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Latest updates

Phase 2 Updates & Procedures
What you need to know about our path moving forward.

Sept. 18 - Could it be Time for You to Attend Services in Person?
(What you need to know about NW Safety Measures)


Christians are caught in a dilemma: Churches are able to meet ... but with significant limitations. As a congregation, we seek to be courageous and compliant since we are called not to live in fear (2 Timothy 1:7), but are commanded by God to be compliant (Romans 13). For some, we don’t really know what to expect. This can make anyone nervous. We get it, and want to make sure you are informed. As leaders, we judge no one during this time as you weigh your concerns about COVID-19 and make decisions based on your understanding.

From the very beginning, our goal has been to return to services as soon as safely possible within the governmental guidelines. While many churches announced in-person services no sooner than January 2021, NWChurch has been meeting within the guidelines since early summer.

Here’s what you need to know:
  • In-person attenders sit as households at least six feet from the next household group.
  • When you arrive, you feel extra special seeing your household name on your reserved seats.
  • People wear masks out of consideration for others while respecting governmental guidelines. The worship team utilizes shields and distance to ensure safety. Those who’ve dreaded having to sit on the front row … this is your time! Those who attend weekly consistently compliment both the setting and experience.
  • Anyone wanting to minimize contact even further, can reserve seats in the balcony and be no closer than 35 feet from any “particles” you may be concerned about (either from the front or back). The elevator is working and available for those wanting this extra level of safety but can’t navigate stairs. The balcony seats provide great visibility and an opportunity for the live-worship experience. Arrive at 10:00 a.m. to get settled in without rushing.
  • We’ve had no reports of sickness/outbreaks/infections since opening with measures in place dating back to early June. We have also learned how to make it feel more natural during these challenging times.
  • Our children’s program has resumed with safety protocols. Children are dismissed for their lesson at the appropriate time and are joined online as families access these sessions virtually.
  • The Youth Ministry meets after worship is concluded (usually outside), safely and within guidelines.
  • While people are dismissed to take communion outside under the veranda, we often stay for considerable time visiting, catching up and enjoying fellowship.
  • And finally, EVERYTHING WE DO IS OFFERED FOR YOU ONLINE AND IN PERSON so we can kindly serve everyone within the limits we’ve been given.
We want to thank the NWChurch family for supporting us during these challenging times. It’s not easy for anyone, and we continue to work as followers of Jesus to honor our governmental officials (Romans 13:1-7) while worshipping in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24).

If you’ve been thinking about giving in-person worship a look, we encourage you to reserve your seats today. No pressure ... no judgment ... just church.
Arranged to Meet Guidelines
"Getting Our House In Order"

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07/17/2020 - NOTE ON THE GOVERNOR’S NEW GUIDELINES

This week the Governor issued new restrictions to combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Some have asked how this impacts churches. We were pleased to note this statement from the Governor’s office this week: "Weddings, funerals, and religious services are exempt from the order. The governor says this is because health officials see coronavirus spreading at more informal social gatherings like retirement parties, however these formal type of gatherings could also be restricted in the future."

To date, we have had no reports of illness connected with our in-person services. Our goal is a safe, responsible setting for those seeking in-person services while equally appreciating the hundreds attending our live-stream offerings. Thanks to everyone for being part of the NWChurch community of faith.

07/10/2020 - CONTINUING ONE SERVICE @ 10:30 AM

On Thursday evening, July 9, the Leadership Team (Elders and Staff) met to discuss future worship service plans. At this time, the Elders have approved continuing one worship service at 10:30 a.m. with preregistration. To date, we have hosted five services (three pilot services of 50, and two services with expanded seating).

While we can legally welcome up to 200, our target goal of 125 (plus essential personnel) allows for very safe, spacious seating. To date, we’ve had just short of 100 in attendance and no reports of illness related to Sunday morning in-person services. One family who attended for the first time last week sent this note: "You all did a fantastic job with the set up for social distancing. It was organized and well planned. Thanks to all involved for the extra work to keep us all safe."

We’d like to encourage those of you who desire to get out of the house to consider registering to attend. We’d like to honor everyone’s feelings abut the situation. If you are not ready for this level of interaction, we understand and appreciate the hundreds who are streaming online. Click here to register for an upcoming live, in-person service.

06/22/2020 - GRADUAL REOPENING

With the new State Guidelines issued late in the day on June 18, the Elders/Leaders are announcing a gradual reopening process starting June 28. Our two recent "pilot" Sundays with 50 people (plus essential personnel) have been very well-received and we are now ready to move forward with expansion. These past Sundays have helped us establish systems that make attending worship smooth, focused on God, and not allowing the Guidelines to dominate our time together.

Over the coming weeks, we will increase the number attending in person to 125 (in addition to essential personnel). We will assess and inform along the way, but our goal is to return to two services socially distanced and keeping State Guidelines.

The Elders and Leaders plan to be flexible as we gradually reopen and ask everyone to do the same. UNTIL WE EXPAND TO TWO SERVICES (and possibly beyond), RESERVATIONS WILL BE NECESSARY TO ENSURE WE AREN'T TURNING PEOPLE AWAY AT THE DOOR. RESERVED SEATS ARE ON A FIRST-COME-FIRST-SECURED BASIS. 

> > > CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SEATS! < < <
Reservations must be made before Thursday at 9:00 p.m.

Here's what to expect:
1.   Plan to arrive on Sunday between 10:00 and 10:10 a.m.
2.   Check-in and give our nurse a “thumbs up” confirming you and your family are still healthy and well. 
3.   Move into the auditorium QUICKLY and maintain social distancing while you enjoy visiting IN THE AUDITORIUM.

Bring a contained drink (water, coffee, etc.) to sip on during the sermon time, if you like. We will not be serving any food or beverages.

Per state regulations, masks must be worn (especially during the song service). If you don’t have one, a hand-sewn mask will be provided for you to wear (and keep if you like). Again, you may remove your mask to sip on a drink (which we encourage you to bring to enjoy during the sermon time).

Seating will be set up for your party on Friday to maximize seating while ensuring social distancing. At 10:20 a.m. on Sunday, we will have a short orientation about the service since it will also be live-streamed.

Balcony seating will also be available for larger family groups who might need to sit there as a household. The elevator is available for those who might need assistance accessing the balcony.

Hope to see you on Sunday, June 28!! :-)

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06/12/2020 - PHASE 2 TESTING AND UPDATES
As you can see in the picture to the right, we have the gym set up for social distancing. As with most larger churches in our area, deciding what to do with a 50-person assembly maximum is challenging. So here is our plan and an update. 
  • FIRST, WE ARE NOT OPEN FOR WORSHIP assemblies at this time as we move through Phase 2.
  • However, Thursday evening, June 11, the Elders unanimously approved a Plan and Procedure for gradually reopening the Community Life Center for worship (and eventual activities). 
  • During the next few weeks, small select groups will be testing the procedures to help us prepare as we await permission for larger assemblies. These groups include essential personnel and those with special expertise (nurses, staff, elders, worship team members, etc.). They will test adopted procedures including a reservation system, sanitization procedures, bathroom monitoring, We will comply with State-mandated mask policies during worship (especially for singing), communion, and social distancing. 
  • Once the Leadership Team is confident in the procedures AND the State allows for expanded gatherings, we will begin inviting the congregation to attend services through a reservation system we are testing out. THAT DECISION WILL BE MADE BY THE ELDERS in conjunction with recommendations from the staff.  We are also waiting for important supplies that have been on back-order for almost everyone.
  • A CONGREGATIONAL SURVEY will be sent out on Tuesday, June 16, to ascertain your level of interest and willingness to return under the mandated guidelines. We know many of you are anxious and eager ... while others are nervous and reserved. THAT'S OKAY! NW WILL BE A JUDGMENT–FREE, LAW-ABIDING congregation of God's people.  
  • Quality Live Streaming will continue even beyond the COVID-19 crisis to ensure people from around the world can join us for worship on a regular basis.

A Note from Lead Pastor - Chris Goldman
I want to say a word about the State regulations. I moved to Washington from states where people drove significantly faster and speed limits were significantly higher. I also grew up when seat-belts were first made mandatory. Neither the lower speed limits nor regulations for seat belts were "fun" or "agreeable" to me. However, they were the law. I wear a seat-belt and obey the speed limit.

As a Christian—commanded to obey the laws of the land unless they force me to act in direct disobedience to God—my discipleship calls me to follow Christ while living in compliance with the laws (Romans 13:1-2). Everyone's help and support with following these guidelines will make getting together move forward quicker and with greater understanding for one another.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, support and focusing on the bigger picture. This is a strange season, but a season that will pass.
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05/28/2020 - BE PATIENT, WE'RE PREPARING
Message from Lead Pastor Chris Goldman
Please Note:  We will not host in-person services the weekend of May 31st but will be LIVE STREAMING at 10:00 AM. 

We have now received guidelines for churches from the office of Governor Inslee (they were posted Wednesday evening). Those guidelines call for each church to develop a safety plan that is Board Approved, printed and available for County or State officials to see. Our safety plan is being developed in keeping with the new guidelines. The new guidelines consist of four pages of church-specific guidelines.

PLEASE REMEMBER ... Snohomish County has not been given permission to enter into Phase 2, but have officially decided to seek approval from the State (according to news reports today).

Over the past couple of weeks and days, the floors in the auditorium and student center have been refurbished, several rooms are being repainted, and the facility is being prepared for eventual reopening. The auditorium was physically arranged today for social distancing. This gives us a better understanding of capacity when safety is a primary concern.

Our process forward is as follows:
  • Once a safety plan has been drawn up, it will be submitted to the Elders to refine and approve. 
  • The Elders will direct the staff regarding dates when we may be able to start meeting again on a limited basis. 
  • The congregation will be informed via a special streamed and posted presentation about procedures, the impact on worship, service times, etc. 

In the meantime, we will continue to LIVESTREAM worship at 10:00 AM on Sundays and appreciate the growing audience who is joining us each week.

PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMUNITY LIFE CENTER REMAINS CLOSED FOR ANY GATHERINGS UNTIL ELDER APPROVAL HAS BEEN GIVEN.
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05/22/2020 - NO LIVE SERVICES THIS WEEKEND
Message from Lead Pastor Chris Goldman

Today, the news regarding churches reopening and CDC guidelines has dominated the news cycle. While President Trump has called for the immediate opening of churches, State guidelines have not been given, and the State Government is not yet in a position to move forward. PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL NOT HAVE IN-PERSON SERVICES THIS WEEKEND, BUT WILL LIVE-STREAM AS WE HAVE AT 10:00 AM. You should also know the hardwood floors were resurfaced this week and the fumes will be quite strong for several more days. We scheduled this intentionally while we are quarantined so the floors will be ready to go as early as June.  

I’ve personally been on the phone with the Governor’s representatives twice this past week. On this matter, we want to make sure you are informed both of what is guiding our decisions and what our plan as a leadership is.
  1. Safety and care regarding your health comes first.
  2. We are waiting and listening while also taking a position of preparedness.
  3. As we receive information, we will assess and inform.
  4. We will move forward strategically based on guidelines released.

Let me encourage you to resist the urge to campaign on social media or to “take sides” in this regard. The NWChurch has great respect for our leaders locally and nationally and will continue to follow Biblical teachings in this regard. We also understand communications and guidelines for churches have been confusing.

This next week, the staff has a scheduled work party to set the auditorium for safe and social distancing, to walk through entry and exit plans, refine restroom protocols, and shoot a video helping everyone know what to expect when we finally have an opportunity to assemble again.

KNOW THIS: The NWChurch staff and leadership is excited and eager to be together again with implemented safety measures. We were the last church in our area to cancel live services and obviously look forward to being together again. We also will continue to stream our services live even after this pandemic has subsided. We also won’t open carelessly or too quickly.

If you are interested in understanding more about this issue, we encourage you to visit wafaithgatherings.com and read the letter we have signed along with thousands more.

THIS SUNDAY
This Sunday, we will be hearing from our global missionaries in preparation for Pentecost Sunday (May 31). Your generosity to and through the NWChurch allows us to stand prepared to give extra support to our missionaries in times like these. While we will not be taking up a special collection, we WILL BE sending all of our missionaries a special monetary gift on your behalf. Thanks for your generosity and we hope you’ll enjoy hearing from our missionaries this Sunday morning during our live stream.

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05/14/2020
  • NWChurch Leadership has been meeting and discussing the Governor's 4-Phase reopening plan and is continuing our process to "wait & see" before we assess and inform. Once the Governor moves us forward towards Phase 2 (and issues church-specific regulations), we will begin to inform the congregation about plans for Phases 3 and 4. Only in those later phases will NWChurch be able to consider significant changes. In the meantime, we continue to encourage you to stay healthy as you live life. 
  • Lahai Health (Dental and Medical Clinic) plans to reopen for appointments beginning May 18. NWChurch staff will return on a very limited basis as well (rotationally and within guidelines). The Community Life Center will remain closed except for the feeding program and Lahai appointments through the end of Phase 1. 
  • The Community Life Center will remained closed to walk-ins throughout Phase 1 and 2 and will be limited to Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only during Phase 3 (with all PPE precautions required). 
  • Please note that Christian Camps have cancelled all of their sessions for the summer. Our Student Ministry Camp and Mission Trip were both cancelled. 
  • The hardwood floors in the main auditorium and student center will be refinished beginning May 18. This is scheduled to take place every three years. 
  • The Rhythm of Life class has been cancelled and ROOTED events will be held off until we can have in person sessions.

04/22/2020
  • Website is back up and running a 100% following an unexpected nameserver change and issues with re-propagation. 
  • Two new classes were launched last week. Go to the Online Bible  box on the front page and click it for a list of all of our current classes.
  • Making some adjustments to staging for Sunday's Worship service to add some color.  
  • Our online audience continues to grow.  Thanks for watching. Live Stream is at 10am at nwchurch.com/live. The worship is downloaded processed and reposted later in the day. (We attempt to have it loaded by 3pm.)

04/10/2020
  • Tonight, tune in to the Stream of Good Friday service at 7:00 PM (or later if you like). 
  • Tomorrow night, you are invited for a Zoom platform edition of an Easter Vigil led by Care Pastor - Bill Lawrence
  • Next week, we will be launching two new classes. Please email the office if you'd like more information. 
  • The earliest any possible adjustment to our worship schedule would be May 10th (after the "no gatherings over 50" would be lifted). It is likely assembly restrictions will be put in place extending beyond this date. We continue to assess and inform. Please Note: The gatherings restrictions were put in place before "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" was put in place and continue past the current May 4th "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" projected end date. All that to say, nothing changes until official word is handed down from the Governor's office. In the meantime, please enjoy our online classes, streaming services, and continued commitment to serving our community.

04/08/2020 Latest Updates
  • Tonight Passover begins.  Rabbi Matt from Restoration has an online version of a Passover Seder.  To watch click HERE
  • April 10th...Good Friday...we will stream a service at 7pm. 
  • Be sure to check out the Holy Week page for a listing of upcoming Easter weekend events.

03/31/2020 Latest Updates
  • While the feeding program continues, the Lahai Clinic hosted virtual online sessions with patients. 
  • April 5th...Palm Sunday...we will launch an Easter Reading project for your daily devotions. You will be able to come to the website each day, join us for a reading, thought, reflection, and prayer.

03/26/2020 Latest Updates
  • We have added an update subscription for people who want to receive simple, short, emailed updates instead of coming here or checking out Facebook Live. SUBSCRIBE ON THIS PAGE. 
  • If you're interested in checking out NWChurch and attending our first ever "Explore NW Virtual Session" we are planning for April 5th. Go to the homepage and scroll down to the 1, 2, 3 to connect (or to talk to a pastor). 
  • SUNDAY STREAMING WORSHIP WILL BE AT 10:00 AM and will be done in compliance with the Governor's Regulation. 
  • Before or after Sunday worship, please fill out your CONNECT CARD and PRAYER REQUESTS (one the homepage or via the app). 
  • Per compliance: The Community Life Center is closed except for Lahai and the Feeding Program. Please don't come to the CLC during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy regulations. 

03/25/2020  What you need to know...
  • The elders and staff continue to have weekly meetings via Zoom on Thursdays to assess and inform. 
  • In compliance with regulations, the staff is now working remote with pastors rotating into the facility as needed to ensure the Feeding Program and Lahai appointments have access. This means 10:30 - 12:30 most days; 8:30 - 4:30 most Tuesdays.
  • The leadership will be ramping up contact with those who regularly attend NW over the next few weeks. SHEPHERDING GROUPS have been organized to help the leadership stay in contact with everyone we can. Elders, staff, and trusted members will be reaching out via email and phone. We hope these short contacts are helpful to you and your families.
  • Churches have sent a letter/petition to Governor Inslee asking for clarification on streaming services. All other states have an exception allowing church leaders to live stream services with a minimal crew (all observing social distancing regulations). Once the Governor clarifies this, we will be able to give you details about what to expect on Sunday. For now, note the difference in worship time: We adjusted to 10:00 AM to avoid what happened last week. There were so many Churches streaming, headlines read, "The Church Killed the Internet."  Adjusting the time takes us out of the peak streaming hours of both Eastern and Central time zones.