CHURCH as we emerge from a PANDEMIC
After many months of virtual-only worship, from March 2020 until early June 2021, we have finally made the transition to in-person worship! As of June 27, worship will be happening in our sanctuary each Sunday morning at 9:30 am. Our service is also live-streamed on our church Facebook page.
Masks are not required for in-person attendees, but of course if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we encourage you to do so. We also strongly encourage anyone who is not vaccinated (children excepted) or who is immunocompromised to wear a mask or to continue to worship virtually for now.
We will continue to encourage physical distancing (especially indoors) and to discourage hand-shaking and the like.
We’ll be keeping our service time relatively short and will have our after-church fellowship time outdoors, weather permitting.
The Session feels this plan is comfortable and safe because:
- Our vaccination rate in our worshipping community is very high. Vaccination is key to safely resuming activities!
- The local Covid-19 case numbers and test positivity rate have dropped dramatically and, as of late June are very low,
- We can practice physical distancing in our seating, by having fellowship time outdoors, not passing the peace, etc.
In addition, through the summer we can have good ventilation and air movement in the sanctuary.
We want everyone to be aware that the Session will continue to evaluate the situation. If there is a resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the fall, it is possible that our plans may have to change, and some restrictions on activities may return.
Of course, we hope that won’t happen, but whatever happens, we will adapt.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with us or with another member of Session.
These many months of the Covid-19 pandemic have been challenging times for everyone, in so many ways. They've been challenging for the church, as well! But we as a congregation have remained committed to continued faithfulness to Jesus Christ, to worshiping God, and to caring for one another and our neighbors. While we experienced a lot of uncertainty about both present and future, and have had to make many adjustments (sometimes feeling we didn't know what we were doing!) we have tried to trust God to lead and sustain us. We have learned a lot through this time!
Our primary concern was the safety of the members and friends of our faith community, and so our Session chose to act with an abundance of caution. We paid close attention to advice from health experts, and to guidance from our Presbytery of Lake Michigan and the State of Michigan. Knowing that indoor gatherings and especially worship posed a high risk for transmission of Covid-19, we began to hold worship virtually only, and limited other activities in our building.
We learned to use Zoom, and were able to hold meetings, small groups, and Adult Education programs virtually.
Our very dedicated tech team worked hard to make the sound and video for our livestreamed worship service as good as possible. Our equally dedicated music and worship team worked hard to make each service meaningful. And we found that most people did, indeed, feel connected to one another and engaged in worship virtually, although we missed being together. We were pleasantly surprised to find that livestreaming reached many who had not been able to participate regularly in worship. So it's our intention to continue to livestream our services. We hope that any time you aren't able to come in person, you'll join us virtually. You do not need to have a Facebook account to watch.
Other In-person activities are resuming as well, and more will be happening in the fall. We are allowing groups with a church connection to use our facilities, providing that participants are vaccinated.
Our office hours, which have been very limited, have now expanded to include:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9:30 am - 1 pm
Faith, prayer, and care for one another have seen us through these months. Our sense of community remains strong, and we have learned some things about flexibility, patience, and resilience (not to mention technology!) As we go forward, some things will be different than before, and much about the future is still unknown to us, but ...
God is good. All the time.