Committed to developing disciples of Jesus Christ

Week of January 24th

On this opening page of our website, I talk about many things- but not generally the news. After all, you can go to whatever source of news you want and hear the opinions of people who probably know more about the tiny details of each story than I ever will- or even care to. But, at the risk of sounding a little bit political, which is not my purpose, I will talk about the news of the last week- still a hot topic today. I will do this BECAUSE it has a lot to do with what church is about- so if you are new to this site, I hope you learn a little about us as you read this!

In the last few weeks, media companies decided to silence the President of the United States and millions of people who wanted to communicate with or about him. They say they are doing that to "protect people from violence," and just maybe that is their goal. Whether that action is right or wrong, moral or immoral, I CAN tell you that suppressing information doesn't work very well. part of the Church in Europe tried to suppress astronomical science about a thousand years back because it did not fit their agenda- and that did not work well.

The point here is that WE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH. That is not really meant to be a POLITICAL statement. We need to know the truth about our health. Would you WANT the doctor to lie to make you feel better? Would you want your financial manager (should you have one) to lie about your investments to make you feel more secure? Do you want your children's teachers to lie about their grades so that you can feel proud? Do you want your spouse to sit on their problems and not tell YOU until the relationship shatters so that you can feel good at home today? 

None of that sounds good to me. I might not LIKE all that I hear, but I cannot properly react to it until I do know. In the Bible, we see that the Devil is called the Father of Lies. He not only tells us what is NOT true, he also suppresses what we NEED to know as much as he can get away with. We see this in our society today...people do NOT want to be told anything about their choices that makes them feel bad about those choices. They would rather FEEL GOOD about themselves than know the truth. 

The reason I point that out this week is to remind those of us here and to inform those who might come that we SEEK THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL. We speak that truth in love- we aren't screamers or accusers or nitpickers. We are flawed human beings with the promise of a gracious God to be forgiven. We WANT to know the truth, so that we can RESPOND to that truth and to grow in God. We do that in love. We encourage. We try to meet needs. We believe that each of us CAN do better with the help of God! But...we seek the truth rather than blocking it to make people "safe" or "feel better." This is an essential part of who we are- as HUMANS, not only Americans. Always seek the truth!

Because we know that is essential, when it comes to medical issues and Covid concerns, should you wear a mask? Well, that IS the recommendation of the CDC and doctors. I know that everyone CANNOT wear a mask due to medical reasons having nothing to do with COVID-19, but for those who can, we certainly recommend it. We have created, and continue to use, options for those who wish a defined "socially distanced" seating environment. We show grace whether you wear or do not wear a mask, but we do ask for continued courtesy to respect personal space either way.

Kids ministry continues to ask parents to not bring children who are sick. Of course, if you have children and are worried about potential COVID infections, we encourage you to keep them with you for service- kids are always welcome! Just as we have been doing for a while, we will not pass an offering plate, but instead encourage you to use the box, the safe drop or online giving. 

For the long term, we understand that we cannot satisfy everyone on the issue of virus safety. We want to be careful. As far as we know, few in our church family have contracted COVID-19, and those who have done so have contracted it outside the church and have caught it before coming in and exposing others. Communication with our church family has worked well, and we appreciate those who have avoided coming in if they have any suspicion of sickness. That does not mean that we cannot, or that anyone including myself and our staff are specially immune or invincible. We do not want to have anyone feel forced to attend live services at any time if you feel it is unsafe. If government Health Department statements makes you feel it is unsafe...stay home. If you arrive and too few people are wearing masks...head home. If there is not enough socially-distanced seating to help you, we apologize, but wish you all safety as you head out. If you are unsure about children or youth meeting at this time, please keep them with you or out of the meeting spaces they meet in. Let us know the problems you are concerned about. We may not be able to correct them all, but we will do what we can! No one will judge you or pressure you in any fashion. We have not done so and will not begin to do so in the future. 

If you feel it is unsafe, please take advantage of the resources on this website and on our two Facebook groups. We have been posting Sunday and Wednesday services in video. We post audio-only messages as well. Calendar information exists on this site. You can communicate to us through text, email or phone. if you wish to give, and we are so thankful that you have done so in the past, this page makes that possible, or offerings can be mailed or delivered to the church. 

One last note, please be aware that we have our Annual Business Meeting taking place after service on January 31st. We will give reports on our building changes, and will go over all the rest of the issues we handle at that meeting. All are welcome, and we will take and answer questions from the floor, but only members can vote on issues. Thank you for understanding, and we hope to see our church family there!

I will keep you up to speed as the days and situations develop. 

Pastor Jeff

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1130 W. Highland Road  Howell, MI 48843

Services at 10:30 am Sunday and 7 pm Wednesday.

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