The times in which we live, call for steady trust in God’s sovereignty and goodness. The Lord is in control. What a steadying and calming reality that is in the times in which we live. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing us as Christians is that of fear, rather than disease. But we need to remind ourselves from the words of Psalm 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Even in times like these. This truth will help us transform this situation from one of rampant fear into steady faith, from greedy hoarding into generous compassion, from love of self into love of neighbor, from crippling silence to a powerful witness of the gospel.
The consistory also faces the challenge of leading wisely in times like this. We understand there are various opinions and thoughts on the coronavirus, recommendations from the medical community, and the mandates handed down from the government. As leadership we are attempting to balance the honor and respect we owe to those in authority over us, as well as love for our neighbors in mitigating the risk of disease for the elderly and weak. In doing so, the executive of consistory, in consultation with medical professionals in the congregation, has taken the decision to postpone communion for the next several weeks and reduce attendance at services. We recognize this is a disappointment for the pastors, the consistory and no doubt for those who are eagerly anticipating communion this Lord’s Day. Church will remain open for services this Lord’s Day for those who need to be there in order to ensure that the services can be livestreamed, such as the pastors, consistory, sound technicians, and organist for both services. In order to put this in context, Governor Whitmer’s executive order as of Friday, March 13, 2020, states that gatherings of over 250 people are banned and a violation of that order is considered a misdemeanor. Livestreaming of the worship services can be found at: https://heritagereformedgr.org/sermon/livestream/.
In light of Plymouth Christian Schools canceling all events for next week, the consistory has followed suit in canceling all church events for the week beginning this Sunday (a list of those events that are impacted will follow this email as we are still contacting the people in charge of those ministries). The consistory will reevaluate on a week-by-week basis and keep you informed.
In the meantime, please pray for a stop to the coronavirus around the world, wisdom and prudence for those in authority over us, safety and protection for medical personnel on the front lines, a spirit of calmness and hope and an opportunity to witness for the Church, and comfort for those who have been bereaved of loved ones because of this virus.