COVID-19 – Reopening Information

The Resumption of Public Services

  Everyone at New Life Church misses the blessing of being together for worship, for fellowship, and for our ministry activities and outreach. What’s more, these things are vital for our spiritual health and growth. We are members of the body of Christ and are interdependent by God’s design. Public church services across the country and around the state are resuming, though not in the way that church members are accustomed. The pastors and deacons met on Thursday evening, May 28, to discuss 1) When will New Life Church open its doors again? and 2) What will a public worship service look like?


What date has been selected?

We have chosen Sunday, July 5, as our reopen date.

If churches can open sooner, why are we waiting until July 5?

  1. Some younger families have informed us that they will not be back for the foreseeable future until they believe it safe for their families to do so.
  2. Because of the precautions that will be in place, church leadership is wrestling with, “What are we coming back to?” As I have reviewed “reopening documents” from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Gov. Holcomb’s office, and our church’s insurance company, Capitol Insurance, public worship will be radically different even when the doors are open again. There will be no nursery, no children’s church or Sunday School, no walk groups or discipleship groups meeting at church for the time being. There would be designated seating areas with alternate rows left empty. People are currently urged to wear masks and to maintain social distance from non-family members. People are then asked to leave immediately (being dismissed by row), allowing the church to be sanitized before, in-between, and after services.
  3. Waiting until July 5 gives us the month of June to watch the trajectory of infection in Marion County. Some parts of the country are experiencing an uptick in new cases again. We want to open when and in a way that increases our chances to safely stay open.
  4. It is also our hope that waiting may see a further ease of restrictions. The mask issue has been particularly divisive in congregations. Pastors report that many refuse to wear masks even when asked to do so. We are still working through what our mask policy will be and how we will implement it. Please review the message from Sunday, May 24, “Glorifying God As We Return to Church” (Watch the livestream recording at New Life Indy on Facebook or listen at We must be united in our commitment to maintain the unity of the body for the glory of God, even when we strongly disagree. We are free to disagree, but not to dishonor God or disrespect each other.
  5. More specifics about our reopening will be announced and emailed as we approach July 5.
What can I do to help prepare for July 5?
  1. We will need a lot of help to give the church a deep clean before July 5 and keep the church clean after. We will not have activities upstairs, but will have the auditorium, lobby area, café, multi-purpose area (gym), and bathrooms to clean before, in-between, and after services. Closed-circuit television will be available in the café and gym for those who may need to leave the auditorium. Announcements will be made about how to volunteer for cleaning ministry.
  2. You must do what you believe is right for your family. If you do not feel you should be in a public service yet, please continue to watch the service online each week. We have seen the blessing of our livestream services each week and will make that a permanent part of our ministry.
  3. Pray for grace for all of us during this transition time, and wisdom to adjust our guidelines, as necessary.

A Personal Note

Speaking for myself as Pastor Doug, I am deeply burdened about the impact of long-term isolation.  Interaction with other people is necessary for our mental and spiritual health. I am encouraged with the creative ways people are finding to safely meet for prayer, fellowship, and encouragement. Please do not be cut-off from God’s people at a time we most need each other.

Doug Pabody
English Pastor
New Life Church