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COVID-19 UPDATE

Posted on August 11, 2020

On Sunday, August 16th we will begin to offer an in- person option for worship at Wellspring Church. We know some of you are eager to gather again physically and some of you would like to wait awhile longer. Both responses are understandable and it is our desire to love one another with grace and charity wherever we may land on that spectrum.

As we move forward, we want to communicate three different ways to gather and worship with us on Sundays.

  • Join us online - via Facebook Live at 4 or 6:15pm.

  • Gather as a small group - if you are comfortable with small groups, invite a few friends from your Connection Group or invite your neighbors to gather in your home to enjoy the service together.

  • Attend a live service - We are currently meeting at State College Evangelical Free Church (1243 Blue Course Dr.) and have services at 4pm & 6:15

We will be implementing several precautions to ensure safety as we gather together.

  • Touch Free Environments : We eliminating all contact points between individuals and will also try to eliminate high-touch surfaces. We also ask that handshakes and hugs be replaced by waves and smiles. 

  • Required Masking : We ask that you wear a mask to our gathering to increase safety for those who want to attend but may feel nervous to do so. We will have masks available for those who forget one.

  • No Kids Ministry : We love being a multi-generational church, and would love for children to be part of our gathering. Please make sure to check out our Kids Resource Page for printable sermon notes for your kids during the service.

  • Hand Sanitizer Available : There will be several stations with hand sanitizer available. 

  • Stay Home If You're Sick : We continue to urge anyone who is more vulnerable to the dangers of COVID-19 (including those with pre-existing medical conditions) to participate from home.

  • Practice Social Distancing : Please do your best to remain at least 6 feet apart from those attending the gathering that are not part of your family group. 

  • Download the Church Center App : This will help us know who was at our service for contact tracing purposes. If you are unable to download Church Center, we'll have staff available to help check you in.

We are excited to worship together, even though it looks a little different, as a family once again! In our excitement, thank you for partnering with us as we strive to live responsibly and with wisdom in this unique time.

To access the video of our full announcement from Aug. 9th, and see more videos on what to expect as well as how to Check-In using Church Center - please refer to our In-Person Worship page on our website. 

Posted on July 22, 2020

On Sunday July 19th, we announced some new updates and the next phase of Wellspring’s gathering plan. Here are some of the details: 

 

Location

We received word from the State College Area School District that they would not be renting any of their facilities to outside groups until all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. This meant that we would need to find a new location to meet until we were able to return to Easterly Elementary. 

 

Thankfully, Pastor Chris Gruella and State College Evangelical Free Church (State College E-Free) have been incredibly generous and helpful, as they have offered and we have entered into an agreement with them to rent their space for our services. So our new location for gathering will be at State College Evangelical Free Church (1243 Blue Course Dr)


 

Time: 

Because State College E-Free services are at 10 am, Wellspring will also be changing our service times. Beginning July 26th, we will be moving our service time to 4pm and when we eventually meet in person we will offer 2 service times of 4pm and 6:15pm.


 

Timeline/Important Dates: 

We are planning with State College E-Free and continuing to monitor the latest developments in regards to COVID-19, especially in Centre County and State College. We are planning and preparing to eventually offer an in-person option for gathering, and we will provide you with exact dates and details once we are able to, but we appreciate your patience and grace as we want to plan and communicate with wisdom and discretion. Every Sunday, you can count on us updating our church with the latest developments and details. 

 

Here is our plan for the next 3 weeks: 

 

  • July 26th -  In-Person Backyard Service (Streamed Online) - 4pm - Wellspring Offices (1107 William St)

  • August 2nd - Online Service only - 4pm - Streaming from E-Free

  • August 9th - Online Service only - 4pm - Streaming from E-Free

 

We want to ensure that as we move towards offering the option for in-person worship, that we are able to offer a meaningful live experience as well as an online gathering. Taking 2 weeks to remain online while at E-Free allows us to plan and prepare for both. 

 

Mitigation and Safety

While we acknowledge there is no such thing as a “no-risk gathering”, we are committed to taking steps to reduce the risks involved in regathering. So, when we do open up the option of gathering in person here’s what you can expect in terms of our mitigation practices: 

 

  • Required Masking and Social Distancing - in the building and while seated

  • Sanitation and Cleaning in accordance with CDC guidelines

  • Service Check-In for tracing if necessary

  • Hand sanitizer and a touch-free environment

  • Wellspring Kids Classrooms will not be open

  • If you are feeling unwell or not ready to join us in person we would ask that you gather with us online instead

  • If Centre County were to enter the Yellow Phase, we would also phase back our options for gathering. 

 

State College E-Free Church has been meeting in person for a while, and we have been impressed and encouraged by their safety and sanitation plan while gathering in person and will continue to adopt the same measures and work with their Health team, which includes local health professionals, to ensure we are adopting best practices as we meet. 

 

Encouragement and Questions

 

We are incredibly grateful for God’s provision in a partnership with State College E-Free Church and the opportunity to move forward in planning towards the next phase of gathering. Thank you Wellspring family for continuing to be the church as you have navigated daily life walking with Jesus. We love you, we’re for you, and we can’t wait to see what God continues to do in you and through you. 

 

If you have any questions about our plans please follow the link below and we will be happy to follow up with you - and keep an eye out for continued updates on Sunday and via our Social Media!

Posted on June 21, 2020

On Sunday, June 28th we will begin our phased approach of returning to in- person gatherings at Wellspring Church. We know some of you are eager to gather again physically and some of you would like to wait awhile longer. Both responses are understandable and it is our desire to love one another with grace and charity wherever we may land on that spectrum.

As we move forward, we want to communicate three different ways to gather and worship with us on Sundays.

  • Join us online - via Facebook Live at 10a.

  • Gather as a small group - if you are comfortable with small groups, invite a few friends from your Connection Group or invite your neighbors to gather in your home to enjoy the service together.

  • Attend a live service - On June 28th, you can join us for an in-person gathering at 10a on the lawn behind our Wellspring Office (1107 William Street, State College). If you are planning to attend this service, please be sure to register beforehand.

We will be implementing several precautions to ensure safety as we gather together.

  • Touch Free Environments : We will be holding this service outside to limit contact points with one another. We also ask that handshakes and hugs be replaced by waves and smiles. Be sure to check out our virtual program for announcements, lyrics, and other resources from the service.

  • Required Masking : We ask that you wear a mask to our gathering to increase safety for those who want to attend but may feel nervous to do so. We will have masks available for those who forget one.

  • No Kids Ministry : We love being a multi-generational church, and would love for children to be part of our gathering. Please make sure to check out our Kids Resource Page for printable sermon notes for your kids during the service.

  • Hand Sanitizer Available : For those who would feel more comfortable, we will be offering hand sanitizer for increased safety. We'll have the bathrooms to our office open for those that might need them, and we'll be cleaning them before and after the service.

  • Stay Home If You're Sick : We continue to urge anyone who is more vulnerable to the dangers of COVID-19 (including those with pre-existing medical conditions) to participate from home.

  • Practice Social Distancing : Please do your best to remain at least 6 feet apart from those attending the gathering that are not part of your family group. 

  • Bring Your Own Seat : This will help us limit contact and cross-contamination.

  • Download the Church Center App : This will help us know who was at our service for contact tracing purposes. If you are unable to download Church Center, we'll have staff available to help check you in.

We are excited to worship together, even in a limited capacity, as a family once again! In our excitement, thank you for partnering with us as we strive to live responsibly and with wisdom in this unique time.

Posted on June 9, 2020

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend our Town Hall meeting updating you on our guiding principles as we consider and begin to make plans to regather as a church and talk about some events in the month of June. Please check out this document outlining the highlights as well as the video replay of the meeting below if you were unable to attend.

In the meeting we talked about the option of inviting someone to watch online church with you in a smaller group in your home. Here is a guide of some possible safety suggestions you may want to implement, but this is obviously up to each host/guest to communicate individually and is meant to simply be a resource you can utilize however you'd like.

Please refer to this attachment for details on downloading and using the Church Center app we talked about during the meeting or you can watch this instructional video.

Thank you, Wellspring, for continuing to journey with us as we navigate how to enter into this new phase of church life. We so appreciate your questions, involvement, patience, and charity along the way.

If you have any follow up questions, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.

Posted on March 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the everyday life of every Pennsylvanian, and Wellspring's regular rhythms have momentarily changed as well. Nonetheless, we are actively seeking to maintain a sense of community and dependence on God. Wellspring Church is still meeting, and God is still working.

We'll be gathering online via live stream every Sunday morning at 10a. Please join us on Facebook live, which doesn't require an account to watch, for teaching from the Bible and listen to our Spotify playlist to worship with us during the week.

Connection groups are vital to the life of Wellspring Church and are ultimately what give us our truest sense that we are a church family. All of our connection groups have moved online and will meet via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or another digital meeting platform. If you're not yet in a connection group, we'd encourage you to s sign up for one!

At Wellspring, we are a family on mission, which means we care for each other and those around us. We are also God's stewards seeking to take what He has given us and use it to see others flourish. Our existing community engagement budget line and the normal rent amount we'd been paying to gather at Easterly Elementary School have been combined and re-allocated to meet needs in our congregation and community. Click here if you have a specific financial, spiritual, emotional, or physical need. Click here if you would like to meet financial needs in our congregation and community.

We're honored to call this church family ours, and we hope God will use this time to draw you closer to Him and one another. For any other questions, please contact us directly.

Posted on March 13, 2020

Hey Wellspring Church, 

 

As we’ve continued to seek God’s leadership in these trying times and receive advice from health and government officials, we’ve made the decision NOT to gather publicly at Easterly Elementary this Sunday (and likely for some weeks to come). 

 

As we all know, this is a fast moving situation. Even after we made an announcement yesterday, the situation changed quickly. With our governor’s plea to limit public gatherings and out of love for those most vulnerable among us, we want to honor our governing authorities and work with them as we all seek to stop this pandemic. 

 

Wellspring, God has prepared us for this. We know how to be flexible! We’ve gathered for church outside on tailgates in the rain, in a park, and weekly in a school. We’ve even baptized people in the bed of a pickup truck! Even though we won’t be gathering publicly, we will still be worshipping this Sunday - online and in our living rooms. We are still the church and we are still a family on mission. 

 

So, please make plans to join us online at 10:00a this Sunday. We’re still working on the best medium to do this, so please stay tuned to our social media and website for more specifics tomorrow. 

 

Although we’ll be watching online, let’s expect God to be active and among us. Let’s continue to live in the rhythm of revelation and response. God will reveal things to our heart, and we’ll respond. 

 

We’ll continue our series on 1 Peter as Rudy will be preaching some timely and crucial words to us - “cast all your anxiety on the Lord because he cares for you.”

 

Wellspring, let’s move forward in a spirit of expectancy, not of fear. What might God do among us in this time of crisis? I’m praying that God grows our confidence in Him and gives us genuine compassion for those around us.

 

Maybe you have neighbors who just need to talk some of this stuff out, international friends who need someone to be there for them, or elderly people who need groceries. Whatever it is, let’s come into these days expecting God to work through trial as we’ve seen over and over again in 1 Peter. Along the way, we can trust that He’ll be purifying us and proving our faith to be genuine. 

 

So, we will miss seeing you in person this Sunday. You know we love that. But we look forward to God actively moving among us online and in our living rooms.

 

PLEASE spread the word to people who might not check their email or who are new to Wellspring. It will be vital for all of us to stay connected in this time and now is a great time to plug into a connection group. Click here for an easy way to do that. 

 

Stay tuned for updates and see you online at 10:00a on Sunday! 

 

For the Wellspring staff and leadership team,

--

Joel Vint 

Posted on March 12, 2020

Wellspring Family, 

 

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more widespread, we want to give you some insight into how we will approach this as a church. There are three important factors for us to hold in tension: First, we value gathering together as a church family. Second, we want to be wise and keep our people safe from unnecessary risk. Third, we want to have compassion on those the virus has already spread to and those who are most susceptible to it. As we hold these three things in tension, here are some factors that we consider through this process.

 

First, we believe gathering as a church family is important and, at present, the risk of infection is low enough locally that we should continue to gather for Sunday worship and weekly connection groups. 

 

Currently, we are still able to gather at Easterly Elementary. The school district has informed us that they are implementing some extra sanitary measures district wide and have us in mind. We will also take some extra steps with our mobile equipment and kids supplies. As many of you know, Penn State University has postponed in-person classes until Monday, April 6th. As a result, Salt Company cannot gather on campus until then. Rudy and the team are doing a great job of keeping students informed and they will be getting creative with technology. If you are a student, please stay up to date via GroupMe and social media outlets.

 

Secondly, while our value for doing life together as a church family is high, we are equally aware that there may be future scenarios where meeting for church on Sunday and in connection groups would be an unwise risk. Given the current yet fast moving situation involving COVID-19, we are looking at two primary sources to assess risk: 

 

1.    If the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) raises the travel level of the United States to a Level 2 travel health notice we will take greater measures. See the Coronavirus 2019 Information for Travel page. A level 2 travel risk states that within a region or country, there is a “sustained (ongoing) community transmission and the CDC recommends that older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel to the following destinations.” Currently, countries with a level 2 travel risk or higher are Japan, Italy, South Korea, China, and Iran. We want to love all people — especially the most vulnerable among us — so we’ll watch this closely.

 

2.    If the US government, the state of Pennsylvania, or the city of State College mandates that there are to be no large gatherings of people or issues a mandated quarantine, we would of course obey our elected officials.

 

To this point, we have not crossed these lines on the community side and so we will continue to gather for worship and for connection groups as regularly scheduled. The leadership team and staff will be monitoring the movements of the Coronavirus. If either of the above criteria were crossed, we would act accordingly. 

 

Currently, we would encourage everyone to practice normal health precautions for cold and flu season: wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are feeling ill. If you aren’t feeling well or you are uncomfortable attending the Sunday service, you can always listen to the message once it is posted online at wellspringchurch.co/sermons. For more information on recommended safety precautions, the CDC provides solid guidelines here.  

 

Last and certainly not least, one of our values as a church is that “we journey with people.” This means we are to have compassion for others and seek to help them in their condition. One of my college friends posted online yesterday, “This new reality says we are as vulnerable as anyone, and may our new found vulnerability give us a new found compassion for the world that surrounds us, and the lives that are unnecessarily lost every day.” Amen to that. 

 

Please prayerfully consider how you might respond to what God is calling you (and us) to. How might we come alongside people that are highly impacted financially in our community? What about nurses and medical workers who have kids at home? What about our neighbors and friends who have no one to talk to regarding these very trying times? Let us know if you see a real need and a way to meet it. 

 

Please be praying for the gospel to go forward in our city, country, and world. Pray for this virus to stop, wisdom and safety for medical workers, and physical healing for those affected. Pray for peace amidst some very trying and anxious times. 

 

And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

For the Wellspring staff and leadership team,

 

Pastor Joel 

HELPING PEOPLE LOVE AND FOLLOW JESUS

Wellspring Church  •   SUNDAYS   •   4 & 6:15 PM  •   FACEBOOK LIVE  •   1243 BLUE COURSE DR