Heritage Reopening Plan for Worship

Reopening Worship Plan for Heritage CRC
(approved by Pastoral Elders on Monday, June 15, 2020 and by full council on Thursday, June 18, 2020)

Dear Heritage CRC,
It has become clear that a global pandemic affects life in more ways and for a longer time than we ever could
have imagined. During this time, we are thankful for God’s tender mercy, amazing grace, and deep comfort.
We are grateful for God’s word that has strengthened our sometimes-weary faith and has called us to new
ways of trusting in Him. While we continue to grieve with those who grieve and mourn with those who
mourn, we have been reminded again and again that our God holds our hurting world in his loving hands.
Throughout the Stay Home-Stay Safe order, we have been blessed to still be able to gather to worship the
Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior via online technology and home delivered DVDs. However, our
hearts long to be physically together because we were created for community. Our reopening plan guides us
through uncharted waters one small step at a time. As we look toward the future, we know we will need the
light of God’s word to guide us and the Holy Spirit’s patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control to hold us
together. Above all, we must demonstrate Christ’s love for one another (Colossians 3).

As you might suspect, it is impossible for one plan to perfectly fit the desires of everyone. Nevertheless, we
must move ahead with all our gifts being used for the consideration of the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7).
We are seeking a path that fits our community and the opportunities before us. We have considered
recommendations from the State of Michigan, the CDC, the CRC, and the medical professionals among us.

In Step 1, Wednesday outdoor worship will transition to Sunday evening outdoor worship.
In Step 2, we believe our plan uniquely honors several important values.

It honors Philippians 2:3 by considering others better than ourselves.
It honors Romans 13:1 and the authorities God has placed over us by connecting our steps to data and not a
date.
It honors John 17:20-21 and the unity of the church by providing the same opportunity to Sunday morning
worship to all of our congregation. Everyone can worship online, on campus, or on a device with a DVD at the
same time on Sunday morning. Currently 10 homes receive a DVD on Friday which allows them to join in the
worship on Sunday morning. Meanwhile, all our services remain “on demand” as well.
It honors Matthew 5:3 by seeking to bless the most vulnerable with a worship opportunity designed for them.
It honors Matthew 28:19-20 and the outreach mission of the church by continuing to craft an engaging
worship service for the at home worshipper that is designed for them. The connection is more personal and
intimate because the pastor/presenter can speak directly to the camera. Currently, our online worshipping
community is larger than our in person worshipping community prior to the pandemic. During Step 2, we
anticipate that the majority of our worshipers will still be worshipping online or “at home”.

Throughout, the plan assumes common risk mitigations like no nursery, no indoor fellowship, no offering
plates, and common cleaning protocols. It is also subject to change in response to changing circumstances.

Details for Step 3 and beyond still need to be determined.

Please contact a council member with questions, concerns, and ideas for improvement.
Heritage CRC Council

Just click on this  link to download or view  the Heritage Reopening Plan for Worship.