Update 11-16-20

Siblings in Christ,

Coronavirus cases in Michigan now exceed 258,000 people, and the rate of spread continues to rise. As a result, the Michigan Department of Health has issued a new emergency order tightening gathering restrictions. Our Michigan Conference Bishop has urged all United Methodist congregations in Michigan to suspend in-person worship through Advent and Christmas.

As we have done throughout this pandemic, the New Hope congregation will do our part to contain this resurgence in the spread of COVID-19, and keep one another safe, by adhering to the Michigan Conference guidelines for local church in-person ministries and the state health department’s emergency orders. This means that, starting Thursday of this week:

  • Our building will be temporarily closed, and in-person ministries and activities will be temporarily suspended
  • Beginning November 22, our worship services will be online.

While this may be disappointing news for us, it is not entirely unexpected. We know this disease and our response to it is a long-term process, and our first priority must always be the health and safety of our people.

We are experienced now with online worship, and our musicians and worship leaders will be working hard to add their gifts to our recorded worship each week.

Please forward this information to folks you know who might not have email access. And please, continue caring for one another through prayers, phone calls, and social media contacts.

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

 

Update 9-22-2020

New Hope Family,

Our parking lot worship services have been well attended, and kept us connected in worship of God over these past several weeks. With the cooler weather we expect this time of year, though, there is surely an advantage to worshipping indoors. So…

Beginning Sunday, September 27, we will celebrate worship in our sanctuary.

As was true a couple of months ago when we were first able to reopen in-person ministries, our goal is to do so in the most responsible, safety conscious manner we can. This process will continue to evolve over time, and our approach will be updated in light of changing conditions in our state.

Our current guidelines for worship, office hours, and group meetings are outlined below.

Worship

We will resume our regular worship schedule in our sanctuary on Sunday, September 27. Here are the details we need to keep in mind:

  • Service time will be 9:45 am.
  • Since research is indicating that wearing face masks is the single most important thing we can do to insure one another’s safety, masks are required for everyone. (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you)
  • Pews will be marked for seating of family units at least 6 feet apart, to insure social distancing
  • Handshakes and hugs should be avoided
  • There will be no greeters and no printed bulletins
  • There will not be a greeting line or coffee hour after service
  • Those feeling ill should stay safely at home

Worship Alternatives

  • For those whose health concerns prohibit participation in worship in the sanctuary, the full worship service will be broadcast live by short range FM transmitter to our parking lot. Just pull in the lot and tune your radio to the posted frequency.
  • For those who cannot get to church on Sunday morning, the sermon will be posted on our web site and Facebook page.

Office Hours

Limited church office hours will resume on Tuesday, September 29, using these procedures:

  • The church office will be open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be observed
  • Face masks are required for everyone entering the building
  • Conversations with Dawn or Pastor Carman should take place from their doorways, rather than in their offices

Group Meetings

At this time, groups of not more that 10 persons may meet in the church with these provisions for social distancing and safety:

  • Meetings will take place in the fellowship hall to allow for maximum spacing
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be observed
  • Everyone must wear a face mask while in the building
  • No food can be served

I want to thank you all for the many ways you have been supportive of one another throughout these last weeks when we could not be together in our building… and I encourage us all to focus now, not on the limitations we still face, but instead on the joy of being able to gather in person once again!

Please contact me or the church office with any questions you have, and may God grant us peace, hope, and joy.

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

 

Update 7-30-2020

Siblings in Christ,

New coronavirus cases in Michigan, after several weeks of steady and significant decline, have sharply increased over the past couple of weeks. Known infections in our state now exceed 88,000 people. As a result, our governor has issued a new executive order, reinstituting limitations on public gatherings.

As we have done throughout this pandemic, the New Hope congregation will do our part to contain this resurgence in the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the Michigan Conference guidelines for local church reopening and Governor Whitmer’s executive orders. This means that, starting today:

  • Our building will be temporarily closed, and in-person ministries and activities will be temporarily suspended
  • For worship, we are going back to the parking lot!

While this may be disappointing news for us, it is not entirely unexpected. We know this disease and our response to it is a long-term process, and our first priority must always be the health and safety of our people.

We are experienced now with parking lot worship, so we know what to do. Beginning August 2:

  • There will be one service each week at 9:45am.
  • Each family will remain in their own vehicle for the service.
  • Be ready to honk for appreciation and amens.
  • A drive-through offering station will be available
  • Please remember that church restrooms will not be available.
  • For those who feel safer remaining at home at this time, every effort will be made to record the service and post it online.

Please forward this information to folks you know who might not have internet access. And please, continue caring for one another through prayers, phone calls, and social media contacts. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

 

Update 6-15-2020

New Hope Family,

Praise be to God… we can be together once again!

As we begin reopening in-person ministries, our goal is to do so in the most responsible, safety conscious manner we can. This process will evolve over time, and our approach will be updated in light of changing conditions in our state. Over these past three months, we have all developed a great deal of adaptability in dealing with the threat of this virus and the rapid social changes it has caused. This adaptability will serve us well now, as we navigate the process of reopening!

Our current guidelines for worship, office hours, and group meetings are outlined below.

 

Worship

After three weeks of parking lot worship, we will resume our regular summer worship schedule on Sunday, June 21. Here are the details we need to keep in mind:

  • The 8:00 am service will take place outside in the memorial garden (weather permitting).
  • Please bring your own lawn chair, if you are able (if you can’t bring one, a chair will be provided)
  • We will set up in the lawn area around the garden, observing social distancing of 6 feet minimum between family units
  • Since research is indicating that wearing face masks is the single most important thing we can do to insure one another’s safety, masks are required for everyone. (if you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you)
  • The 9:45 am service will take place in the sanctuary
  • Pews will be marked for seating of family units at least 6 feet apart, to insure social distancing
  • Face masks are required for everyone
  • Handshakes and hugs should be avoided
  • There will be no greeters and no printed bulletins
  • There will not be a greeting line or coffee hour after service
  • Those feeling ill should stay home (the sermon will be recorded and posted online)

 

Office Hours

Limited church office hours will resume on Tuesday, June 16, using these procedures:

  • The church office will be open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be observed
  • Face masks are required for everyone entering the building
  • Conversations with Dawn or Pastor Carman should take place from their doorways, rather than in their offices

 

Group Meetings

At this time, groups may meet in the church with these provisions for social distancing and safety:

  • Meetings will take place in the fellowship hall to allow for maximum spacing
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be observed
  • Everyone must wear a face mask while in the building
  • No food can be served

 

I want to thank you all for the many ways you have been supportive of one another throughout these last months when we could not be together in person… and I encourage us all to focus now, not on the limitations we still face, but instead on the joy of being able to gather in person once again!

Please contact me or the church office with any questions you have, and may God grant us peace, hope, and joy.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

 

Update 5-26-2020

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This is an unprecedented time in the life of the church, as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, and seek safe and responsible ways to reopen our ministries. New Hope’s leadership has engaged in prayerful discussion around this, incorporating the Michigan Conference guidelines for local church reopening and Governor Whitmer’s executive orders into our process, and this is where we are:

  • Our building will remain closed until at least June 12, based on the most recent Executive Order from Governor Whitmer.
  • That Order relaxes the limitation on gatherings, however, so we can make the first step toward reopening Sunday morning worship. We will begin Sunday parking lot services at the church on Sunday, May 31.
  • Service will be at our regular time of 9:45am.
  • Each family will remain in their own vehicle for the service.
  • Please note that church restrooms will not be available.

For those who feel safer remaining at home at this time, every effort will be made to record the service and post it online.

I am very happy for the opportunity to gather this Sunday to celebrate both Easter and Pentecost, although our first priority must always be the safety of our people. To that end, we will continue coordinating our reopening timetable with the Governor’s executive orders in the coming weeks.

This will be a first time for me, and perhaps most of us, to be part of a service in the parking lot. So, let’s be ready to go with the flow should we experience technical issues. Also, please forward this information to folks you know who might not have email access. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

 

 

Update 5-9-2020

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In accordance with Governor Whitmer's Stay at Home order extension, Bishop Bard has continued the suspension of all Michigan United Methodist gatherings, including worship, until May 28, 2020.  New Hope UMC will continue to offer online worship each week, and we will continue to care for each other by phone, email, insant messaging, and social media.  We are thankful for the lives we save by staying home, even as we pray for strength and patience during this unprecedented time.

 

 

Update 4-25-2020

Friends in Christ,

In accordance with Governor Whitmer's Stay at Home order extension, Bishop Bard has continued the suspension of Michigan United Methodist gatherings, including worship, until May 15, 2020.  New Hope UMC will continue to offer online worship each week, and we will continue to care for each other by phone, email, insant messaging, and social media.  We continue to be thankful for the lives we save by staying home, even as we pray for strength and patience during this unprecedented time.

 

Update 4-10-2020

New Hope Family,

The stay at home order has been extended through the end of April.  Let us keep all those whose lives have been devastated by this disease in prayer.  Let us stay strong in our commitment to help save lives by staying home.  And let us pray that by May this disease will be controlled enough that we will be able to resume worship and other gatherings.

Blessings,
Pastor Carman

 

Update 3-26-2020

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

 

I pray that you all are safe and well, and finding hope and peace through our Lord Jesus Christ. I know many of us have been wondering what impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on our Holy Week and Easter worship. The numbers both of those infected with the disease and those whose lives have been lost to it continue to rise, both worldwide and in the US. In response, our governor here in Michigan has issued an executive “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” order, prohibiting gatherings and requiring people to stay at home, with few exceptions, until April 13.

 

Our Michigan Area Bishop, David Bard, provided clarification yesterday that this means United Methodist churches in Michigan will not gather for worship during Holy Week or on Easter Sunday.

 

That does not mean, however, that we will not celebrate Easter. There will continue to be online worship videos, for this Sunday, and Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, And Easter. Beyond that, when the time comes that we can gather again in worship, we will celebrate the risen Lord on that Sunday, in our sanctuary, as Easter Sunday.

 

Below is an excerpt from Bishop Bard’s letter, affirming that very thing.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carman

 

 

 

From Bishop David Bard:

 

The coronavirus pandemic has arrived during the church season of Lent, a time for spiritual introspection, a time when we remember Elijah’s forty-day sojourn at the end of which he encountered God in the sound of sheer silence, a time when we remember Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness where he encountered wild beasts and angels. This can feel like wilderness time, and our God is a God who brings the wilderness to blossom. Our God is the God whose raising of Jesus we celebrate at the end of Lent. Easter is coming. Even if Lent is extended, Easter is coming. Whatever day we come together again, no matter when, it will be Easter. I will declare it to be Easter Sunday, and Easter is coming.

Thank you. Be well. Know God is with you.

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Description automatically generatedDavid Alan Bard
Michigan Area Bishop

 

 

Original Posting

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As part of our United Methodist response to the COVID 19 pandemic, New Hope UMC will be suspending all meetings, studies, programs, meals and worship for the remainder of the month of March.  

Just because we cannot gather face to face, however, does not mean that we won't continue to care for one another.  In this section of our website, you will find resources to help keep us connected during this time.  This page is where you will find updates on the disease and our response to it.  The other pages in this section will provide connection information, worship resources, Bible study resources for those in the Revival class, and helpful links to other sites.  I hope these resources will be helpful for us as we navigate this unprecedented time, even as I pray for each one of us in the days ahead.

Blessings,

Pastor Carman

 

Update 2-23-2020

Michigan’s Governor has issued a new executive order requiring Michigan residents and most businesses to stay in their homes. Impact for Michigan United Methodist churches is addressed by Bishop David Bard in today’s letter. Bishop Bard’s full letter can be found on the Michigan Conference web site.  Basically, this order means our church building is closed, our worship will continue to be in the form of videos each week, and our staff will be working from home.

While our church building will be closed, we are still the body of Christ. This means:

  • We can communicate with each other by email and phone and text (the church answering machine, email, and regular mail will be checked frequently)
  • I will have a worship video for us each week
  • We can (and really need to) send our regular offerings by mail or electronically
  • The central resource for us will be this web site.

My prayers are with us all during this time, and I encourage all of us to be in prayer for each other, for those impacted by this disease, and for all those working in our health care systems. And always remember, our future is in God’s hands, and God is good, all the time.

Blessings,

Pastor Carman