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Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2)
*MARCH 18, 2020*
On Monday, our state government issued a stay-at-home order for all non-essential work and activities. We are thankful that the mandate includes exceptions for communications and worship gatherings. The Harvest elders respect our government’s desire to protect our fellow citizens. We also desire to provide spiritual and practical care to our church, which is needed now more than ever.
We will continue to provide a Sunday service livestream for the next two weeks. Just like this past week, we ask you to tune in from home Sunday at 9am or 11am through our website, app, or Facebook page. We are limiting our on-site personnel to those who are necessary for the livestream production, and they will be maintaining safe protocols through hand-washing and physical distancing. If you live by yourself and do not have anyone else to assemble with, please reach out to Elder Kenneth Ertman: .
We are providing additional communication, content, and care.
- Pastor Dan is leading a Bible study Wednesdays at 7pm through our website livestream and Facebook page.
- Nick Stone and Bethany Moses will lead a worship sing-along this Thursday at 5:30pm through our Facebook page.
- Pastor Rob is providing content for our children and teens through our Family Ministries Facebook page and Student Ministries Facebook page.
- Pastor Mike is providing content for our young adults through our College & 20s Facebook page.
- Other online Bible study, prayer, and worship events will be announced. Stay “in the loop” with email and text message updates by texting LOOP to 734.732.4900.
- Diane Lauch and the Harvest Loves team are opening the food pantry to any who are in need (by appointment - see above).
- Andrew Schaad is connecting church members who need practical help with other church members who desire to help (see above).
We are available to you through email or phone. Church staff are working from home as much as possible, but we want to stay in contact with you during this season. The best way to reach us is through or the elder emails listed below. The church office voicemail will be checked frequently (734.895.3280). Please reach out to us!
*MARCH 18, 2020*
Harvest family, our nation and world find ourselves in a unique and challenging time. We are thankful for our Sovereign God who oversees every detail of history (Dan. 4:34-35) and cares for us intimately (Matt. 6:25-34).
The State of Michigan has recommended, as a preventative measure against the coronavirus pandemic, that no groups larger than 50 should assemble. While we do not believe government has the right to prohibit Christians from assembling, we elders have the obligation to discern if a government recommendation is wise and loving for us to follow. In this case, we are choosing to follow the recommendation.
We are grateful for the blessing of technology which enables us to communicate remotely as a church family. We are not cancelling our Sunday services, and we are working hard to prepare songs, a sermon from Genesis, and more. However, for this Sunday we are asking you to gather in homes with your family or with a small assembly of friends to watch the service over livestream at 9am or 11am: http://harvestdetroitwest.org/resources/live-stream/.
- We will miss our large gathering, but we are glad that we can obey God’s command to gather while doing so in much smaller assemblies.
- If you live by yourself and do not have anyone else to assemble with, please let us know so we can help. Email Kenneth Ertman: . Also, please email Kenneth if you are willing to host any single adults who are looking for community this Sunday morning.
- If you do not have the technology to livestream the service, please let us know so we can help. Email Mike Moses: .
- Please know that we have made this decision not based on fear or panic but out of consideration for the vulnerable, wishing to be glorify God by being good neighbors.
As a church, we recognize that these days are a providential opportunity to be salt and light to our world, and to care for one another in significant ways. Our society is “socially distancing,” but we believe that even if physical distance is necessary, social connection should be maintained.
- We do not want any of you to feel isolated at this time. As your elders, we are working hard to equip you and care for you using every resource available to us. Please know that we are available to you.
- We continue to labor by faith, trusting God to provide financially for our church operations. You can participate in this by giving online or mailing a check: http://harvestdetroitwest.org/connect/giving/.
We are thankful for harmony of mind and unity of spirit among the elders as we have discussed these matters. We will continue to prayerfully evaluate the situation, deliberate as a leadership team, and communicate with you from week to week. We are praying for continued protection and unity within our body and among the Body of Christ at large.
Pastor Dan will be at the church building this evening leading a time of corporate prayer at 7:00pm. Please connect through Facebook Live to join this special time and to submit your prayer requests online. Let’s (virtually) come together as a church to call upon our gracious Lord: https://www.facebook.com/harvestbiblechurch.detroitwest/.
*MARCH 14, 2020*
After prayerful discussion this morning, the church elders have confirmed our decision to open the doors for worship services at 9am and 11am tomorrow, March 15th. Considering the unique significance of the Sunday worship gathering, we have discerned that it is important for us to provide the opportunity for God’s people to gather if they wish. Because of our two-service format, each gathering will be well under the 250-person limit recommended by the State of Michigan.
- Please do not feel any pressure to attend if you are concerned for your health or the health of your loved ones. Please stay home if you feel any symptoms at all.
- We are grateful for the technology which allows people to join us remotely if they are not able or eager to attend in person. We encourage you to tune in to our livestream at 9am or 11am: http://harvestdetroitwest.org/resources/live-stream/.
- If you do attend in person, in love for others please take wise precautions with your personal cleanliness and contact with others.
- Child care will be provided for kids age 5 and under. Those classrooms are being thoroughly sanitized today.
Other large gatherings, including Sunday evening youth group and AWANA clubs, are cancelled through the end of March.
Small groups, small classes, small meetings, etc., may or may not be cancelled/postponed. The decision will be made and communicated by each teacher or facilitator.
During this uniquely challenging season, let us consider the elderly and vulnerable in our congregation, proactively reaching out to offer practical support where needed.
Let us move forward in faith, hope, and love, rejoicing in the sovereign care of our God. If you find yourself in a situation with extra time at home, we encourage you not to drift into anxiety or idleness but to lean into your relationship with Christ through Scripture and prayer.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:1–4)
*MARCH 12, 2020*
The church elders have been in advised and prayerful discussion about upcoming gatherings in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Out of an abundance of caution, non-core gatherings are being cancelled or postponed. This Saturday’s AWANA Grand Prix will be postponed indefinitely; Lord willing, it will take place later this Spring.
At this point, we are planning to have our 9am and 11am Sunday morning worship services as normally scheduled.
- If you are showing symptoms or are concerned for your health, please stay home and join a service via livestream: http://harvestdetroitwest.org/resources/live-stream/.
- If you are scheduled to serve but feel that you should stay home, please communicate with your ministry director and know that you will not be pressured to attend.
- We anticipate that these worship services will be lightly attended, keeping the gatherings within the guidelines recommended by the State of Michigan.
Because this is a rapidly developing situation in our nation and state, the Harvest elders will be meeting again this Saturday morning to reassess and to make decisions regarding Sunday evening activities and other March events. You can anticipate further communication on Saturday. Please be sure you are able to receive up-to-the-minute information from Harvest by:
- Texting LOOP to 734.732.4900 (email and text alerts)
- Checking our website: http://harvestdetroitwest.org/resources/stories-articles/coronavirus-updates/
- Following our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/harvestbiblechurch.detroitwest/
This situation gives us believers a tremendous opportunity to be salt and light for Jesus.
- Let us be examples of faith as we obey Philippians 4:5b-6: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- Let us be examples of love as we consider the well-being of others and actively seek ways to assist those who are most vulnerable, such as our elderly neighbors.
- Let us be examples of hope as we remember God’s promise: “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).