional, and stay home from weekend services while you’re ill. If you have to miss a service in person, you can always catch the weekend message and give your tithes and offerings on our website midweek, and you can submit your prayer requests to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please execute smart hygiene practices including diligent hand-washing, covering coughs/sneezes, sanitizing surfaces, and avoiding touching your face. For more information on personal preparation, please leverage these recommendations from the Salt Lake County Department of Health.
- Please keep any child home who is symptomatic (fever, coughing, etc.). We will work diligently to keep the kid’s classrooms clean, and offer hand sanitizer and hand washing opportunities at the Kids Ministry check-in stations and throughout class time.
- Pray continually: for one another, for those already impacted by the virus, for the health and safety of our community, and in praise & thanksgiving as we trust in King Jesus.
As we gather this weekend to worship and learn together, we would ask that we live out our discipleship to Jesus with a heart aimed at getting love right in this season of uncertainty, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
For additional information on the virus, please review this handout from the Center for Disease Control. We will continue communicating with you about any relevant updates for our community as they are available.
Grace & Peace.