This page is in response to COVID-19 and to keep people updated during this time…
Rethink Church Task Force Update
We are pleased to report that the Rethink Church Task Force has completed its work on Phases I and II of the process for reopening our church facilities. To summarize the report:
Phase I (Our current status) – We are continuing with online worship. Building use is limited to pastor, staff, worship leaders, and pantry volunteers. All are following established safety guidelines.
Phase II – As conditions improve, we will prepare to return to worship with 50% occupancy, and church-related groups of 50 or less in Fellowship Hall, observing the same safety precautions as in Phase I.
Phase III – The Task Force will reconvene after several more weeks of improved conditions, to determine the details for Phase III.
Thank you to our Memorial Committee for the purchase of the video recording equipment that we have been using for our online worship these last few months. This could not have come at a more necessary time. We have been able to bring online worship to our church family and friends in a user friendly and reliable format.
We also want to thank the Trustees and the Memorial Committee for the purchase of six new rolling shelves for the Food Pantry. We will be able to eliminate the floor skids and provide a safer and more organized environment for our volunteers and pantry clients.
- RETHINKING CHURCH – CEDAR SPRINGS UMC TASK FORCE ON REOPENING A representative group of leaders has been meeting to plan for the future in worship and our life together. This short term task force has been selected on the basis of areas of leadership in the church and professional expertise. Our guiding principles have been and will continue to be:We are a high-risk congregation (see Church Statistic chart)…Return to church will be different, from now on…We will follow the lead of science, and United Methodist leadersOur team understands that we all long for a return to worship in person, as well as the many aspects of church life that we love so dearly. Yet we want to be cautious because of our faith community’s risks, but also because gathering not only places us in danger. It places everyone that we encounter in public and at home. We implore our people to practice the spiritual gift of patience as we continue our work. Please pray for us, even as we pray for the world. We will be together again. We will thrive. In some ways, we will be reborn as a church.Very soon the Church Council will review the plan we are formulating and it will be rolled out for our congregation immediately after Council approval. However, as a high-risk congregation, we will continue to stay sheltered as we are able, for as long as necessary. And we will be cautious, gathering only for necessary purposes. Here are some of the resources we have looked at:
First Sunday Back: Some Questions to Ponder, Michigan Conference, United Methodist Church, May 2020. https://michiganumc.org/health-crisis-toolbox/
Principles and Directions for the Reopening of UMC Facilities in Michigan,
Michigan Conference United Methodist Church, May 2020. https://michiganumc.org/health-crisis-toolbox/
Returning to Church: Ministry During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Wisconsin Council of Churches, April 23, 2020. https://www.wichurches.org/2020/04/23/returning-to-church/
RE-LAUNCH: A Conversation on Embracing the Ministry Possibilities of 2020, Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.
- Staying Connected Information Sheet 04/03/2020
- Special Update 03/28/2020: With all the changes that have been taking place over the last two weeks, we have been working on keeping our members and friends as informed as we can on church business and worship. Starting this week we will be emailing & posting a new church bulletin for each Sunday’s worship “Together…..for times such this”.It will be out by Saturday so that you can follow along with the upcoming Sunday’s virtual worship. It can also be found on this website’s “Bulletins” page. This bulletin will be a one page format, but as we always have, we will include our prayer requests in it, so please let me know if you wish to have someone added. You can send the names to the office email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give a calll: 616-696-1140.Any important news or upcoming events we will also try to include. If you have any questions, need any assistance or wish to talk to Pastor Bill or myself, do not hesitate to contact us. Thinking of and miss seeing all of you. Take care of each other and yourselves. Special Update 03/25/2020: Due to the “shelter in place” order that has been issued in Michigan the church building is closed to all activities with the exception of the monthly blood drive. Staff are still responding to all calls and emails remotely. Please contact us if you have any needs.
- At this time The Cedar Springs Food Pantry is temporarily closed. If you have food assistance needs – please contact North Kent Connect (616)866-3478 or 211.
- *Special Update 03/22/2020: Because of the COVID-19 Social Distancing requirements we are sharing our weekly worship and news virtually through our website and facebook group page. On our website they can be found on the Worship page.
Dear Cedar Springs UMC Family,
Bishop David Bard is recommending that Michigan United Methodist Churches refrain from all in-person gatherings for the remainder of March, including worship services, bible studies, and any other meeting.
In consultation with Church Council Chair and Staff Parish Relations Committee Chair , and in accordance with Bishop Bard’s recommendation, all Cedar Springs UMC in-person gatherings will be suspended for the remainder of March. This will include worship services, Wednesday dinner and faith classes, bible studies, committee meetings, ministry groups, outside activities such as Scouts, funeral luncheons, and any other face-to-face groups. If you have any questions regarding this decision, please contact information is listed at the end of this letter.
This decision comes with deep, heart-felt regret. However, there are some ways to still act as the Body of Christ in the midst of this temporary suspension. Here are some of our suggestions:
1. Help distribute this message to neighbors and friends of the congregation who may not use the Internet. If you are near to any in our congregation who might not receive this message, please contact them before Sunday. If there is someone you know, but don’t have contact information for, please send a note to me email@example.com or call 616-366-2421.
2. If you are a leader of a church group, use email, texting, and phoning to reach your group members. Think of ways to remain in touch with one another and continue in your ministry as best you can for the time being.
3. Consider contacting members who are home-bound or otherwise limited in their contacts with other church family members. Reach out and check on those whom you know to be ill. Pray with them on the phone and through email and texting if available.
4. Watch our Facebook page and our website for any new developments. Please use caution as you post information on Facebook. If you are sharing matters of personal news such as health-related information, be sure you receive permission from individuals and families before sharing. Err on the side of confidentiality.
5. Above all, communicate all pastoral concerns directly to me. Many in our church rely on being together with their church family for interaction, spiritual sustenance, and deeply felt relationships. Be mindful of these among us who may feel the disconnect that comes with this way of living. I am reminded of the poster that reads, “Don’t Go to church; be the church.” Let that motto become our mantra for this season.
We plan to keep the church office open during our regular office hours, Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 1 pm. You may feel free to contact me any time by phone if urgent, and by email if not.
We are in the midst of Lent, the season that recalls Jesus and his wilderness experience. God did not abandon him then, and will not abandon us now. I will do the best I can to communicate regularly with our congregation, as we walk this road together. I know you will do the same.
I join Bishop Bard in my hope that when April arrives we will be together as our congregation so desires to be, to worship our Lord of the resurrection again. If we are able to gather again by Easter, what a grand day of resurrection it will be! For now, we will do what we need to do to live apart for a time, and look forward to a sweet reunion as soon as we can.
We will be sure to send notice when any decision is made to begin worshiping and living out our faith community life together again. For the time being, please stay in touch with me and with your church friends. We need each other, now more than ever.
Meditate on these words from 1 Peter 5:8-11, The Message:
…keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.
Grace and peace,
CSUMC – office (616) 696-1140 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org