Part of this new challenge we are facing is the impact that it has on giving. There are two pieces to that. First, we rely on giving to cover our general operating expenses. This may be a good encouragement for you to sign up. You can click HERE to do that.
In addition, to keep general expenses covered, we're not sure what all the future holds. We anticipate that as this virus spreads and as it impacts more people that there is going to be a significant financial impact in people's lives and we are prepared to do our part and want to encourage you to participate in seeking to come alongside people in the midst of that need.
This is another reason why being connected is so important, so you can stay up to date with the different ways we can help. We want you to prepare not only to support the church financially but to recognize that there's going to be opportunities that present themselves for us to care about people in financial need.
Outdoor worship each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. outside at CRC (WEATHER PERMITTING). Bring your lawn chairs and coffee and join us for worship together. We will also offer our 9:00 a.m. online service if you prefer to stay home and worship.
The leadership of CRC has created several documents that
describe our plan for a phased reopening.
These documents are available below.
They give a detailed explanation of our plan, the values and priorities
behind our plan, the background to how this plan was developed, resource links
we have found helpful, and a list of questions
and answers we think you may be
Click on each of the documents below
The information below is a summary of our plan and will give you basic information about what lies ahead. We still strongly encourage you to read the three documents linked above.
1) We have a phased plan for reopening that is indirectly tied to the MI Safe Start Plan. Getting inside the building will not be our first priority but instead seeking to gather in ways that are both safe and welcoming will be high on the list.
2) Our initial reopening will include the addition of an outside Sunday morning service (10:00 a.m.) WEATHER PERMITTING at church starting this Sunday, June 7th in addition to our weekly online service (9:00 a.m.). Bring your lawn chairs, coffee, socially distance, and worship together. The outside service will also be captured by a FM transmitter, so you can choose to remain in your car and listen to the service on the radio. We will decide by 8:00 a.m. each Sunday if we are going to worship outside, so we'll contact you (if you are on our contact list) if this service is cancelled. This allows us to gather together, experience worship with limited restrictions, and keep each other safe. Church bathrooms will be open, but we strongly encourage minimal use of the facilities if at all possible. Masks will be required to enter the building and use the restrooms.
In addition we are encouraging small groups to meet in their homes or backyards following the online or outside services for fellowship, encouragement and discipleship. We will also encourage home gatherings where you invite a few couples or families over for fellowship, dialogue about the service, and mutual encouragement. These would be informal without any long-term commitment, just a chance to connect with others, develop friendships, and experience God-centered community in a safe, socially distanced way.
3) Our plan will be flexible to take into account what the future brings. Restrictions may be lifted or reinstated. We don't know what the virus will do, and we need to be flexible as we walk through our plan. It's why we hold communication as a high value, so all of us stay informed as to how we move forward as a church.
4) Moving back into the building will require certain markers being reached such as a clear and acceptable cleaning regimen for the areas of the building people will use. Clear signage and instructions for social distancing, washing hands, and appropriate use of face masks will be required. Large groups will not gather quickly inside, but we will slowly allow staff, small group gatherings and activities in the church to resume.
5) All of this requires us to remember that God's Church is not a building but a people, so we are committed to our mission of "helping all people find and follow Jesus" and believe this mission does not require activity in our church building. We do trust that a day will come when we can resume much of the activities we love and appreciate in our church building, but the primary mission we have been given isn't dependent upon being inside the building.
None of us are experts at doing church in this new way, so we ask for your patience. We also ask that you see this as an adventure, trusting that God is with us and that He is and will grow us through this unique journey, as we continue to embrace our calling "to help all people find and follow Jesus."