A Special Message: COVID-19
First Congregational Church, Romeo
In-Church Worship Services Suspended Until Further Notice
“Let each of you not look to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2
Hello all Members, Friends and Guests,
After careful thought and consideration, and with mixed emotions but a firm commitment to the safety of everyone, we have decided to suspend all in-church worship services again effective immediately. The main considerations for this decision are:
- The health and well-being of our Pastor, members and friends
- The rising COVID-19 cases in Michigan and throughout the U.S.
- Limited available support and worship attendance, especially during the summer months
- The uncertainties that exist and the level of stress this is placing on individuals
Ministry Council will continue to evaluate our situation on a regular basis and keep you informed of any planned changes or updates. We understand this may be difficult news to hear, but as we have said over and over again, the care and safety of everyone, especially those most vulnerable, is of utmost importance.
It is important to note that we do believe we have managed our reopening well and really appreciate the support we have received during the in-church worship services held so far. However, while everything appeared to work well, there were some underlying challenges, and we feel that the risks outweigh the return. It’s also important to note, that while there are other churches that have opened, the UCC is holding firm on their position and recommending that churches not have in-person worship until 2021.
In light of this change, our staff will continue to work in the church. We do ask that anyone wanting to talk with Pastor Kim or having a need to get into the building, schedule an appointment directly with Pastor Kim or with the church office.
We are also going to be very focused on our remote service capabilities and will be working to enhance these as we move forward. This includes:
· Continuing and enhancing online worship services and the weekly Zoom gatherings
· New internet service at church for better streaming capabilities
· Securing licenses to enhance the use and streaming of music
· A focused effort on reaching out to those of you that are struggling with technology and access to our online worship services and Zoom meetings
We also recently re-opened our building to our special groups (e.g. AA, Al-Anon, TOPS). At this time, we are going to continue to enable them to meet unless they determine otherwise or are required to shut down again. They are all following the same physical distancing guidelines we established for ourselves, which we appreciate. This is a vital ministry of ours so it’s important for us to continue to support these groups in any way we can. They continue to express their appreciation and feel blessed to be able to have access to our building again.
Our online presence also continues to expand, so we are reaching and engaging with many more people, opening up new opportunities for us. This enables us to find new ways to spread God’s word, be attentive to our overall vision and mission, and continue to be the compassionate, caring congregation we are.
And finally, a special thanks to everyone for your continued support and patience. A very special thanks to Pastor Kim for all she continues to do for us, and our staff as they help us navigate through this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of Ministry Council if you have any questions or need anything. We continue to be here for you and are available to help in any way possible.
Blessings, love and good health to all,
Rob Butz, Moderator and Your Ministry Council
Pastor Kim, Mike Price, Dennis Green, Lois McGinley, and Terry Butz with support from Rev Penny Lowe