Responding to COVID-19 as a Church
With the COVID-19 disease impacting all of us across America. North Country made the decision to suspend all public services of the church. We are asking all church officers and members significantly limit their entrance into the church building. Below is a series of FAQ’s for those interested in and a part of the ministry at North Country.
1. Why did you suspend all services at church?
One of the most difficult decisions to ever make is to close the church for a period of time. There forever will be the difficult tension between living by faith and living out foolishness. When the Governor of Michigan signed the executive order banning assemblies of over 50 people, we knew adjustments would have to be made to our services and service structure. Then, when the president and CDC recommended for a period of 15 days that no one gather in groups of more than 10 people, we took that under strong advisement.
Furthermore, we took into consideration the call to love one another, the impact the virus has on the older members of our population, the reality of litigation, and the testimony of Christ/Christianity in the world and thus we decided to suspend services.
While we strongly embrace our freedoms of religion and freedom to assemble, we equally are willing to limit those freedoms for the betterment and benefit of our nation and public health in times of national emergency. We do not view these executive orders and advisements as an attack on our religious freedom or a form of persecution, but rather a call to national cooperative action.
2. How long will this go on?
The truth is…we cannot say with certainty. Currently, our plan in place lasts until Saturday, April 4th, with the goal being to restart our gathering together as a church family for Palm Sunday, April 5th.
We are continually monitoring information from state and local officials, as well as our local health department. Announcements regarding all services will be posted here, on our church Facebook page, and via our text messaging list. When church services resume, the church will undergo additional deep cleanings, striving for as much of a sanitary environment as possible.
3. What is the plan for church services?
Currently, we are working off our church Facebook page. We host multiple live videos throughout the week that usually consist of announcements, prayer requests, and a time of teaching in God's Word. At some point, we hope to include some music, but are not able to at this time. Each day Christian hymns, both modern and ancient are uploaded on the church Facebook page to help Christians utilize God's gift of music during this time.
Please understand that we are working to increase the quality of these services with better video and audio. We are not set up to do these virtual services at all, so the rush has been on to have something out there for us each week.
4. What about church giving?
One of the hard realities is the financial aspect of this crisis. We are thankful to not be in a time of financial distress as a church, however, we desire to remain obedient to the call of giving to the Lord. We desire to still pay our bills, including our missionaries during this time. Therefore, when it comes to giving you can:
Send a check in to the church via mail. Please address the envelope as following:
North Country Baptist Church
c/o Church Treasurer
14392 M-68 Hwy
Millersburg, MI 49759
We will work to check the mail often and make sure that checks/envelopes do not sit out in the mailbox long.
The church set up a method of on-line giving called “Givelify”. This method of giving is secure and easy once an account is set up. You can set this up as an “App” on your phone, or click on the link on the home page of our church website.
You can set this form of giving up to be a “recurring” form of giving, or a one time gift. To set up your account, you will want either your bank card or credit card. If you have ANY difficulties setting up your Givelify account, please contact Pastor or Jason Freel, and we can help you set it up quickly over the phone.
5. Can the church help me?
We understand that some, if not many, of our church family may not want to go shopping, pick up supplies, or get medication during this time. Furthermore, if you end up getting sick and quarantined, we want to help and be a blessing to you. We have a strong network of people who are willing and able to help shop for you and get you the things that you need.
Furthermore, if any of our church family has child-care needs due to work and child-care restrictions, we have a number of people willing to help watch your little one(s). Financial assistance is always considered on a case by case basis, giving priority to the immediate church family.
Please contact Pastor if you have any needs that we can meet.
6. I want to help…what can I do?
The biggest help you can be is to live out a mature Christian walk during this time. This begins with praying for one another, praying for our national leaders, and praying for repentance when it comes to sin. This includes being people of the Word. Take the time to study the Word, teach the Word to your family and use the virtual church services when presented. Lastly, it means living as a Christian in a world that needs to see Christ. Show love to one another, be quick to forgive, refrain from gossip and slandering public officials.
The biggest practical help you can be during this time is to stay connected to your church family. Call one another. Text one another. Stay up on each other’s lives. Invest in each other, even if you can’t be present around them. Lastly, if you have any technological gifting, we definitely could use some while we get these virtual services set up.
If you want to be a part of the team of people willing to help out, please send a text or email to Pastor to let him know.