Today we have some hard news.
For the protection of our flock, specifically our elderly, we have chosen to suspend all church gatherings starting today until further notice. We made this decision in light of President Trump’s recommendations yesterday afternoon. This will include Sunday gatherings, Sunday school, nursery, Growth Groups, Celebration Sundays, the Easter breakfast, seniors events, wedding showers, and other gatherings.
We understand that this decision may be cause for a number of concerns, so we wanted to address a few.
#1 – This is a big step. God has commanded us to not stop meeting together, as many do, but to encourage each other all the more as we see Christ’s return drawing near. (Heb 10:25) We want you to know that we believe this verse still applies. We plan to live stream our services and ask that you and your family continue prioritizing these gathering times. Our praise team will continue to lead us in worship, there will be times for prayer (both corporate and for your family to pray together), and Pastor Dan will continue his sermon series. We pray that this crisis does not last long, but as we wait, let’s remember that God understands our days and will hear our collective worship, even though we are “skyping in”. (Acts 4:21-24)
#2 – Is this necessary? This decision is extreme, but we believe the health of those who are weak and vulnerable should be a top priority. The medical community is telling us that the elderly and those with medical conditions are at significant risk, and that this sickness is spreading quickly. We are not making this decision out of fear, but out of a desire to protect those we love. It’s similar to getting an immunization for the measles; even though the risk isn’t crazy high, it is serious enough to act on. For a list of ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and to protect your family, please read this article.
#3 – If you have needs, please let us know so we can be available to you during this time. We would love to help seniors or those who are sick with:
– getting groceries or prescription meds
– food needs
– encouragement or prayer
– transportation to a hospital or testing center
#4 – If you feel anxious or afraid, please remember that God both understands our feelings and reminds us that we can trust Him. (Heb 5:7, Rom 8:18-39) He is sovereign over this virus, our economy, and our world. Also, your pastors are here if you need someone to talk to. Please call us any time or schedule a meeting with our counseling center, which will remain open (and sanitized) for now. If that too is deemed unsafe, we will be able to counsel with you face-to-face via Zoom.Us.
#5 – Won’t offerings go down? We are aware of the impact that this decision could have on our ability to serve both you and our community. As a result, we are opening a new mobile giving platform. It connects with the ChurchCenter app (which, by the way, is a great way to share our church with friends – our address and information including Growth Group meeting times are all listed in the app), and it will provide a cost-effective way of giving from home. Here is a video with details on how the app works. A few additional options:
– direct deposit through your bank
– stopping by the church building to our secretary
– mailing a check to 6921 Marsh Rd, Plainwell, MI 49080
#6 – I will really miss Sunday gatherings with my church family. There is no perfect substitute for spending time with our fellow believers, and we would not make this decision unless we felt it was absolutely necessary, however, we want you to be fed, so here are a few ways you can continue to grow and learn.
– First, meet with us Sunday mornings online
– Second, make it a habit to call and video chat with Christian friends,
pray together, catch up, and build relationships over the phone and
– Third, listen to Moody Radio for a constant stream of solid
preaching (especially 11am-2pm), uplifting music, and financial, family,
and world events advice (4-7pm, 8:30-9:30pm)
(Also for women, 10am “Revive Our Hearts”)
– Fourth, follow us on Facebook. We will be posting videos and blog
posts regularly to encourage you and update you on opportunities to
serve and reach out to others. Let’s remember that even in this time,
Christ is building His church.
Finally, we ask that you watch this video from Pastor Dan and continue to pray for your church family during this time.
Trusting our Strong God,
Pastor Dan Bowman
Pastor Josiah Hayden
Pastor Andrew Manwarren