Worshiping in the building

Latest update November 9, 2020

Please read this letter from Pastor Jeremy:

Friends–

I am sad to say that we must again cancel in-person worship. Online worship will continue as it has.

We came back to the building in October, because the test rates in Muskegon County had improved, and we were following the guidance of the state government. Unfortunately, things have changed for the worse. Infection rates in the county are far higher than they have ever been, now at a shocking 17.5%. The hospital is overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, testing can’t keep up with demand, and some nearby schools are closed again.

We have worked hard to maintain maximum safety when we worship in person, and I really appreciate your faithful cooperation. But our leaders who make decisions about whether and how to open all agree that it’s time to close again. Staying home and staying safe is the single most effective way to address the spread of covid.

Smaller groups will have to decide what to do. Youth group is cancelling in-person meetings immediately. I strongly recommend that all groups and committees meet online in whatever format works for you. If you choose to meet together, please keep all safety guidelines strictly: masks firmly in place, distanced more than six feet apart, frequent handwashing, no more than ten in a room, and sanitizing after yourselves.

Where is our faith in the midst of this? Our faith is that the God who called us will never give up on us. And God who called us has given us the call to look after one another, and not to squander the gift of life which we have been given. Please continue to worship together online. If you don’t have access to the internet, please consider asking someone who is in your safe circle to share internet access with you.

God bless you all. Keep safe!

Pastor Jeremy

 

When the time comes that we return to the building for worship again, these conditions will remain in place:

  • We still encourage you to stay home and worship with us online if you are vulnerable as a result of pre-existing conditions, if you have been exposed to someone with covid-19 in the last two weeks, and if you have covid-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, loss of taste, or congestion.
  • We underline the importance of maintaining safe distance, especially during the time following the service.
  • The latest state health department guidelines limit the number of people in the sanctuary to 50. That shouldn’t cause us any trouble right away, because many of you have decided to remain cautious and stay at home. In the event that we have more than 50, some of you will need to move into the Gathering Space, where we have an extension TV and chairs.
  • We plan to have ushers to help you find your seat, so that we can be sure to space ourselves apart appropriately.
  • We are taking extra steps to ensure that the church is sanitized and ready to be a safe place.
  • Online worship will continue as it has, with both the full service and the Take Out version every week. Remember that you can find them on Facebook, YouTube, or on our website. In any of those platforms, search for communitychurchumc.org.
  • We will continue to make some adaptations to worship, as we have in the park:
    • We must wear masks–this is even more important indoors than outside
    • We won’t be singing
    • There will be no refreshments or bulletins
    • The offering will only be collected in a basket in the back of the worship space
  • We will have a children’s time in the sanctuary, as we continue to observe safety, and the kids will then be invited upstairs to Junior Church.

We were initially shaken by the pandemic and the need to leave worshiping together in the building. Yet we have discovered that the Word of God can thrive and grow in new ground. Now, how can the Word continue to thrive and grow as we move into a building again? It’s up to you to be God’s hands and feet, to invite, welcome, and include your friends, neighbors, and families to worship, and to listen to what they’re looking for.

See you in church!