May 21, 2021
This past week, the CDC released new guidelines regarding COVID-19. The CDC has lifted all guidelines for fully vaccinated people. As of Wednesday, this went into effect in New York State. So, I wanted to give you an update as to what to expect when you come to church in-person. After talking as a staff and with the elders, Love Joy will follow in a similar way.
What does this mean for in-person attendees? It means that if when you go to Target, Wegmans, Walmart etc you wouldn't wear a mask there, then you don’t need to wear a mask here. If you would continue to wear a mask in other public settings, then you are welcome to continue to wear a mask here.
If you are concerned about others not wearing a mask, then you are welcome to continue to wear your mask and social distance. We will continue to offer masks at the Welcome Center and have hand sanitizer readily available for everyone. Our seating will also continue to be spaced out for the time being.
If you still have concerns, you can watch all of our services online until you feel more comfortable. We are so grateful to have this incredible tool to expand our reach and bring our services right to your home.
I am so proud of our church for how we have all handled this past year and a half. I want to encourage all of us to continue to handle all these changes in a loving, honoring, Christ-like manner.
Jesus once told a parable of the Good Samaritan. In it He told us to love our neighbors and to go out of our way to help others. As Christ followers, we are called to love and respect our neighbors. If you choose not to wear a mask but someone else is, then because of the love of Christ in you, you should lovingly respect their decision. This goes for the opposite scenario as well. If you choose to continue to wear a mask and social distance and you see others who choose not to, as a follower of Christ you are called to lovingly respect their decision.
More than anything else, we must remember that we are the Church! The world might be divided, but the Church must do everything in its power to stay united.
Let’s continue to Love, Serve, and Lead people to Christ no matter what.
Pastor Jonathan Burgio
February 11, 2021
Whether you have been enjoying church online or in-person, I pray that it has been encouraging and helpful to you. I am so thankful for each of you. Your encouragement, generosity, and willingness to serve is helping our church continue to Love, Serve, and Lead.
As COVID restrictions are loosening, vaccines are being distributed, and life slowly going back to normal, the Love Joy Staff, Elders and I feel that it is time to update our policy on masks. Currently we are operating at about 15% capacity, seats are spread out, and we will continue to sanitize hands when entering and leaving the building. Starting this Sunday, February 14, you are free to either keep your mask on or take it off once you are seated. We ask that out of respect to others that you continue to wear your mask when you are walking around.
I can’t wait to hear Pastor Judy speak again this week on the series “Unshaken”. I also have an exciting announcement about the new building that I will announce on Sunday morning during our service. I hope you can join us in-person or online.
Have a blessed week, and remember that God is with you wherever you go.
Pastor Jonathan Burgio
November 27, 2020
Thanksgiving morning, I woke up to see the news about the Supreme Court barring
New York State from restricting attendance for Houses of Worship. After much
thought, discussion with advisors and lawyers, and prayer, we’ve decided that we
will offer church both online and in person starting this Sunday, November
29th. Meeting to worship God is an honor and a privilege and we will not
take this for granted.
We are going to take every precaution we can to keep everyone safe. We are asking that everyone, including kids 3 and up, wear masks the entire service, even when seated. We also ask that you use hand sanitizer when you come in and when you go out. Please keep 6 feet of distance as best as you can the entire service. If you don’t have a mask, we will have them available for you.
If you don’t feel comfortable following these guidelines or you still don’t feel safe coming to church in person, THAT’S OK. You can still enjoy our online service, experience God, and be a part of our Love Joy Family from your home. We also ask that anyone who is sick or might have been exposed to sickness to please stay home out of respect and love for our church family.
We feel that with keeping all these guidelines we are able to have a safe and beneficial gathering both in person and online.
Let’s not take this wonderful privilege for granted and let’s continue to do our part.
I’ll see you Sunday at 10 am in person or online!
November 18, 2020
Today Lancaster and most of Erie County has been moved to an orange micro-cluster zone in response to increasing COVID cases in Western New York. What does this mean for us at Love Joy Church?
In an orange zone, Houses of Worship are limited to 33% capacity with a maximum of 25 people. As a result, we will not be having our in-person services until that changes back to yellow.
The good news is, we will still be offering our online service every Sunday at 10am. You can still experience God and interact with our Love Joy Family online and we’d love for you to tune in as I continue the series, Dealing With Difficult People.
You can enjoy our 10am Sunday service on multiple platforms:
Website - lovejoy.org/watch
Facebook - Facebook.com/LoveJoyChurch
YouTube - Youtube.com/LoveJoyChurch
I want to encourage you with something God has recently encouraged me with and I have shared it with the staff and elders. Since March when all this began, Love Joy Church has accomplished more in those 8 months than in 3 years. Not being able to have in-person services and all these restrictions has not stopped us or slowed us down, quite the opposite, it has been a catalyst to move us forward. I know the same will happen this time around.
I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in Love Joy Church will carry it to completion.
As always, if you are feeling discouraged or need someone to remind you of that hope that we have in Jesus, we’d love to connect with you and pray for you. Fill out a Prayer Request through our website any time to receive care from one of our pastors or leaders.
November 10, 2020
The New York State governor has placed most of Western New York into the Yellow Precautionary Zone of a Cluster Action Initiative. For houses of worship this means we can operate at 50% maximum capacity. Our auditorium is currently set up at 30% capacity. We will continue to meet as before. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have said that we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. People wear masks until they are seated in our social-distanced auditorium. We have hand sanitizer stations in the lobby, and our restrooms are sanitized often. We're grateful to all of our members and guests for doing their part in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. If the yellow status changes, we will respond quickly and communicate our plan of action immediately. In the meantime, there’s always the option of church online for those who have reservations about attending in person. Our online services are available on three different platforms:
August 25, 2020
Youth Group will start on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:30PM in the Love Joy Cafe. It's open for 12 to 18 year olds. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
August 3, 2020
We continue to meet Sunday mornings at 10:00AM. People wear masks until they are seated in our social-distanced auditorium. We have hand sanitizer stations in the lobby, and our restrooms are sanitized often.
Kids Church is meeting either outside (weather permitting) or inside. In either case, kids are kept socially distanced. The nursery is open as well.
Connect Groups will start in mid-September. Stay tuned for more information later on this month.
July 20, 2020
It's so exciting to be meeting at church again on Sunday mornings at 10:00AM. If you are unable to come to one of our in-person services, no worries! We are glad to have you joining us online for worship.
- You can watch on FACEBOOK LIVE, our WEBSITE or YOUTUBE.
- Looking to watch a past service? Watch previous services HERE.
- As we learn to navigate this new world due to covid-19, we will be taking communion at home with Pastors Ron & Judy, the first Friday of every month, 6:30PM on FACEBOOK LIVE.
Have a blessed weekend and we'll see you on Sunday at 10:00AM either in-person or online.
July 2, 2020
I am happy to say that we are going to have Kids' Church outside and nursery this Sunday. We will have children, ages 3 to 10 outside and 2 and under in the 2 year old room.
June 25, 2020
Are you excited, I know I’m excited, because this Sunday, June 28, we are meeting in-person, finally!!! Of course there are some guidelines. Everything is posted in the update from June 11 below. The main things are:
- We’ll have the doors propped open for you
- Wear your masks until you’re seated
- We also have a family watch party in the café. You can register at lovejoy.org/kids to reserve a table for your family. You can watch the main service streaming in the café. We’ll have snacks and crayons on the tables and you can use the front café door to enter and exit.
It’s going to be a great service. I will talk about The Fight for Faith. Often, especially during this time, there’s been a fight just to have faith. I have a great encouraging message that’s going to speak to a lot of people.
There may be some of us who still don’t feel comfortable coming to church. You may have a compromised immune system, and it’s just not the right time for you yet. That’s OK. I want to encourage you to stay home until you feel comfortable. Why? Because we love you and we care about you, and our service will be streaming. You can watch right at our website at www.lovejoy.org or on our Facebook page. We bless you and encourage you to stay home until you feel comfortable coming.
And for everyone else, I’m excited and can’t wait to see you. It’s going to be an awesome service. God is going to speak to us. You’ll be blown away how great it looks in the auditorium, how great it sounds and most importantly, God is going to speak to us and we will be able to encourage each other.
We love you guys, see you Sunday at 10 AM either in-person or online.
God bless you
June 22, 2020
We have found a way to have families with children come to church this Sunday, June 28. You have two options:
- Have your children sit with you in the main auditorium. All of our rows are socially distanced.
- View the service LIVE in the cafe with your children. Each family sits at individual tables.
With either option, children must sit with their parents. They cannot be allowed to leave the row or table. We will try this out on June 28. If it works, it will be a great option for families. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Judy.
June 11, 2020
As of now here is what you can expect when we start meeting on June 28:
- Please come into church through the front doors only. Café and Kids Church entrances will remain locked.
- We have changed the auditorium seating to rows of 2, 3, 4 or 5 seats, so singles, couples or families are socially distanced from other rows. Rows also are much farther apart.
- We will not be able to have Kids Church and the café yet, however, we will continue to live stream our services. Pastor Judy will continue to release a Kid’s video each week until we are able to have Kids church again.
- Kids church rooms will be locked but the nursing mother’s room is available for nursing moms and diaper changes.
- We will not pass the offering basket. We are installing drop boxes for people to put their donations in. We do encourage you to continue taking advantage of our online giving and text-to-give options.
- We will continue to do communion once a month with Pastors Ron & Judy on Facebook Live.
- As excited as you might be to see each other we ask no handshakes, hugs, or physical contact.
- We will ask any high-risk individuals and anyone who is sick to continue watching our live streaming from home. Also, if anyone in your household is sick or has any symptoms the entire household should watch from home as well.
- You will be asked to wear a mask until you are seated.
- We will not hand out a printed bulletin, but the message outline and eBulletin announcements are available in the YouVersion Bible app
June 8, 2020
We have a plan for physically re-opening our church to the general public. Before Governor Cuomo announced on Saturday that houses of worship are now in phase 2 of reopening, our plan was to reopen on June 28. Our staff feels that our best date for opening is still June 28. This will give us time to train volunteers in the safety measures we are required to follow. We need to train our hosts in all the CDC and New York State regulations. We also are still awaiting delivery of back-ordered safety equipment that we are required to have. For that reason we will ask specific groups of volunteers to attend church over the next few weeks. If you see them on our live stream, you will know why they are there. This will help us phase in what’s required and allow us to train our volunteers.
May 27, 2020
At the Annual Communication Meeting Pastor Jonathan announced that more than likely we will be able to meet at church earlier than July 5th. At the moment he believes that the earliest possible date will be June 14. That is still only a goal. It may be one or two weeks later.
May 23, 2020
President Trump announced yesterday that churches are essential and should be allowed to meet this weekend. We want to let you know that, as much as we want to meet in person tomorrow, we won’t be ready in time to do everything with excellence. We want to make sure we can abide by all the regulations of the CDC and keep everyone safe.
May 19, 2020
DAY 1 OF PHASE 1
Are you excited? We’re in day 1 of phase 1 in Western New York. Churches are in phase 4. If there are no setbacks and the phases progress every 2 weeks as hoped for, it looks like we could be meeting together in-person on Sunday, July 5th. We’ve been planning hard as a staff to be ready for that moment. Of course it won’t look like it used to, and we are working hard to abide by every regulation that New York State has published. You can see all of the guidelines below. God bless you and enjoy day 1 of phase 1.
April 30, 2020
REOPENING CHURCH AFTER COVID-19
I cannot wait until we are able to meet together in person again. I have missed seeing everyone and will thoroughly enjoy worshiping with everyone when we can. We are putting a plan in place so we are ready to meet together when that time comes.
Unfortunately there is still no definite date for Churches to reopen in New York State. However, we want to be prepared so when we do get the OK we are ready to go. We want each of you to be safe and feel comfortable attending church. With that in mind, if by some chance we do get the go ahead to start meeting, but we are not 100% confident in our ability to keep everyone safe, then it is possible we will delay our meeting together in person a week or two at the most. We have already begun to order things such as touch-less hand sanitizer stations, masks, gloves, etc. However as you know much of this stuff is unavailable for a few more weeks.
As of now here is what you can expect when we start meeting:
- We will not be able to have Kids Church and the café. However, we will continue to live stream our services and Pastor Judy will continue to release a Kid’s video each week until we are able to have Kid’s church resume.
- We will continue to do communion remotely on the First Friday of each month with Pastors Ron & Judy at 6:30 pm on Facebook Live.
- We will not pass the offering basket. We will have them at the Auditorium doors for people to put their donations in. We do encourage you to take advantage of our online giving and text-to-give options.
- We will block off every other row of seats and families must sit together and leave 2 chair widths of space between families.
- As excited as you might be to see each other we ask no handshakes, hugs, or physical contact.
- We will ask any high-risk individuals and anyone who is sick to watch our live streaming service at home. Also, if anyone in your household is sick or has any symptoms the entire household should stay home as well.
- You will be asked to wear a mask until you are seated.
- We will continue to stream our live service and have a video for Kids Church. My parents also will continue to have the Friday night prayer time on Facebook live.
One of our values is Sacrifice – We give up things we love for things we love even more. It’s an honor to sacrifice for Christ and His church.
We will sacrifice the enjoyment of having everyone together at church for the health of the more vulnerable in our community. Thank you for understanding.
We want to encourage everyone to stay in touch, send in prayer requests, or request a pastoral call. You can do this here: www.lovejoy.org/prayer
Remember you can watch our Sunday morning 10:00AM services here:
- On our Love Joy Facebook page or
- Online at lovejoy.org click “Watch Live”
You can help us to reach more people:
- Please “Like” our Love Joy Facebook page
- “Share” our services on your social media page
- Hold a “Watch Party” with one of our videos
- Add your own caption about why you think it’s important for your friends
I especially want to thank our congregation for your continued giving at this time. Thank you for your partnership! Because of you we have been able to BE THE CHURCH in a greater way than ever before. It’s also because of your generosity that we have been able to add live streaming to our services, this is something that will continue even when we are able to meet together in person.