COVID-19 Updates

SUNDAY CELEBRATION ONLINE ONLY

Updated August 23, 2020

Dear Church,

I’m writing to let you know that our church will be returning to all virtual Sunday Celebrations beginning August 30 through the end of October. We highly value the church gathering together to worship, pray, listen to the word of God, and fellowship, so this was not an easy decision to reach. I know some of us will be disappointed or have mixed feelings about not being able to attend in person, so I’ll share some of the process and reasoning behind this decision.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our church leadership has been monitoring the situation and consulting with healthcare professionals in our community. Out of a desire to love our neighbors and one another, we decided early on that we would meet virtually to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While meeting virtually, we have been blessed to see our church come together and stay connected via our LIFE Groups, Youtube live chat, and other virtual means. At the same time, we have desired to meet in person again, because there is something special and significant about the body of Christ gathering to worship.

After a lengthy process of preparation with our leaders and ministry teams, we re-opened for a limited number of people to attend Sunday Celebration on August 16 and 23. For those who gathered, it was encouraging to see one another face-to-face and to worship together; it was a joy to see some people in person who we hadn’t seen in months! At the same time, other concerns began to come up that we realized we would need to deal with as a church, and after much discussion and prayer, we decided to make the decision to move back to virtual gatherings only for the next two months.

  1. Many of our members and leaders serving in various roles have pre-existing health conditions, or live or work with people who are more vulnerable to severe illness. These brothers and sisters have understandably been more hesitant to gather in person.
  2. As university campuses across the country have begun to open, renewed fast-moving outbreaks of COVID-19 have also occurred. With students from all over the country and the world returning to Ann Arbor, we know that this increases the risk for transmission.
  3. When we surveyed those who are serving on Sundays, we realized that many had strong concerns about attending, but were continuing to do so because they did not want to burden others. While we appreciate so many who have a heart to serve, we do not want anyone to feel pressured to serve out of obligation or guilt.
  4. Because some felt uncomfortable to attend and serve in person, some teams struggled to find sufficient people to meet the needs, and many of the same people continued to serve week after week. Again, while we appreciate such a willingness to serve, we don’t want to see anyone being burnt out as a result.

In light of these concerns, we believe that moving to virtual Sunday Celebrations for the next two months is the right move for our community. That being said, there are some things we will miss out on and that we will need to fight for:

  1. We will not have a physical space to host newcomers to our church. This is a big concern, and something we don’t take lightly. We are here to reach the lost and the next generation, and without being able to welcome them into the Transformation Center, we will need to find other opportunities to connect with them and practice hospitality as we share our faith.
  2. We may feel isolated or disconnected, and will miss having fellowship with one another in person. Rather than having a centralized space to gather, we will need to stay connected online, and create other ways to see each other in smaller groups. For example, it would be great to see some of us gathering to worship with friends, other families, or LIFE Group members, as the Lord leads you.
  3. There is something special about encountering God in worship and prayer together with our spiritual family. We will need to fight for our relationship with God and to actively seek Him, not just in a building like the T-Center, but having confidence that He is with us wherever we are. We will need to turn our dorms, apartments, and houses into places of worship!

I hope this helps to understand how we arrived at this decision as we prepare for a new season of ministry this Fall. Our church life looks very different right now than any of us would have expected, but I am still excited for what the Lord will do in the coming weeks and months. Our God is a Redeemer, and He has good plans and purposes for us and those we will reach out to and serve. Let’s remain focused on our mission to transform lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world, and trust that God will open new and creative ways for us to live out our faith.

Sincerely,
Pastor Pete and the HMCC Staff and Executive Team

Updated August 11, 2020

After discussing with our leadership team, we have decided to move forward with limited in-person gatherings. For more information, click here for an email that we sent to our church mailing list. Otherwise, please look below for information on how to RSVP and other guidelines.

Updated July 27, 2020

On Sunday, August 2nd, HMCC-AA will being holding in-person Sunday Celebrations while continuing to livestream of gathering. RSVP’s will be required and maximum capacity of these gatherings will be 50 people.

For more information, please read our full Guidelines for In-Person Sunday Celebrations below:

  1. If you have symptoms of mild illness, we would recommend staying home and watch the live stream
  2. Likewise, if you have traveled to places where COVID-19 that has widespread, ongoing, community spread, we would recommend staying home for a period of 14 days before attending a large group gathering
  3. If you are at higher risk for severe sickness from COVID-19 (e.g. elderly, chronic heart or lung conditions, immunosuppressed), we would recommend staying home as well

PAST UPDATES

April 2, 2020

We as HMCC wanted to have a central place to update our church family with information about our response to the ongoing COVID-19 disease and other relevant information. If you would like to stay up to date with us, you can visit this page, but we would also encourage you to connect with us in the following ways:

  1. Sign up for our e-mail list. We send out both changes that we need our entire church to be aware of as well as pastoral thoughts through this season
  2. Follow us on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
  3. All of our live streams will appear on our YouTube channel

ONGOING CALENDAR CHANGES

  1. Morning Prayer & Chapel Time have been canceled
  2. All Sunday Celebrations and Friday Access gatherings will be live streamed online

GUIDELINES FOR LARGE GATHERINGS

If we do have large group gatherings in the future, we would advise the following:

  1. If you have symptoms of mild illness, we would recommend staying home and watch the live stream
  2. Likewise, if you have traveled to places where COVID-19 that has widespread, ongoing, community spread, we would recommend staying home for a period of 14 days before attending a large group gathering
  3. If you are at higher risk for severe sickness from COVID-19 (e.g. elderly, chronic heart or lung conditions, immunosuppressed), we would recommend staying home as well