COVID-19 HEALTH UPDATES



HEALTH & WELLNESS

KEY DETAILS:

Updated June 1
Today Governor Whitmer announced that outdoor crowds of 100 or less people are allowed to gather, effective immediately. Participants from different households are required to maintain a distance of six feet from one another at all times.

You will soon see some of our ministries, especially Spiritual Formation, Missions, Students, and Young Adults, to name but four, begin the process of regathering people once again.

Stay tuned for more details about what regathering looks like for us at Central Midweek on Wednesday, June 10 at 7PM. You can find that service online at live.centralwesleyan.org or on our Facebook page.

This is good news, but let's continue to be cautious.

Craig



Updated May 5
SUNDAY GATHERINGS: Sunday gatherings on campus are paused with our worship experience shifting to our online campus exclusively. During this time we are adding additional services. Join us at live.centralwesleyan.org Sundays at 9AM, 10:45AM, 1PM, 7PM

MIDWEEK WORSHIP SERVICE: Join us Wednesdays at 7PM for a short Midweek Worship Service available at live.centralwesleyan.org and on Facebook Live.

ON-SITE GATHERINGS: In person gatherings on campus are paused until further notice.

FOOD DRIVE: Looking for a way to help? Central Hand2Hand is collecting food for families and kids in our community. Drop off items at Central, Entrance G, from 7AM–5PM.
We're needing items that are as individually packaged as possible, and that do not require stove or oven prep (if they need warming, microwave only), so that elementary students can prepare.

Items most needed: Peanut Butter, Crackers, Nuts and Trail Mix, Cereal, Granola Bars, Dried Fruits, Canned Tuna/Chicken, Canned Vegetables, Canned Soups/Chili/Ravioli/Spaghetti, Powdered Milk, Jerky/Meat Sticks, Oatmeal, Noodles and Rice (precooked/microwavable/canned)

HOLLAND PLAYLAND: Closed until further notice

KIDS & STUDENTS: Central Kids: Join us live online Sundays at 8AM at live.centralwesleyan.org. Resources are also available at centralwesleyan.org/kids. Parents Sign up for the parent email and get even MORE resources, including midweek videos and links to chats with your kids leaders!

IGNITE Middle School: Weekday devotions at 8AM through Instagram Live (@ignitecwc). These videos will also be available at vimeo.com/centralwesleyan

FUEL High School: Weekday devotions at 10AM through Instagram and Facebook Live (@fuelcwc).

RECOVERY: Celebrate Recovery (CR) is NOT meeting on campus temporarily. Follow CR on Facebook to stay in the loop.
Monday nights the Central Recovery Community will go live at 6:30PM—find us at live.centralwesleyan.org or on the CR Facebook page.

The Landing is NOT meeting on campus temporarily. Follow the Landing on Instagram to stay in the loop.
Join us online for Zoom gatherings! Email Yvonne to get connected.



April 6, 2020 UPDATE

Church Family

It’s hard to believe that we’ve started our journey toward Easter. If someone would have told me that I would spend Palm Sunday in worship from my home, not able to worship with my church family, I would have figured I was a missionary in a land hostile to the Christian faith. I never would have imagined that a virus could bring our nation to a halt—but it has.

We initially hoped to be worshipping together again next Sunday, Easter Sunday. When it became evident that we would not be able to be worship together for Easter, I found myself emotionally distressed. Easter is a highlight of the year and the thought of worshipping at home didn’t feel like Easter to me at all.

In that moment, the Spirit prompted me to look at the Easter story again. I know we pastors say things like that easily, but I really did sense the Spirit prompting me to look at the Easter story through different eyes. I opened the Bible to the Easter story in every Gospel and as I read I saw how a significant number of early encounters with the resurrected Jesus occurred in a home.
  • Luke 24:29-31 Disciples on the road to Emmaus don’t realize it’s Jesus until he breaks bread with them at home.
  • Luke 24:36 To the Eleven, in a home.
  • John 20:19 To the Disciples, in a home.
  • John 20:26 One week later to Thomas, "in the same house."
As much as Easter brings people to church, the first Easter happened with people gathered in their homes. Fear and anxiety compelled the first followers of Jesus to lock themselves away in a home. It is into that reality that the resurrected Jesus appeared to bring them hope that the things they feared most would not overcome them.

It is into a very similar emotional reality that the resurrected Jesus wants to appear to us, this year. We too find ourselves in our homes, many of us anxious about the future. This year, the risen Lord Jesus wants to come into our homes and speak peace to us. Jesus wants to assure us that He goes before us too.

It’s with this mindset that we will journey toward Easter.

Here’s a reminder of what is ahead of us this week.
In addition to all the regular happenings, keep an eye out for these special opportunities to connect.
  • Join us for Midweek Worship, Wednesday at 7PM with Pastor Kory Cassell, live online.
  • Good Friday join us live online at 12, 5:30, or 7PM. We look forward to sharing communion together during this time—if you are able, have some bread or crackers and juice prepared.
  • Easter Sunday join us in the morning at 9 & 10:45 or at 1 & 7PM. We will be worshipping online and have a very special service lined up for you all!
I am so looking forward to gathering together with you all. Until that time, I am thankful for the fact that the risen Lord Jesus makes a point of appearing to His followers in a home. I am thankful that what He has done before, He can and will do again!

While we are scattered, please let us know how we can serve you by emailing care@centralwesleyan.org. While we are socially distanced, we don’t want you to live isolated from the hope and life that Jesus offers. Please don’t suffer in silence and isolation. We are here to serve you however we can.

Thankful for you. Blessing God for the resurrected Jesus!
Craig



KEY DETAILS:

Updated Monday, March 23
SUNDAY GATHERINGS: Sunday gatherings on campus are paused with our worship experience shifting to our online campus exclusively. During this time we are adding additional services.

Join us at live.centralwesleyan.org Sundays at 9AM, 10:45AM, 1PM, 7PM

MIDWEEK WORSHIP SERVICE: Starting Wednesday, March 25 we will offer a short Midweek Worship Service available at live.centralwesleyan.org

ON-SITE GATHERINGS: In person gatherings on campus are paused through Sunday, March 29. We will be re-evaluating Monday, March 23.

KIDS & STUDENTS:
Central Kids will go live Sundays at 8AM at live.centralweselyan.org.
Resources will also be available at centralwesleyan.org/kids

IGNITE Middle School will have weekday devotions at 8AM through Instagram Live (@ignitecwc). These videos will also be available at vimeo.com/centralwesleyan

FUEL High School will have weekday devotions at 10AM through Instagram and Facebook Live (@fuelcwc).

HOLLAND PLAYLAND: The Playland will be closed Thursday, March 12, through Monday, April 13.

RECOVERY: Celebrate Recovery (CR) and the Landing are NOT meeting on campus temporarily. Follow CR on Facebook to stay in the loop.




MARCH 18, 2020 UPDATE


Central Family,
We have one weekend of Online Campus services behind us and I want to thank our faith family for the encouragement and support.

I also want to thank you because so many of you have responded to our request for non-perishable goods that we were well prepared for the start of the week. We’ll provide updates later in the week, but for now, thank you! Hebrews 6:10 says, "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." Through your sacrifice we have had the privilege of standing with our local schools and the teachers in such a difficult season.

For now, here are some exciting updates:

  • First, we may be practicing social distancing, but that doesn't include social media! #churchscattered
  • Such was the response to the services last weekend, that we’re adding additional services for you and your friends to join! Starting this Sunday, you can tune in online at 9AM, 10:45AM, 1PM, or 7PM. This is a great opportunity to invite your friends to Central!

  • Second, we received questions about opportunities to motivate our students and connect with our children, so here's what's happening on these fronts.
  • Central Kids will go LIVE on Sunday mornings at 8AM! These messages will also be available on our website.
  • FUEL and IGNITE are offering community devotions on weekdays at 8AM (IGNITE) and 10AM (FUEL) on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Third, with the further reduction in the number of people recommended to meet socially, we're also sensing the need to connect through the week. We're working on putting together Midweek Worship services starting Wednesday, March 25. Stay tuned for more details!

I commend our staff team to you. Some have seen significant changes in their responsibilities over the last week. Their willingness to switch roles and serve with both our local missions team and our care team has been inspirational. We are one body. We all have roles to which we're called but the requirement to love and care takes priority over all that.

Let's continue trusting God and serving the world.

Standing with you,
Craig




MARCH 12, 2020 UPDATE


Dear Central Wesleyan Church Family,

At Central, we take the care of our faith family very seriously. As you have probably heard, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan last night in response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Among the specific recommendations made was that large gatherings be postponed, in-person gatherings reduced, and technology used to connect with constituents. The purpose of these requests was to help prevent a widespread outbreak of the type that would impact the elderly, the at-risk, and the medical community in general.

We had already taken steps to keep our community safe, as was announced last weekend, and these extra requests led me to call an emergency meeting with key staff. After prayerful discernment this morning, we have decided to pause Sunday gatherings on campus, shifting our weekend worship experience to our online campus – more on that below.

Recognizing the size and demographic of our community, we are planning to resume Sunday worship services in person on Easter Sunday, April 12. This is a tentative conclusion, one that is driven by the realities we will encounter in West Michigan. The situation is dynamic and constantly changing, and we are committed to doing whatever needs to be done to keep you and those you love safe during this trying season. In following these recommendations, we are also eliminating on-campus in-person gatherings for the next fourteen days, a policy that will be revisited on Monday, March 23.

Given the demographic of the Celebrate Recovery (CR) community, the risk of not meeting is greater than the risk of meeting next Monday. To that end, CR will meet on Monday, March 16 as normal, and we will communicate the plans for CR for ensuing Mondays at that meeting and after that date. The Holland Playland is closed and will reopen on Tuesday, April 14.

All of these decisions are made to help prevent a widespread outbreak. We are very mindful of the demographics of our church family and our first concern is protection. That said, we have a deep trust in God. Yesterday evening, Wes, pastor of our Water’s Edge Network church in San Diego, shared 1 Peter 5:6-7 with us. He reminded us that trusting God with what we know about your lives today, involves trusting Him with what we don’t know about our lives tomorrow. In this season, God is calling us to humble ourselves and trust Him with our anxieties knowing that He genuinely cares for us. As His people, He also invites us to lift the weak and vulnerable amongst us, paying careful attention to those who are impacted the most.

Over the last few weeks, our Sunday sermon series has explored what it means to be the body of Christ out there scattered in the world. God, in His sovereignty, is allowing us to live that message. Our Central team is making a concerted effort to serve those impacted the most and in our service this Sunday we will be sharing ways that we can serve Christ together even while scattered.

Please monitor all communication channels as we will be providing updates as they occur.

Church is still happening even though our in-person services are closed! In times like these, we are so grateful for our interactive online church experience. If you haven’t yet downloaded the free Central App, we encourage you to do so! Church services happen every Sunday at 9 and 10:45AM. Over the next few weeks, we may well be adding more live service opportunities. These services include an inspiring message, time to connect with God through music, and an opportunity to connect with others in the live digital lobby! We hope that our community would continue to find meaningful ways to connect even when it’s difficult to gather together in this season!

Throughout this season, we want to serve you. Support is available. We understand this can be an unsettling time for many in our community. If we can pray with you and support you in any way, please connect with our Care Team via our Prayer Wall on our website or by calling 616.392.7083

We are so thankful to serve Christ together with you. Let us practice the wisdom of Philippians 4:6-7.

Craig Rees
Lead Pastor

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