Public Health and Public Worship

For all those keeping track of public health measures in Michigan, the last week has been action-packed. Last Friday, we learned that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Governor Whitmer’s emergency powers have operated on an unconstitutional basis since April 30th. This decision immediately began to have an impact on how local businesses and organizations operate. Then, earlier this week, we learned that orders concerning masks and gatherings were now being enforced under the pandemic powers of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. If this has left you feeling uncertain, then please hear the following: nothing has changed concerning our practice of public worship. Christians gather for worship; this is simply what we do. Sometimes, we make adjustments and take precautions. There are always exceptional cases. Nonetheless, we remain a worshiping people. With that in mind, let me remind you of a few things concerning our current practice.

  1. We are still doing things a little differently – no choir, no food, no passing the plates, no greeters, no hand-holding. So far, these measures seem to be effective.
  2. We are still broadcasting services on the CCTV – the parlor and anniversary room are set up for remote worshipers every Sunday morning.
  3. We are still cleaning things up after service – our long-suffering and hard-working deacons still wipe down rails and doorknobs. Congregants are still encouraged to clean up their areas as they leave service.
  4. We are still anticipating live-streaming services – things are running differently than we anticipated but the day will eventually arrive. Stay tuned for information on how to access these services when the time comes.
  5. We are still operating with wisdom and love – no mask-mandate, no guilt. Nonetheless, please be considerate of others. Give each other space. Consider wearing a mask if you are able to do so. Sing a little quieter than you normally would.

In all things, live with faith, hope, and love. Faith helps us to know that God can be trusted in every season of life. Hope helps us to know that God’s good purposes for each of us will be fulfilled. Love keeps us secure as we reach out to those around us in a Christ-like manner. The world around us offers us a host of narratives to give meaning to our lives. But we reject them all in the name of Jesus. For the only story that defines us is the story of his life, death, resurrection, reign, and return.

In Christ,

Pastor Scott

Holy Week @ FPC

As I write these words, the sun is out, the birds are singing, and we have officially entered our annual commemoration of the final week of Christ’s first ministry. Multiple things will be happening this week, and I am very excited about this year’s worship!

Maundy Thursday. We will be celebrating a unique Lord’s Supper this year. I will post a video Thursday morning containing a short message and the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper. You are free to partake of the meal at home, using your own elements. If you would like me to deliver sealed elements to your home on Thursday morning, contact me through email, phone, or a comment on this post. I will bring individual cup-and-wafer packets to you!

Good Friday. The EPC leadership has requested that we make this year’s Good Friday into a time of prayer and fasting, joining together with believers from other Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Anglican Church in North America. I will post a short meditation and time of prayer on Friday morning. The attached document contains a list of twenty-one prayer requests, coming from our Office of the General Assembly.

Easter Sunday. A special Easter broadcast will play on WCSR 92.1 FM at 7:30 AM. Please spend thirty minutes after the service in personal or family prayer and worship. From 10 AM to Noon, our cross will be on display on the front lawn of the church building. Feel free to stop by and add a flower or two, as a testimony of the hope that blooms eternal because of what Jesus did in his death and resurrection.