Our COVID-19 Response

Keeping our Community Safe during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Our response is rapidly developing. Please check this page for updates and clarifications in the days ahead.

Links to online worship are found on the Worship Schedule Page.

New! Our Justice League has put together a list: How to Help during this pandemic.

Opt in to receive Rev. Nancy’s “Daily Thoughts” as we navigate these uncertain days!

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Things we are doing at FUMC right now…

We are praying for our community and those that are impacted in big and small ways by this virus.

Monday, March 23
Due to today’s shelter in place directive from Governor Whitmer, our church buildings will be closed through the April 13. All on-site services and meetings are cancelled through the period. Decisions regarding the rest of April will be made as soon as possible. If you have a meeting or event, please contact that meeting/event leader to find out if you will postpone until a later date or meet online via Zoom or using some other technology. Speaking of Zoom meetings, we have lots of them scheduled! As might be expected, more than one group might want to meet at the same time. If you create a personal zoom account (at zoom.us) you can schedule and conduct meetings that are 40 minutes long. If a meeting needed to go longer, you would create a second meeting to join. Here are some instructions that might be helpful. Please keep us up to date with your prayer concerns. We want to hear from you! The Prayer Ministry Team serves our congregation with both email and phone Prayer Chains. If there is a prayer concern submit a prayer request online or contact a pastor or Olivia Fanning, olfanning@comcast.net.

Wednesday, March 18
All worship and meetings at the church buildings are cancelled through the end of March. Some meetings are still taking place via the Zoom app or other methods. Contact your meeting leader to see if that applies to your meeting. Please revisit this space for future updates.

Monday, March 16, 2020
Update from Rev. Nancy Lynn –

Hello, Church!
Over the last few days, we have learned much more about what social distancing is and why it matters. What has become increasingly clear is that everyone needs to help keep the virus from spreading. COVID-19 is reminding us how interdependent we are. By staying home, we protect not just ourselves but others who are more vulnerable. To that end, here are some updates and changes at church since you last heard from me.
1) Our bishop has recommended that churches remain closed through the end of March, so that will be our plan. We will reassess the last week of March and determine then whether to open again in April.
2) We have now decided to close the church office. Please don’t come to the church. However, we still want to hear from you! You can call the church and leave a message. Messages will be checked throughout the day and forwarded to the appropriate staff member. Of course, feel free to email, as well. (Here is a staff list.)
3) Our bishop has also let us know that hospitals are requesting that clergy not visit. We will do our best to care for you via phone and email as needed. Do keep us informed if you are going into the hospital.
4) We will continue to offer “virtual worship” in the same way we did last week. It would be great if everyone posted a picture of themselves or their family watching worship on the church Facebook page!
5) We are continuing to explore other ways to stay connected online. Stay tuned!  
6) Neighborhood Care Group coordinators should be getting an email today encouraging them to touch base with their groups and organize assistance for those in need. If you have a prayer request, please send it to the office.
7) During this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, I will be sending out “Daily Thoughts” rather than just “Thursday Thoughts”. These may be as simple as a prayer that I think might comfort you or a short message or devotion. Please click the link above if you would like to receive these special messages. Here is a prayer for today:
Circle me, O God, keep hope within and despair without.
Circle me, O God, keep peace within and turmoil out.
Circle me, O God, keep calm within and storms without.
Circle me, O God, keep strength within and weakness out.
Blessings,
Nancy

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Thursday Thought from Rev. Nancy Lynn –

Dear FUMC Family:

Over the last 24 hours, I have been working with our staff and Leadership Council to make decisions about how best to care for our church family during the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. After much discussion and discernment, we have decided the most responsible course of action is to suspend church activities and worship services for the next two weeks and then reassess the situation. We will make a decision for the following weeks on Wednesday, March 18.

The guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are to postpone or cancel events of 100 people or more and gatherings of ten or more if at-risk individuals are involved. As a large church, that includes a lot of what we do! By not meeting, we can help to slow the spread of the disease which lessens the likelihood of overwhelming our doctors and hospitals.

Our staff will continue to keep the church office open and be on hand for pastoral care. We will also increase the cleaning and disinfecting of our buildings. In addition, we will be looking at ways to provide online worship, faith formation, youth group, and other activities. Make sure to keep checking the website for more information! This is also a great time to set up online giving if you haven’t done so yet! (Information can be found here.)

As Christ-followers, we are called to love our neighbors and, in this case, loving others means staying at home. This is a challenging time and we will face it together with faith, courage, and love. I encourage you to reach out to your neighborhood care group to find out if anyone is in need of groceries, meals, or errands run during these next few weeks. Check in on our older members with a phone call or a note. Send cards to people you learn are sick. Meet with your small group on zoom or Facebook live. Remember that we have Stephen Ministers available if you are in need of additional support (contact Amy Kennedy, amy@fumc-a2.org) People need their church family in times of crisis, and we can continue to be God’s hands and feet to each other as this story unfolds.

As we move through the coming weeks, let’s remember the last words of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley – “the best of all is that God is with us”. God will be with us through COVID-19, every day, no matter what. May we respond with love.

Blessings,
Nancy