Regather Victory Inside At A Glance | November 15 Services will be at 9AM and 11AM. No tickets necessary. Auditorium capacity reduced. Plan to wear a mask. Invite your friends! This is for EVERYONE! Social distancing observed. Kids sit with family. Activities provided. No reservations necessary. A Letter from Pastor Ed Dear Victory Church Family, One of the most challenging aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the church is closely related to our identity at Victory Church: We are a community of worshipers who’s most visible expression of our identity has been our weekly worship gatherings. UPDATE: We are now offering two different opportunities for worship: Victory Outside and Victory Online. Beginning Sunday, November 15, we will be moving the services inside, at 9:00 and 11:00 A.M. We will also continue Victory Online on Sunday and Monday night. We are excited to announce that we will be adding another streaming platform on November 15 that will offer more interaction and a more robust online worship experience. Victory Inside: When we begin indoor worship services once again, there will be limits on capacity. Though churches are exempt from state mandates, capacity suggestions and safe distancing in seating indicate that we can accommodate 150 worshipers in our auditorium at one time. Once we have reached capacity, we will be using overflow areas where the streamed service will be presented for a corporate worship experience. In the first weeks, families will be seated together in the auditorium as there will be no separate children’s ministry. Children will be encouraged to engage with worship and provided a video Bible lesson with partnering activity during the sermon while seated with their family. Masks will be required inside the building. Please see our statement below on the use of masks. Here’s some of our thinking about our approach to worship at Victory Church in response to the pandemic: Victory Outside, In-Person Gatherings: We are meeting in person according to the prevailing guidelines for safe gatherings—and that’s outside, maintaining at least six feet from people who are not members of your own household, and wearing masks when necessity takes us inside or within six feet of others. All surrounding school districts began the academic year with online classes only. We often follow the guidance of the local school districts, especially Methacton, which is where our church facility is located, when it comes to cancellations for inclement weather. I think it’s wise to consider their decisions related to gathering. Methacton School District has determined to offer online only instruction until at least November 11. With that in mind, we will continue with the current format, Victory Outside and Victory Online, through November 8, weather permitting. Victory Online: We have stepped up our online presence and experience. Our desire is that Victory Church “attendees” still experience God’s presence through the worship and the Word. We also want to convey the sense that even when worshiping at our homes, we are a part of something bigger. Also, our online experience makes it easier than ever to invite unsaved, unchurched, or dechurched family and friends to worship with us. The geographical limit that we used to face has been blown away by our online worship experience. Victory Online will continue indefinitely. LifeGroups: LifeGroups will be offered online only for now. We have no guidance that tells us that smaller groups are necessarily virus free. Small groups may have lower infection rates, but there is never a guarantee that no one in a small group is virus free. People tend to act as though people we know can’t spread the virus, but that is not a valid assumption. After the fall semester we may, however, offer in-person groups as people feel comfortable. Online groups will most likely remain an option for others well into the coming months or years, not only for safety, but for ease of “gathering.” We want you to stay strong and grow during this pandemic. I highly recommend you take advantage of the strength you will find through the relational connections of a LifeGroup this fall. VictoryKids and Victory Youth: VictoryKids is providing a fun opportunity for families – a monthly Faith Family Kit. This kit arrives monthly to your home with many fun Bible activities your children can engage with including the Bible videos. Registration is at getvictory.net/kids. VictoryKids continues to partner with families by providing weekly video Bible content for families. Victory Youth is offering five online fall semester LifeGroups. In addition, there will be one in-person, outdoor activity LifeGroup, with masks and appropriate social distancing. We also will have once a month online Youth service, weekly middle school services, and other online/social media content. Outreach: The Church through the centuries has distinguished itself among earthly institutions in being available for those who are hurting, suffering, or in need during times of crisis. Not everyone should embrace the same degree of risk, since some of our church family are more vulnerable to disease (or are in close contact with someone who is). We will, however, offer in-person ministry to our community as much and as effectively as possible. Big Days of Service will continue, with some moderation for the sake of safety. We also would encourage Victory people who serve to invite unsaved and unchurched friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to serve alongside them. We still know that what Jesus says in Matthew 5:16 pertains to our service: People will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Masks and social distancing: I’m very aware that face coverings have become politicized for many people. At Victory Church, we are approaching the mask issue as a health issue, and as a matter of caring for our neighbors. Though there may be some arguments against the efficacy of masks in limiting the spread of COVID-19, most health care personnel encourage their use. With very rare exceptions, masks themselves aren’t harmful. Since that is the case, we as followers of Jesus choose to allay the fears of people who favor mask use. We love them enough to wear a mask when we are around them, especially at any church gathering. Even those of us who are doubtful about face coverings, or who see their requirement by government as intrusive into our rights, can wear them out of love and out of our unity as the family of God. Also, most of the people we are trying to reach in our surrounding community favor the use of masks. We would not want our freedom not to wear a mask to keep someone from drawing close to God. Freedom of Religion: Since the pandemic has become politicized in other ways, I feel we at Victory Church should address the politics of it. My strong position is that the church should never face more stringent requirements than any other entity, from department stores, to casinos, to restaurants, to peaceful protests. We should never accept a government restriction that targets churches specifically. Fortunately for churches in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has deemed churches as essential, and as exempt from all governmental orders pertaining to the coronavirus. Victory Church’s restraint regarding gathering in our building is entirely voluntary. We listen to and attempt to comply with what our government leaders say about best practices, but they are not attempting to exert governmental authority over churches. Public Perception and Readiness for Gathering: Another concern that we weigh in the balance for our decisions on gathering is twofold: one is the readiness of our own church family to gather again, and the second is the perception of the public as to our care for the well being of our people. We really do care about people’s health, spiritual and physical, and we are doing our best to address both. It is distressing to hear of churches that have gathered without regard to face coverings and social distancing, and have become the center of a significant infection outbreak. When these infections have resulted in deaths, my heart breaks and I begin to think, “What if that was Victory Church?” Fear vs. Faith: I am 100 percent in favor of living in faith, and not being controlled by fear. Living in faith does not mean, however, ignoring wisdom. We are taught in the Bible to exercise wisdom for blessed, prosperous, and healthy living. Practices that prevent or heal disease are not necessarily evidence of fear. Living in faith does not mean that we presume upon God to protect us from unwise practices and decisions. We wouldn’t jump off the pinnacle of the temple to prove who we are, or how much faith we have, any more than Jesus would. When Satan presented Jesus with that proposal, Jesus refused to test God, and we should refuse, too. In Him, Victory Outside | November 8 Experience Victory Outside with an outdoor service on Sundays at 10AM in the Victory Church parking lot. Bring your own chairs and join us on the top two tiers as we worship and hear a powerful message. Our parking lot will open at 9:30am. We will follow social distancing protocols. Bathrooms will be available. We also ask that you wear a mask to help keep everyone safe! No reservations are needed. Invite a friend to join you. This event is weather permitting, keep an eye on our social media and getvictory.net for updates leading up to the outdoor service on Sunday morning. Or you can join us online this weekend for our regular Sunday worship experiences! Our online weekend services are on Sunday at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 7pm, and 9pm. You can also catch us on Monday at 7pm. Watch on YouTube, Facebook or visit getvictory.net.