From Rev. Robert K. Livingston

Dear Friends,

What a week!  On Tuesday night I enjoyed an energetic conversation with our TNS group, only to arrive back home and later get a text, at 10:40 p.m., announcing Michigan now had two confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Wow! I must admit, it has been a whirlwind ever since! As your senior minister, I want you to know your staff and leaders are taking all prudent and necessary precautions to respond to this unfolding emergency, with your safety, wellness, and spiritual health being our highest priority.  Our current mantra is, “When making decisions, we will err on the side of caution.”  

Here are some things you should know at the time of this writing: 

  1. We are going to offer worship at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. this Sunday morning, March 15.  If you choose to come to church this Sunday, you will notice hand-sanitizers in multiple locations throughout the church, along with tissues, disinfectant wipes in all restroom and kitchen areas, and special signage in restrooms and sink areas encouraging proper handwashing and coughing/sneezing hygiene. In lieu of handshaking and hugging, we recommend elbow-bumping and waving. Additionally, we will be taping off every other row of pews in the sanctuary to allow worshippers plenty of safe space in which to sit.  Finally, if you are not able to be at worship with us a FCC this Sunday, you can join us through the internet! We will be live-streaming the service, beginning at 9 a.m. on Facebook.  Or, following the service, you can listen to the recording of the service here.
  2. ALL of our small group meetings, classes, choir rehearsals and performances, Council, board and committee meetings, and special events are ALL canceled for the next two weeks as we access whether or not to hold these gatherings on-site and in the near future. 
  3. Any future changes to our worship schedule, meeting schedule, or event scheduling will be posted IMMEDIATELY on our church Website, Friday emails, and special emails.  Please keep an eye on these communications for regular updates.
  4. Starting next Monday, Darcy and I (and maybe some other guest writers) will be emailing you a morning devotional, Monday through Saturday, to help you face these confusing and uncertain days with faith and encouragement.  I hope you will find these devotionals helpful and reassuring.   

So, my friends, I want you to know your church is here for you during these strange and ambiguous times.  If you need someone to talk with, pray with, or get information from, please do not hesitate to call, email, text, or voicemail Darcy or me.  We are ALWAYS here to serve, help, and encourage you. I also invite each of you to reach out to others with support and compassion.

Let me leave you with this thought.  Preacher Barbara Brown Taylor, in a video we viewed on Tuesday night at our TNS group, talked about how we often think of God as the “Solar God,” as the God of light, and success, and mountaintop experiences, and so on….which, of course, God certainly is.  However, she also reminded us that God is the “Lunar God” as well…the God who meets us in the darkness, and in midst of our struggles, to help us face the unknown with faith, hope, joy, and strength.  

My hope is that our Solar-Lunar God will touch you all with peace this week.

Affectionately,

Bob