The Week of November 15th
What will happen NEXT? Who knows other than God? Lately there has been a whole lot of pure propaganda in the news- on many subjects. It is important to remember where the truth is- not in CNN, or Fox News, or in any other human organization. Everything comes with a slant, and every slant heads in a certain direction. God, and God alone, is trustworthy. He KNOWS what happened, what IS happening, and what WILL happen. Place your trust in Him!
We have been asked whether we will go solely virtual again because of the Governor's plans and announcements. We are not currently planning to do so. I cannot stress enough that there are never any guarantees that in any public gathering there are no risks. God has protected us and our extended families so far, and for that we are very thankful. We hope and believe He will continue to do so, but I cannot stress enough that if you are sick- at all- it is best for all if you do not come until you feel well once again. We do not wish to jeopardize the health of others because someone wishes to "power through."
This weekend, the 22nd, we had scheduled, as we have for over 40 years, one of the Life Challenge ministries in the state...this time, from Muskegon. As we informed most of you several weeks back, they are unable to travel due to Covid issues, and so we will NOT see them here at SonRise this weekend. We DO want to continue to be part of their ministry of helping restore people struggling with addiction issues, and so we will take an offering for them. If you ARE coming to our in-person service this week, you can write "Life Challenge" on the giving envelope and we will send your gift on to them. If you choose to give electronically, you can select "Missions Special Speaker Love Offering" as a Pushpay fund and ALL funds coming in to this account this weekend (and a few days to either side) WILL be given to Western Michigan Life Challenge. You do not need to try to make a note in Pushpay or to call us with instructions. As there IS no guest speaker this weekend, we will KNOW that the funds are intended for Life Challenge if given through that account.
A lot has changed with the Covid situation...and not. The Michigan Department of Health has created many new mask and gathering requirements which affect many businesses, and now require contact tracing and other information from those who go to a restaurant. HOWEVER, churches are still not subject to prosecution and penalty for meeting in worship, and thus are not legally subject to these guidelines.
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.
We will have no Common Coffee for the immediate future. Kids ministry has restarted in person, though we still 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, no one at SonRise has yet contracted COVID-19. 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 a Governor's EO 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 now Wednesday services in video. We post audio-only messages. 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.
I will keep you up to speed as the days and situations develop.