In light of the recent “Stay At Home” order made by Governor Whitmer, effective March 24, 2020 through April 13, 2020, we want to make sure to communicate our meeting policy during this time. Executive Order No. 2020-21 includes an exemption to penalties for churches that reads:
"Consistent with prior guidance, a place of religious worship, when used for religious worship, is not subject to penalty under section 14"
We are thankful for the leadership in our State for recognizing the Sovereign nature of the leadership of the church. We see interceding in prayer for ourselves, our families, our city, state and country as an essential service. While we know that not everyone will see the necessity of Jesus’ intervention, or the necessity of our meeting together to request his intervention, the same way we do, in humility, we cannot ignore what we have already seen God do in our own testimonies. Michigan needs a miracle. We will request that in love.
While we recognize that the State of Michigan has provided this exemption, it is our responsibility to go forward in a way that values not just the spiritual life of our church and those we serve and live near, but also the physical realities of loving people in practical ways. With that in mind, we are changing our meeting format. We see in the Bible that physical gathering, even in small numbers, invites the presence of Jesus and the agreement of heaven with our petitions:
Matthew 18:18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Our desire is to forgo, in a spirit of love, humility, and concern for the conscience of those we are a witness to, any large gatherings, and any gatherings auxiliary to the immediate need we see in our region, which is to fast, pray, and call on the name of Jesus to bring healing to our land, to bring His church to a soft and repentant heart, and to use us as salt and light in our community.
Although we are a small church of less than 50 people, we will cancel our regular gatherings of the whole body during the time of the Michigan Stay at Home order. In lieu of our regular worship and teaching gatherings, we will limit our meetings to several small prayer meetings each day throughout the week. Instead of our regular Friday night and Sunday morning teaching and worship services, we are moving to a small prayer meeting format and asking our congregation to take turns attending to keep our meetings small.
Thankfully, LightHOP is already fully online. So, anyone can still stay connected while a core group honor Jesus’ words that we physically gather and agree together in love as a witness to the world that calling on Jesus is powerful for bringing our community under His leadership.
More than ever, we believe in a Savior who is sovereign over sickness. A sign of following Him is healing the sick. Let us all pray for the grace to release healing where it is needed.