In response to the recent changes by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the State of Michigan, we (the staff) are changing our COVID guidelines at CRC. We are excited to see less restrictions and look forward to the ongoing return to normalcy. We appreciate your patience as we’ve navigated all of this.
As we considered our response, we were reminded of our original core values (see back side) and the call God has given us to love Him and our neighbor. We know that serving Him requires sacrifice and considering the needs of others, and Paul’s helpful reminder (see I Corinthians 10:23-11:1) that all
because we have freedoms, doesn’t mean we have to use them if doing so impacts others in potentially harmful ways.
There remains a population of people who are not vaccinated, who cannot be vaccinated or are at-risk because of their current health conditions. We also know this includes all children and many youth who remain under state mask mandate guidelines.
We also recognize that masks make it hard to connect, sing, and recognize each other. Nobody really wants to wear a mask, so we want to acknowledge the desire to take them off as well. In lieu of all of this, we have made these changes:
8:00am Service – Masks are optional from the time you enter the building to leaving. You can decide if you want to wear a mask. This includes worship in the sanctuary and singing. Please continue to be sensitive to the needs of others because some may choose to wear a mask or practice social distancing.
Let’s respect one another’s choices and not tease someone whose choices are different than yours.
10:00am OUTDOOR Service – Masks are optional when we are outside. If we have to move inside due to inclement weather then we strongly encourage masks, especially for the sake of our children, youth, and at-risk population of people. We are asking that masks be worn throughout the whole time in the building including during worship and singing. This provides a safer environment for those who want to participate in in-person worship but, for whatever reason, want to continue to be cautious. It also expresses how we value our children and youth.
*We will be streaming our 8:00am service for those who prefer to worship at home.
Children’s ministry, youth groups, Sunday school, and nursery
All staff and volunteers who work with children and youth will be required to wear masks, as well as
children and youth. Wearing masks outside will be optional.
Group meetings at church
We are encouraging groups to decide for themselves how they want to address masks with their group,
again being sensitive to the different perspectives and comfort levels people have. We, as the church
staff, are not going to tell groups what they can or can’t do, but we strongly encourage unvaccinated
people to wear a mask while in our building and participating with others in a group gathering.
Visiting the church during office hours
Masks are optional, however, we strongly encourage any of our unvaccinated visitors to wear a mask for
the safety of our unvaccinated or unable to be vaccinated staff or visitors. We do ask that you’d be
sensitive to the staff and others in the church and be open to adjusting your meeting based on their
comfort levels which may include wearing a mask if meeting inside and/or moving any meeting outside
or to a spacious room.
(What we expressed in our original COVID response document.)
• Humility – in the midst of an unprecedented situation, none of us are experts, and we should be wary of too much certainty or confidence. Instead, this situation provides a great opportunity to model Christian humility in the spirit of Isaiah 55:8-9 and Philippians
• Patience – We can be patient. In a culture that has grown to value instant gratification, we can model counterculture patience. We don’t have to rush anything as though our identity is at stake. We can be patient with a reopening process that is slower and more clunky than we’d prefer.
• Flexibility – flexibility for two reasons: (1) because none of us have ever done this before. We are having to rethink how we “do church” and we’re making it up as we go. We have to be flexible and graceful in the face of new experiments. (2) because this thing could change rapidly as things evolve, and it could change in either direction:
further opening or further closing.
• Grace – we want to extend grace to one another as each person has a different view of what’s safe and what ought to happen. We have an opportunity to live into 1 Corinthians 8:9 by making sure our sense of freedom is not a stumbling block for others. We need to understand that different perspectives are legitimate and be careful not to judge others for the approach they feel they must take—an approach that is undoubtedly evolving.
• Sacrifice – in a culture that idolizes self, we have a tremendous opportunity to think and act on behalf of others. If Christ could carry a cross, we can certainly wash our hands more often and wear masks once in a while.
• Unity – we live in a hyper-partisan world. In the first few weeks of this new situation, it seemed like the pandemic might help bring us together. We have an opportunity to model something different—in the words of Paul, to “lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with
one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)
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.