December 29, 2020

Dear Family of Grace,

                On Monday evening, the Servant Leadership Team (SLT) met to consider and assess the current COVID conditions. We have been watching as the numbers have been spiking significantly this holiday season not only in Arizona, but in Chino Valley. The challenge of leadership in the church is the dual tension of caring for both the congregation’s spiritual health and their physical health. Both elements are critical for a person’s well-being.

                In reflecting on these two key components, we have discussed and prayed at length over the needs of the congregation. Here are some of the elements of our discussion:


Spiritual Needs:

  • We are designed to have relationship with God. In His infinite wisdom, God has ordained the church as the place to get our spiritual needs met.
  • One of the unintended consequences of shutting down and self-quarantine, etc. is the impact on the mental and emotional health of the community. We are designed for relationship and the isolation of this year has been a heavy burden on many. The number of mental health issues are spiking due to the sense of loneliness.
  • The need for gathering together is highlighted in this instance. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us of the need to spur one another on to love and good deeds as well as to gather together, especially in difficult times.
  • The gathering of the church is a God ordained opportunity for the world to come and hear the Word of God declared. This is still our mission.

Physical Needs:

  • While gathering as the church is the norm (and an important norm), these are exceptional circumstances and we want to extend grace to those who choose not to gather at this time for reasons of health.
  • As physical creations, we are designed for touch, for relationship, for community. We recognize that these are part of our make-up and design. However, due to the contagious impact of the virus, we also want to act in wisdom and not make the situation worse through a lack of diligence.
  • For the healthy, this virus is much like the common cold. But for the vulnerable in our midst, it can be deadly. Out of love, shouldn’t we do all we can to protect the weak? (see Romans 15:1; Galatians 6:2)
  • The Leadership Team is torn over the issue of potential danger to physical health that exist during this pandemic and the need for connection. Therefore, we have decided to provide an opportunity to gather together. The decision to gather or refrain for this season of time is not the Team’s decision to make, but a decision you must make for yourself and your loved ones.


In light of these spiritual and physical needs, we are asking the congregation to follow our lead in making some changes. We are aware that there are many opinions as to what we should be doing and how to do it, but through long discussion, these are the things we are asking you to do out of love for Jesus Christ and one another.

  • We will continue to have in-person services at this time.
    • We are committed to gathering together to hear the Word and encourage one another. It is our intention to maintain in-person services here at Grace. We are exceedingly grateful for the technology that allows us to gather together even while we are apart.
    • We are hoping that the numbers don’t continue to grow exponentially. If they do, we may have consider having to go to an online presence once again.
  • We are mandating masks at this time.
    • While you are in our buildings, we need you to wear a mask. We have the virus in our midst and we want to act to limit its spread.
    • While you are in the service, we want you to keep the mask on.
    • If you are unable to mask at this time, we respectfully ask you to join us online.
  • We are also asking you to minimize physical contact as much as possible.
    • Please be wise – we know that physical contact is important.
  • If at all possible, maintain 6 ft social distancing. This includes leaving 2 empty seats between you or your group and another person/group.
  • Other than Sunday Morning Worship, we are putting a temporary hold on large group meetings.
    • That includes Refresh, Youth Group, Large Bible studies (over 10 in attendance).
    • We will allow limited small group meetings (10 and under) for connection and fellowship. (Masking will still be required.)


The SLT will continue to monitor the situation and assess the best course of action throughout this difficult season. At each of our meetings over the last year, time has been dedicated to discussing the issues and our response as a church. We take seriously our responsibility to the congregation and are acting as those who “must give an account.”

Remember, we are all in this together. We need to act in love toward one another. These issues could easily divide the church and the enemy would like nothing better than to do that. Some will applaud the direction we are taking while others will be frustrated and want to cry “enough is enough!” Would you reread Romans 14: 1–15:7 and reflect on how we should respond to one another?


A few reminders from the Bible:

  1. God is in control. God has a plan and “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” (Eph. 1:11)
  2. God is still working for our good in the midst of uncertainty. (See Romans 8:28)
  3. We need to respond to one another in love. (John 13:35)
  4. God is not our last hope, he is our only hope. (Romans 15:13)


Finally, may I remind you to pray for our congregation and community? Our church family presently has various members who have had COVID and have recovered; those who presently are battling the virus; and those who have lost the battle to it. 


Beloved, let us love one another,


Pastor Wayne for the SLT


Deacon Micah Covey                                     

Deacon Bill Fisher                           

Deacon Tony Hahn

Deacon Kevin Schoenfeld                            

Deacon Bill Sprague                       

Deacon Ron Stephenson


May 20, 2020

Dear Family of Grace;

             How odd to not be together in worship during Holy Week this year! Being able to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is always a wonderful day of worship. Though we may have missed the week of Jesus resurrection, as a church we celebrate the resurrection every week by meeting on Sunday! Each week is a celebration of our hope in Jesus!

Allow me to walk you through some of our shared church history. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and others over a period of forty days. His last instructions to the disciples were to wait in Jerusalem until the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon them (see Acts 1). On the day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover), the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and the church was officially started!

Why am I telling you this? The Servant Leadership Team (SLT) has decided to reopen our worship services on May 31—which just happens to be Pentecost Sunday! We will be resuming our worship on the day that the Holy Spirit came upon the church in Acts 2.  We are restarting our worship on the day we should commemorate as the start of the church age! Hallelujah!

As a reminder, we are still GRACE church, and as such, we are aware that there are a variety of convictions regarding gathering to worship at this time. The SLT does not want you to violate your conscience in any way in this process. We are aware that we have some congregants who are in the vulnerable population. We would ask that if you are uncomfortable in attending, that you do not come. We will be continuing indefinitely the streaming of all three of our Sunday Morning services. Our expectation of the body here at Grace is that we would show deference and kindness to one another, even when we don’t fully agree on our convictions regarding this pandemic.

Enclosed, you will find a packet with information specific to the reopening of our corporate worship. It is somewhat lengthy and contains a great deal of information. There is a video on our website that we ask you to watch as well. Due to the need for continued vigilance with this virus, we are making some significant changes in the way we operate at this time. It is our hope that in a reasonable amount of time we can return to some of the patterns we have had in the past (such as Childcare, Sunday School, etc.).

As we reopen our worship, there are challenges and new procedures that we will be enacting. The SLT has been prayerfully in conversation seeking ways for us to be able to meet as safely as possible. We long to gather together. We miss seeing you as we have also heard you are missing seeing us. May grace be the byword among our church as we restart our public worship and as we move forward.


In His Name,


Pastor Wayne

For the Servant Leadership Team


PS—Worship at Grace reopens on MAY 31st.—Services at 8:00; 9:30; 11:00 am!

April 1, 2020
Dear Family of Grace,
Due to the Shelter in Place order by the Governor we have closed our offices. All of our services and Bible Studies have been suspended until April 30th. If anything changes we will let you know.
Be sure to join us online on Wednesdays at 7PM for our online Prayer Meeting, and on Sundays at 8/9:30/11AM for our Live online church services. Either on this Facebook page or on our website:
If you have any questions or needs you can email us at
It is still our desire to serve our church family and our community.
God bless
Pastor Guy 
March 18, 2020
Dear Family of Grace,  
Last night the Servant Leadership Team held a meeting to discuss our plans and procedures in light of the COVID-19 concerns. As you may be aware, the White House has recommended that no more than 10 people gather at a single time. The SLT also evaluated information from other houses of worship and information from our association. After prayerful evaluation and discussion, the decision was reached to suspend our public meetings through March 29th. All public meetings & worship will be suspended until Monday March 30th. This includes all programs such as Youth Group, Grace Kids, Bible Studies, as well as Life Groups meeting in homes.
This decision was not taken lightly. The word from the White House is only a recommendation, but we see the wisdom of following the request. Although this is an inconvenience, we are looking to leverage this opportunity for kingdom purposes. We are fully committed to continuing our Gospel ministry and presence in our community. We are looking at creative ways we can reach out and point people to Jesus.
Even though we will not be meeting publicly, this does not mean that we will be shutting down ministry at the church. We will be livestreaming on Sunday morning at 11:00 am on Facebook Live and at If you are unable to view it on the internet, we need you to contact the office and we will mail you a CD/DVD of the broadcast.
We will also be posting devotionals through the week on our website and on our Facebook page. The staff has been instructed to post some age appropriate worksheets for children through teenagers with the idea of the parents spending time on Sunday with them in spiritual training. We are looking at other teaching/learning opportunities through the week.
The SLT will be monitoring and watching closely the situation. We will be evaluating our next steps on a weekly basis. The White House has stated that this may continue through July/August. We don’t anticipate that happening, but we have an obligation to the church to keep the flock safe & healthy.
We would encourage you to contact one another and encourage each other in this time. We still believe that God is in control and that this is an opportunity for us to continue to find creative ways to reach people for Christ and see our community transformed by the power of the Gospel.
Pastor Wayne for the SLT