After much prayer and discernment, we decided that, in cooperation with an executive order given by Governor Laura Kelly, we will no longer be holding groups, gatherings, services, or meetings at our facility. Effective today, our building will be closed
All groups and events held at our facility are cancelled until further notice.
Our staff will be on site as needed to continue serving our congregation, but the office will remain closed to all others.
This decision was not made out of fear, but out of a desire to continue to make Christ known in our neighborhood, city, and world through our efforts to help slow the spread of the virus.
If you lead a ministry team, committee, or group, we’d like to encourage you to take advantage of technology like Google hangouts, that allows groups to meet over video conference for free. Just because our building is closed, doesn’t mean our mission stops.
Each Sunday we will continue to hold a worship service online and you can join us though YouTube as always, or, starting this week, you can join us on Facebook live. We will be livestreaming on both platforms simultaneously. The benefit of Facebook is that in allows for interaction, as you can react or comment as the service is happening. We realize this is kind of community has its limitations, but we are excited that technology allows us to continue to worship, serve, and grow together as a body until we can be together again.
We are also incredibly thankful to all of our faithful givers and we ask that you continue to consider giving through our online giving option, or by mailing contribution to the church. This will enable us to continue to serve our community and pursue our vision to make Christ known. For those that wish to continue to give to our ministry efforts, please mail contributions to 2655 N Bullinger St. Wichita, KS 67212 or give online though the “GIVE” tab on our website.
Yesterday we sent out a list of those willing to run errands for the vulnerable in our congregation. If you know of someone that may need assistance, please contact them or let us know.
This week, our staff and leadership team will be calling members and attenders of our church to check in, pray, and learn about what concerns and needs might be emerging in you. We want to remain in contact with each of you the best we can throughout this crisis. Nothing is stronger than a community rooted in Christ.
Our leadership will meet again on April 1st to evaluate the situation and update you on events for the month of April which will include decisions for our Spring Carnival, Easter Sunday, Family Promise hosting, and our event with Wheeler Ministries.
Let’s each do our part.
Please don’t go out unless you have to.
This is not a time to take advantage of short wait times at restaurants, to go out shopping for non-essentials, or to visit empty theaters. This is a national, really a global crisis, and we have a responsibility as Christ’s ambassadors to set a tone of humility, of care, and of being other’s centered. In short, this is a tangible way we can love our neighbor’s as ourselves. A short time of being home, giving up some creature comforts, maybe a little boredom, is a small price to pay in order to protect others from what could be a very dangerous and deadly illness. In those moments where you feel bored, or lost, or eager to just get out and do something, I encourage you to pray.
Pray for those who are more vulnerable.
Pray for healthcare professionals on the front lines.
Pray for grocery store employees who are doing their best to keep shelves stocked and stores clean.
Pray for students who just found out that they aren’t going back to school. Some might find this a cause for celebration, but many others are filled with anxiety because of difficult home lives.
Pray for teachers who are reeling from the decision to close all school buildings and must figure out what teaching looks like for the rest of this year.
Pray for parents who have the new struggle of juggling work and having kids home from school.
Pray for your neighbors, family, friends, and strangers.
It’s not lost on me that this is all happening during the season of Lent, when we are invited to fast from those things that have become distractions from our ability to experience God, to contemplate the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us, to relearn the rhythms of grace that allow us to hear the still small voice of our Lord.
May I encourage you not to find ways to pass the time, but instead lean into the silence, the solitude, the shared experiences with your family. Eat meals together, play games, have conversations, pray, play, and worship.
And as always, know that we are holding you all in the light of Christ.
May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
I have already been getting texts and emails about Easter Sunday after Governor Kelly’s recent press conference.
The updated guidelines do not impact our plans for Easter. We will still hold service in our parking lot and broadcast over FM. I have read executive order 20-18 in its entirety, as I have done with every order since the pandemic began, and we are taking every precaution to ensure that we remain within the State of Kansas guidelines during this worship celebration. If you are feeling ill or would rather not come to the “drive-in” service, we will stream online as we do each week.
I am grateful to Governor Kelly for her decisive actions that continue to help Kansans slow the spread of Covid-19. We pray for her and our State and Federal leaders as they continue to navigate these unprecedented times.
Peace be with you,
My dear friends, how I have missed you all! After weeks and months of Facebook Lives and Zooms and YouTubes, we are
moving back toward our in-person gatherings. Below I will highlight some of what to expect as we get closer to our June 7
gathering, but before you skip to that, please take a moment to reflect with me…
It’s not lost on me or anyone else that these next days and weeks are going to be different and difficult. Some people will
think we are moving too quickly. Others will think we are taking too many precautions. Some will stay home for a while
longer. Others will ask why we didn’t open when (fill in the blank) church opened or when the president said we should. The
long and short of it is, there isn’t a play book for this.
We have been prayerful, thoughtful, discerning, and cautious, and we will likely still get some things wrong. That’s ok. Some
places are moving faster than we are, others are moving slower, that’s ok. If you are one of the people who feels perfectly
comfortable shopping, eating out, and having people over to your house, that’s ok. If you are among those who continue to
be cautious, leaving only when you must and always wearing a mask, that’s ok. If you are somewhere in between, which is
where I think many of us are, that’s ok.
No one among us is completely right or completely wrong. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to this season of life. But
here’s what I do know for certain. As disciples of Jesus, our most recognizable trait are the ways in which we love each other
(John 13:35). With that in mind, I am asking, imploring, and challenging each of you to love one another tangibly during
this season. Paul urges the church in 1 Corinthians not to allow their freedoms to be a stumbling block to others who think
differently than they do. For this reason, we are setting our precautions to meet our most vulnerable and cautious members
where they are. That means if we feel safe without a mask or free to hug or shake hands, we will still choose to abide by
these precautions when we are together for the sake of the body.
My prayer is that our testimony of love is what is most loudly communicated as we resume gathering. That the Holy Spirit
would remove any critical spirit in us, remove any divisive spirit in us, any selfish spirit in us, and that we would choose to
celebrate the love that exists as we gather in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
With that, here are the precautions we are imposing for our gatherings beginning on June 7:
· On June 7 we are resuming Sunday morning worship
gathering only. Sunday school, small groups, youth
groups, and other gatherings will remain suspended until
· The main sanctuary entrance will be the only doors
unlocked to enter the building.
· All ministry staff and volunteers will be required to wear
masks. This is for the safety of our congregation, and an
especially important gesture of love for our most
· We are strongly encouraging the use of masks for
everyone in the building. If you have masks, please bring
them with you. We will have a limited number of
disposable masks for those who need one. Again, this is
an important gesture of love to our most vulnerable
friends. (Also, it is known that singing produces a great
deal of aerosol saliva, which can spread viruses.)
· Family groups should practice social distancing from one
another. The pews are sectioned off to allow space for this.
In the event that we need more seating, there will be
overflow seating and a live stream of the service available
in the gym.
· We are asking that no one shake hands, hug, or spend
any considerable amount of time inside of the
recommended 6 feet of distance.
· We will not have bulletins, coffee or donuts, or be
handing anything out. The offering will be collected via the
offering boxes as we have been doing for the last year.
You may also give online or by mailing contributions to the
· We will dismiss rows from back to front. This will mitigate
gathering in the hallways and foyers. If you want to visit
(and we encourage that!) please take it outside.
· Please be respectful to the staff and volunteers. Many of
us are disoriented, tired, and on edge, but remember this
is our family. These are our people. The precautions we
are taking are not about inhibiting our “rights” or
“freedoms,” but about living out the testimony of love that
Christ invites us to share.
· For those who still feel that worshipping from home is
best for you, we will continue to stream on Facebook and
YouTube as we do every week. (And that’s ok!)
We will continue to evaluate as things develop and make
changes as needed. Please join us in prayer as we do our
best to continue to navigate this uncharted territory in the
most God honoring way we can.
As the video outlines, we are making adjustments to the precautions we have taken in our worship gatherings at Northridge. These adjustments are based on our county’s movement into Phase 3 and the current Covid numbers in Wichita.
*We will continue to require our staff and volunteers to use masks when in close proximity to others.
*If you feel the need to continue the use of masks, we encourage you to do so as well. We will continue provide disposable masks and hand sanitizer.
*We have reopened all the rows for seating in our sanctuary, but we are reserving certain sections of pews on either side of the aisle as well as the entire balcony for those families and individuals that wish to practice social distancing. We ask that those who are not concerned with social distancing to please honor these sections and give space and grace to those who wish to utilize them.
*We ask that everyone continue avoid handshakes, hugs, or close contact for long periods of time.
*The main Worship Center entrance will be the only entrance available to enter the building, all other entrances will be locked.
*We are resuming the use of our coffee bar this week but we ask that you allow our volunteer team to serve you. This will help us avoid unnecessary contact points.
*Overflow seating will be available in the gym for those who wish to utilize that space.
*Finally, the worship service will continue to be the only gathering resuming. As a leadership team we felt that until our county moves into Phase 4 and/or the “Phase Out” portion of the recovery plan, we should continue to practice caution around events that take place in smaller rooms like Sunday School, AWANA, youth group, etc.
Remember, if you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. If you are uncomfortable gathering at this time, we respect that choice and will continue to provide a quality online platform for everyone to be able to worship with us at their comfort level.
Grace and Peace,
Just as we started to move back toward what might be considered a semblance of “normal” concerning Covid-19, the numbers took a turn upward and we are once again faced with the need to adapt to the rising infection numbers. If you follow the news, you likely know that our Governor issued a mandate on face masks to mitigate the continued spread of the virus. That same afternoon our county leaders chose to strongly encourage the mandate, but not to enforce it. This mobilized city officials to try to create language that was stronger than the encouragement from the county. Today a motion passed that in the city limits of Wichita masks will be required and not wearing one can result in fines starting at $25 and increasing to $100 per offense. Not only are individuals subject to the fines, but so are organizations and businesses. Due to this passing, Northridge will now require masks for anyone who wishes to worship with us in person on Sunday mornings and/or has need to be in the building for any reason.
The exceptions to this requirement are as follows:
children under 5
persons with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering
I realize that the opinions on masks are broad, but as we do our part to love our neighbors by mitigating the spread of the virus, we choose to set aside opinions and endure the minor inconvenience and/or discomfort for the greater good. This is the outward action of love.
As always, if you do not wish to wear a mask you are more than welcome to join us digitally via Facebook or YouTube every Sunday at 10:15 am.
As of right now, the city order expires on August 11, at which time we will review our requirements and make updates as needed.
Thank you all for continuing to be patient, prayerful, and helping to make Christ known in our neighborhood, city, and world.