Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
As you know, Council is making decisions month by month based on the changing guidelines from the state of Michigan, the CDC, and various denominational judicatories. Our Task Force, led by Mark Savage, has been advising our Church Council how to proceed during this challenging time especially as cases in Michigan continue to be high, the vaccine process has proceeded slowly to date and our Synod continues to advise congregations to continue a virtual program. Thus, for the month of February, we continue to offer:
- One streaming worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.
- A streamed Wednesday Bible study on our website, Facebook, and YouTube pages at 9:00 a.m.
- An online only service of Evening Prayer on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
- Building use by groups approved by Council on a case-by-case basis with the following guidelines:
- Wear masks always within the building.
- Maintain the proper physical distancing (currently 6 feet).
- No food is permitted before, during, or after the event.
Our primary goal continues to be to reflect God’s light through love and service. As Council has wrestled with the question of virtual v. in-person service, the safety of all members has been of utmost importance. We seek to demonstrate our love for you by considering the needs of everyone involved. This has included offering unique ways to worship and support spiritual needs outside the walls of the sanctuary until we can all return without fear for our health. The virtual platforms are not intended to be a replacement or a substitute for face to face services. Our use of technology is designed to allow you to experience connection to each other and worship together even though the shared space is not within Church walls. We thank you for your support in all that we are doing.
We are about to shift into the season of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 17th. As we continue streaming our Sunday services, we will hold a special event on Ash Wednesday. A streaming and drive-in Ash Wednesday service will be held on February 17th at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to join us in the parking lot, you will receive Holy Communion via pre-packaged elements and the imposition of ashes following the service. More details will be released very soon about this unique event. Please note that you will also have the opportunity on Ash Wednesday to receive the imposition of ashes from either Pastor Jeffrey Dick or Pastor Travis Wilson at Ashes 2 Go from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church.
Our organ repairs are underway. The Wicks Organ Company is on the premises installing the updated console and new electronics system along with doing some additional repairs such as pipe re-leathering and pipe holder maintenance. Thanks to the generous response to the Organ Fund, we are able to make these added repairs with money that was already raised during our “Be the Key” campaign. Again, thank you!
Gratefully being the distributed church with you,
The Rev. Travis W. Wilson
Dr. Debra Berkey