Just need some encouragement?
March 27, 2020 (8:00 AM)
Based on the recommendation of Grace Church’s COVID-19 Task Force and the recent mandate from the Governor of Michigan, services will continue to be suspended through at least April 12. This means that we will hold our Good Friday & Easter celebrations online for the first time ever! While we would love to meet together, we are excited about the opportunities this provides us. Stay tuned over the coming week for ways you can be invitational using digital invites, graphics, and sharable e-vents.
March 23, 2020 (3:00 PM)
While religious organizations are exempt from today’s order, we want to serve our community by taking every precaution. As a result, we will not be gathering during the duration of the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. As of right now, this executive order will be in effect through April 13, 2020. In the meantime, we will continue to provide Sunday morning worship on Facebook and at gracechurch.city/sermons.
Because we are exempted from this executive order, we are uniquely situated to care for and bless our community. If there is any way we can help you or your community, please reach out through our Contact Form.
Additionally, today’s order specifically allows for people to travel in order to care for “minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons” and to “work or volunteer for businesses … that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals,” (Section 7) so we want to continue to urge you, the people of Grace, to be the Church in your communities. Take every precaution to keep yourself and your family healthy, but we can still serve others and show God’s love in the midst of all of this.
March 18, 2020 (3:20 PM)
In compliance with Governor Whitmer’s ban, and in order to do our part to keep our community safe and healthy, Grace Churches will be suspending services at least through the first week of April. We will continue to evaluate the best course of action over the coming weeks, so be sure to continue checking your emails from us. In the meantime, tune in on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM for a full online service on Facebook and at gracechurch.city/sermons
March 14, 2020 (11:00 AM)
Instead of an in-person service this Sunday, we will be streaming a service right here on the Grace website (gracechurch.city/sermons) and on Facebook starting at 9:30am. It will be available in its entirety anytime after the stream begins. Pastors from all three locations will make an appearance, and Matt Brookes & Tyler Barber are teaming up to lead worship. Please join us on Sunday as we (virtually) gather to learn, grow, and follow Jesus together.
March 13, 2020 (8:00 AM)
It seems like every time I look at my newsfeed there is updated information about the coronavirus. Here in Michigan things are developing especially rapidly—and we are trying our best to keep pace.
In conversations with our location pastors and the Task Force over the past week, we laid out three “red lines” that we felt would require an immediate and proactive response.
Guidance from the State of Michigan requesting religious institutions no longer gather
Local public school systems closures
Positive test for COVID-19 in our congregation
In the past 24 hours, multiple school systems have closed in SE Michigan, and the latest guidelines from the State of Michigan is to refrain from gathering in groups of 50 or more. Thankfully, no-one associated with Grace has tested positive for the coronavirus. Still, in light of the other two developments, we’ve decided to suspend our weekend services for Sunday, March 15. We will evaluate on a week-by-week basis, but are preparing to be without in-person services for several weeks. We didn’t make this decision out of fear, but as a service to our community. One of our primary roles as the church is to defend the defenseless. By not gathering in a large group, we can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and in doing so protect the vulnerable in our cities.
But we do not cease being the church simply because we miss a week or two of Sundays gatherings. As we’ve often said, “the church is not a building we visit or a meeting we attend. It’s a people we are becoming.” We will continue to pursue Christ together, even if we aren’t swapping stories over coffee in the lobby or worshipping shoulder to shoulder.
Instead of an in-person service this Sunday, we will stream a service on the Grace website (www.gracechurch.city) and Facebook starting at 9:30am. It will be available in its entirety anytime after the stream begins. I don’t want to oversell it, but it’s going to be an all star cast! Zach, Dave & Sung will all make an appearance. Matt and Tyler will lead worship. We won’t even be able to tell if you fast forward through the boring parts. You will have to make your own coffee, though. Please join us on Sunday as we (virtually) gather to learn, grow, and follow Jesus together.
March 12, 2020 (8:00 PM)
This evening, we made the decision to cancel this Saturday’s Wild Game Dinner and postpone our Raising Your Child in Faith and Membership classes until further notice. If you already purchased a ticket to the Wild Game Dinner, staff will be reaching out to refund your ticket.
Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we continue to navigate the ever-changing situation with COVID-19 and respond as best we can.
March 12, 2020 (2:15 PM)
As a church, one of our core values is that of mission—identifying and meeting the needs of those both inside and outside our church community. This includes the physical well-being of our community. For many, the uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused fear and anxiety in our workplaces, schools, and daily life. How should we, as the church, respond?
We can look to the example of the early church who were known, during the plagues that swept the Roman Empire, to move into affected areas and provide care and comfort for the sick. I’m not recommending in any way that we physically move to hard-hit areas in the United States or abroad. But I am saying that our goal should be to provide care and comfort—both physical and spiritual—to those around us. This is a real opportunity for us to be the Church.
Though transmission of the virus per the CDC for the general public in Michigan is still considered low risk, we’ve been closely tracking the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) both locally and globally and we want to take precautionary measures to create a safe and healthy environment for us all to gather and worship. In addition, we are asking you to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe, especially in light of recent developments with the Coronavirus.
As things develop, we will continue posting updates on this page.
Here are the steps Grace Church is taking.
We’ve established a Task Force of professionals and experts to provide guidance and advice regarding our response. We are blessed with doctors, infectious disease specialists, and state health department employees who are on the front lines, and are willing (eager, in fact) to offer their time to us.
We are taking our lead from the CDC and the State of Michigan. We’ll follow their recommendations for both personal and organizational safeguards.
Our communication team is ready to provide up to date information (like this email!) based on the recommendations we receive.
Starting on Sunday the 22nd, we will have our services live-streamed on Sunday morning so that you can still be a part of our gathering, even if you choose to stay home. This Sunday, we will have the Ann Arbor recording up in time for you to tune in at 11 AM.
Sunday services are still planned as usual. Our staff and team members are ready to serve. Any changes will be communicated on all available channels—social media, email, website, etc.
We are taking extra steps to minimize potential exposure on Sunday mornings. Staff and team members will be cleaning every high touch surface multiple times on Sunday.
Offering baskets won’t be passed, but instead put at each sanctuary door.
Coffee will be served instead of being self-serve, and we’re removing all food and snacks on Sunday.
Greeting time will not include any handshakes. Any way that our staff and teams can make the church cleaner and safer, we will try to do.
What can you do?
If you or your family members are sick, please stay home except to receive medical care. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call ahead before going to see a healthcare provider.
If you are a high-risk individual (an older adult or someone with serious chronic medical conditions like: heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease), stay home and don’t attend Community Group. We love you too much to put you at risk.
Look for ways to serve your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. I can’t emphasize enough how scared people are looking for reassurance right now. Be that hope to them and share what you have.
Pray. Pray for those who are infected or sick, those who are lonely because of isolation or quarantine, and for all those who are afraid. Pray against discrimination and panic. We know our God is greater than this disease, and he hears our cries.
Let me say again that we have an opportunity to love in a sacrificial way. We are making every effort to be wise and safe while taking seriously the mandate to love and serve those around us. Check on your neighbors, call the elderly you know, and ask for help if you need it.
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