The Week of October 18th
I hope that your week has been a blessing. I know that as I write those words, the week we have had may have been a hard one. Many of us have lost friends this week. One of those friends was part of our SonRise family, while some were those you deeply cared about outside. It is never easy to lose people we love- not ever. Others have faced tough prayer challenges. In each case, our thoughts and prayers go with you. At the end of this week, on Saturday, Otober 24th, we will be remembering and celebrating the life of James Olbrich. At 2 pm we will gather to remember, and if weather allows, we will be doing so outdoors. Plans are being made to try and offer this online for those who cannot make it, but I do not have that login information yet.
Not everyone has had a rough week, though. Some are doing well, having victories, celebrating milestones and achievements. As Scripture tells us, we celebrate along with you. Birthdays and anniversaries are worth celebrating. Accomplishments give us joy. Learning makes us stronger, and service more compassionate. Whatever your week has held so far- joy or challenge- we are glad you are part of our family and I believe that many SonRise people are praying or rejoicing with you. it is how it works! In fact, on Sunday the 25th, immediately after service, the Church Board will be presenting some projects which I hope will be seen as milestones and lead to accomplishments we can celebrate together. Join us immediately after the service on the 25th! Members will be asked to vote, but everyone will be able to ask questions and participate in the meeting.
A lot has changed with the Covid situation...and not. All the Governor's orders have been ruled unconstitutional and struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court. Some county Health departments (not ours here in Livingston County as of this time) and the State Health Department, are attempting to create and demand new mask mandates. The actual LEGALITY of all these maneuvers is not yet clear, but I am sure will be ruled on by the courts and enforced or not enforced by local authorities. For the time, not much will change here.
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.