Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We want to sincerely thank you for your responses to the Returning to In-Person Worship survey that we recently put out by e-mail and telephone. Your responses are greatly appreciative and have helped us to plan our July schedule. At this time, Council is making decisions month by month based on the changing guidelines from the state of Michigan, the CDC, various denominational judicatories and feedback that we received from you through the recent survey. Our Task Force, led by Mark Savage, has been advising our Church Council on how to proceed during this challenging time.
Based on the results for the month of July the Church Council has made these the following decisions:
- All In-person worship services are still suspended.
- We will continue streaming worship online and we will offer a Drive-In service each Sunday of July as long as the weather permits. All services will be held at 9:00 a.m. and at the end of the Drive-In service, we invite you to share the peace while wearing masks and keeping the appropriate social distance.
- In the event of inclement weather, the church will send out a robo call to let folks know that we will be streaming in the sanctuary only that morning.
- The robo call will be made at 8:00 AM.
- Our streaming schedule of Bible Study, the Healing Service, and the Thursday Reflection remain unchanged.
- Pastor Travis will offer a weekly education series called Compassion Camp beginning on Friday, July 10, 2020. You may access that on our web site and from Facebook and Youtube.
- The church building will remain closed to all outside groups for the month.
- Pastor Travis will be returning to the Office with a Tuesday – Friday schedule beginning on Tuesday, July 7th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Office hours will be by appointment only.
- Please plan to wear a mask if you come to the building.
- Peace groups are permitted to meet on a case by case basis with approval from the Church Council. Each group meeting is expected to:
- Wear masks at all times within the building.
- Maintain the proper social distancing (currently 6 feet).
- Understand that no food is permitted before, during, or after the event.
We understand there are variations of practices within the worshipping communities of South Haven. It is the mission of the Council to make sure that all of our congregants are safe. There is still an active threat from the Covid-19 disease. We feel a comprehensive and conservative approach to re-opening is in the best interest of all. Things can certainly still change based on orders from our Governor as well as other recommendations from health care providers and other officials. The Task Force and Council will meet mid-July to plan the August schedule.
In other news for July, thank you again for your gifts to the Organ Fund for the needed repairs. We have been in touch with Wicks Organ LLC, the company that made and installed our organ, and they plan to pick up our organ console sometime in mid or late July to being the refurbishment and repairs on the console. This means that when we are back in the sanctuary for worship, our primary instrument will be the piano.
As mentioned, Pastor Travis will also be returning to the Office on Tuesday, July 7th. However, much of his pastoral care appointments will either be done by video or on the telephone due to restrictions still in place on facilities and his own compromised immune system with his diabetes. Please note, he is also making communion available should you be missing that by appointment, just contact him at email@example.com or by calling or texting (269) 686-6302.
We continue to be grateful for your financial giving to the life of the congregation. Please continue your prayerful and financial support as you are able. If you are having some financial hardship at this time, please contact Pastor Travis and we will be glad to see how we can help you. Though things still look different, we are glad to be in ministry together as we reflect God’s light through love and service in South Haven and West Michigan.
If you continue to look for ways to be involved and helpful, please know that First Assembly of God is collecting items for a Rummage Sale to be held on July 10 and 11. Donations can be dropped off at the church (06500 Blue Star Memorial Highway) from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday. All proceeds of the sale will go to support the We Care Personal Care Pantry. The Food Pantry at First Congregational Church is always grateful for any donations of money or food that you might drop off to them. Thank you for your care of these partners in ministry in the community.
The Rev. Travis Wilson, Pastor
Dr. Debra Berkey, Council President
A Video Message from Pastor Travis Wilson
Being physically apart is hard, but again remember to check in with folks. Call one another, if you want to do a group call, let Pastor Travis know and he’ll set up a conference call for you. Be sure to wash your hands, stay well, and safe.
Here are some resources until we meet again: