We are excited to begin offering corporate worship services again! We know that many of you have deeply missed the chance to be together in person, and plans are moving forward to provide a way to come together again safely.

One of the critical pieces of formulating our plans was understanding your thoughts and needs, and we are so grateful for the time you each took to fill out our re-entry survey. The feedback was invaluable and gave us a detailed view of what different people are experiencing.

As you may have guessed, our congregation has widely-differing views on the risk of COVID-19 as well as willingness to worship in-person as our community slowly reopens.

More importantly, we learned that many of our members and volunteers have conditions (such as diabetes, auto-immune conditions, asthma) for whom contracting the COVID virus would result in severe or worse outcomes.

As a family in the body of Christ, I hope that we will stand collectively on two foundational values – love for one another, and grace over judgment, as Jesus continually modeled for us. It weighs heavily on the hearts of myself, our leadership team, and task force, that no decision we make will please everyone, and we hope that our congregation will lean hard into listening to “the other side” and having compassionate responses, as opposed to letting this issue divide our congregation or sow discord or hurt. I pray that we will all let love be our guiding force in all our thoughts, words, and actions!

Some of us are fearful and have real risks facing us – that’s okay. As Christ-followers, we can have empathy and acceptance that you have a unique and valid challenge.
Some of us are low-risk and have experienced only financial hardship, disruption to schedules, and children who are struggling with isolation – that’s okay too.
As Christ-followers, we can have empathy and accept that your view is also valid and that you have walked through challenging times as well.

And many of us fall into the spaces and places all around and between these examples. That’s okay. As Christ-followers, we seek to be in community first, to love first, to be in relationship first – not to win each other over to a different opinion or judge someone else based on small pieces of information that likely don’t reflect the whole story. Church, let us love first, and perhaps let us focus only on loving, during this time that has challenged all of us in different ways.

Below, you will see many more details on how we will begin to re-engage, and we can’t wait to add in-person services as another offering to our options for staying connected. We look forward to the time when we can all safely be together in-person again!.
Grace and Peace,

JP VanDalsem

Given Governor Whitmer’s latest executive order, we are requiring all guests over the age of 5 to wear masks in the building. We encourage you to make a decision about attending in person based on your comfort level with these recommendations. Disposable masks will be available at the door.

We will not be able to provide children’s ministry or nursery initially. Many of our volunteers are in the high-risk category, and we know that it will be very challenging to maintain social distancing practices in most of these age groups.

Yes, we do plan to allow singing. Our volunteers will be trained by the MidNaz Safety Team to seat people in alternate rows with 6’ social distancing. We encourage people to keep their masks on while singing.

The MidNaz Safety team is thoroughly training volunteers on sanitation practices and cleaning before, between, and after service on Sundays. We will not be offering coffee initially – though you’re welcome to bring your own caffeine! – and we will shut off water fountains, remove shared items from the pews (Bibles, pens, etc.) and will provide offering baskets in the rear of the sanctuary as opposed to passing them around.

Like our broader church family, the members of the Leadership Team and the Re-Entry Task Force represent a wide-variety of positions, opinions, and backgrounds. Through many hours of dialog, listening, and prayer, we recognize that it’s not possible to be 100% risk free, nor to make everyone 100% happy. But we also understand that there are a significant number of people that would like to worship but are at higher risk. Our hope is that this plan represents a compromise that provides people more choices for worship, while striving to take every precaution possible to keep our congregation and staff safe and healthy while being respectful of each other.

The doors will be unlocked and opened 15 minutes before service begins at 10:45. This allows us to complete all the necessary preparations for you to join us.

We are excited to welcome you back into the sanctuary; however, if you are not feeling well or have been sick earlier in the week, please stay home and join us on-line.