Addendum to 5/28/2020 information:

As the state prepares to move into Phase Three of Reopening Illinois, today we celebrate that Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued new guidelines for holding worship services. 

While we are eager to reopen for on-site services, our staff needs to thoroughly prepare in terms of safety, logistics and overall worship experience. We thank you for your patience as we navigate the new government guidelines and appreciate your prayers as we discern what is best for our church. 

Dear Church Family, 

On behalf of our church staff leadership and council, know that we continue to pray for all of you during these unique and uncertain times. As our vision is “to reach and transform spiritually distracted people so we all love and serve God,” we are encouraged by the many ways you have been able to connect with friends and community and to show and share the good news of Jesus. We miss seeing you! 

As our entire state prepares to enter Phase Three of the Restore Illinois Plan, we put the safety and health of our congregation first. We commit to abide by the best orders of our municipal and state leaders and the Center for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health. As we do so, we seek to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and to honor our governing authorities. As the Apostle Paul says, 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God“.  

Rom 13:1

We entrust our staff leaders to do programming that aligns with this.

During Phase 3, church gatherings of only 10 people or fewer are allowed. Therefore, we have made the decision that our building at 1310 Shepherd Drive will remain closed for now, with essential staff working as needed and adhering to government guidelines. We will continue to host online-only worship services and programming. 

However, please remember that church is not “closed.” While the situation we all face has been difficult, God is just as present as always! 

God continues to work through our staff and congregation. We have been able to invest in new equipment, digital capabilities and resources to offer both traditional and contemporary church services online. Plus, we have enhanced other ministries through many digital experiences including Student Ministries, Young Adults, Growth Groups, Small Groups and Hope for Mental Health. 

Our mission teams have served many local organizations including Hesed House (homeless resource center) and Loaves and Fishes food pantry. Many have also made face masks for our community and global partners (Honduras and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation). 

Amazingly, giving is up by 3% for the fiscal year, and is at 111% of budget since the federal sheltering order was put in place. We also celebrate our 160 new online givers, 30 of whom are regular, recurring givers. Thank you for your faithful generosity!

We continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation day by day and week by week, and we are prayerfully considering our position for when the State of Illinois is ready to enter Phase 4. We will update you as information becomes available. 

Though we are physically apart, God is using this time to challenge, shape and connect us in new ways, as well as to reach even more people with the Gospel. Thank you for your partnership and prayers as we adjust to the new normal.  

Hope to see you in person again soon!

Love in Christ, 

Mark Carlsson
Senior Pastor of Good Shepherd Church, Naperville, Illinois