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A Letter from Pastor Josh and New City's Elders

Hello New City!

I hope you are staying healthy and encouraged during this season of restricted gatherings in response to the pandemic. The staff and other leaders at New City have been working hard to try and resource you and connect with you, even while we have been physically apart. We hope you’ve listened to our daily Marginalia podcasts, connected with your community groups via Zoom, and tuned in for our Singalongs, special services and women’s events. Our deacons have reached out to share how you can serve, and also how you can request help if you are in need. And of course, we hope you’ve been able to worship with us on Sundays with our videos and worship guides.

As you know, Ohio is moving into a phased re-opening process. We have been working with other churches, the Norwood Department of Health, and some of our own medical professionals to develop a plan for resuming in-person gatherings. This will be a phased approach, and one we hope can begin sometime in June. While we are eager to worship together, we want to be diligent in developing a thoughtful, wise and safe plan to do so.

In the meantime, we’re going to continue to offer you resources on Sundays and throughout the week. Updates on our re-opening plan will be emailed to you as things take shape. You’ll also be able to access information at https://www.newcitycincy.org/coronavirus.

This has been a stressful and difficult season for just about everyone. It’s a good time to remember that we need each other. Our call as a gospel community is to love each other well. I bring this up because in our own community we will have differing ideas of what can or should be done in the country, the state, or even our own church. The truth is, none of us have been through this before. We need to walk gently with each other, demonstrating kindness, love and humility as we seek to celebrate Christ and serve Cincinnati. I’d love for you take a quick moment and read Gavin Ortlund’s excellent article, 4 Ways to Disagree Graciously With Other Christians.”

As I mentioned last Sunday, so many of the New Testament epistles were occasioned by the desire to be together, but being prevented from doing so. I feel like I understand these letters a little more now for the experience we’ve had over the past few months. With Paul, I can write, “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face…” (1 Thessalonians 2.17)

Warmly,

Pastor Josh Reitano, on behalf of the New City elders