Resurrection Church Is Back

Resurrection Church staff (from left): Charles Riddell, Susan Tjossem, Karen Hustad, and Pastor Wayne Viereck

Resurrection Church staff (from left): Charles Riddell, Susan Tjossem, Karen Hustad, and Pastor Wayne Viereck

David Stanard

Forced to close its doors last spring, Resurrection Church held its first service of what is assumed to be the beginning of the post-pandemic era on Sunday, Sept. 13. That was the second Sunday of the month, a noteworthy date in the life of the church, for it was the second Sunday of September 2014 when the church held its first service in SaddleBrooke. The result was a reopening as well as the commemoration of a historic event.

From that first Sunday in 2014, Resurrection Church experienced rapid growth. Within a year, it expanded from one to two services and during peak SaddleBrooke season averages weekly attendance of well over 200. Several retired pastors assume the Sunday pulpit on a rotating basis. In addition, there is a vibrant choir and a full complement of Bible studies and social activities.

Resurrection Church meets in the Vermilion Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse, and in planning for the reopening, Pastor Wayne Viereck worked closely with Vivian and Trisha of the HOA in determining how many could attend and how to best hold a church service within current guidelines and restrictions. The conclusion was that 50 could attend, those attending would be identified for possible tracking purposes, social distancing would be observed, and masks would be required. In addition, there would be no singing and communion would only be once a month, at least for a while.

That first Sunday in 2014 the Church planned for fifty and around ninety showed up. On the 13th it was assumed that 50 chairs would be way more than enough, considering that for most SaddleBrooke residents coming that day would be the first time in a large group since last March. It turned out that all chairs were filled.

Sunday, Sept. 20, was about the same as the week before. This time a couple of chairs were unoccupied. Since about 75 people have been viewing the service on Sunday afternoon on the main church YouTube channel, few doubt that more people would attend if they knew they would have a chair and not be turned away. As a result, some thought is being given to the possibility of a second service. The present service is at 9 a.m. and is forty-five minutes in length. If/when the church would go to two services, the service times will be 8:45 a.m. and 10:15 or 10:30 a.m., depending on what the HOA would require to sanitize the Vermilion Room between services. Stay tuned.

Wayne Viereck is the lead pastor of Resurrection Church at SaddleBrooke. Assisting him in the SaddleBrooke ministry are retired pastors Paul Caseman and Jim Vadis and from the main campus in Oro Valley, Tim Nybroten. Other SaddleBrooke staff are Coordinator Karen Hustad, Director of Music Charles Riddell, and Accompanist Susan Tjossem.