November 23, 2020
Hello LCAH community—
We hope and pray that you and your family are finding strength and encouragement to persevere in these times. As we approach a very different holiday season than what we anticipated when 2020 began, our church staff wanted to share an update regarding our current plans for services and in-person gatherings in the coming weeks. We also wanted to express our hope for you and your family as it relates to the recent orders from our governor and the Department of Health and Human services.
Michigan (including Oakland County) is currently experiencing a surge in both the number of cases of COVID-19 and the rate of positivity. And this surge is more than a statistic. In recent weeks, a number of families in the LCAH community have dealt with COVID-19 directly. The virus has impacted our church community in a significant way. At the same time, we have seen God move in mighty ways to protect and restore you and your loved ones, and brought comfort through the prayers and encouragement of this church community.
Because we have lived this reality personally, and see the rapid spread occurring in our wider community, we as a staff believe that the restrictions on gatherings laid out in the recent health orders are a difficult but wise course of action. As followers of Jesus, we are motivated by a willingness to set aside what seems best to us for the good of our neighbors. We think of our neighbors with underlying health conditions, our neighbors who are older and more susceptible to severe health effects, and our neighbors who are caring for COVID-19 patients and literally risking their lives to do so. Limiting in-person gathering as much as possible is the best way to decrease the spread of the virus and a way that we love our neighbors as ourselves. As such, we urge you to abide by the orders regarding in-person gatherings, especially:
- Limiting indoor gatherings to 2 households and up to 10 people
- Limiting outdoor gatherings to 3 household and up to 25 people
This is not the holiday season any of us would hope for. Time with friends and family, especially in such a challenging year, can be a major source of joy. And we actually encourage you to maintain those connections — but to do so virtually, creatively, and in accordance with these guidelines from our state.
The need to remain connected while limiting our in-person contact out of concern for one another and our neighbors has guided us as we plan for the holidays on a church level as well. We plan to gather, to worship, to play, to celebrate — but we will be doing so primarily in a virtual capacity until further notice. In our recent church-wide survey, we as a church community are more or less split 50/50 when it comes to a desire to gather indoors. Many of you have joined us to pray for God’s guidance. And we believe that, taking into account the recent surge in cases, God has brought clarity that virtual gatherings are the wisest course of action at this point. In this season, staying connected is critical. And so, we encourage you to engage with the following opportunities:
- Virtual Sunday morning worship every week at 10:45am on Facebook Live. We recently began a new series called HOPE that we are really excited about! We will also be hosting a special Christmas service on Sunday, December 20th, that will incorporate different creative and worship elements to celebrate the hope of Christ come to earth.
- Tuesday and Thursday prayer gatherings on Facebook Live and a weekly prayer meeting every Sunday after service that is hosted on Zoom. You can find info on those events and submit a request for prayer anytime at: lcah.us/prayer
- Special holiday events, including a virtual Christmas party and church-wide gift exchange — more information will be coming soon on these!
In addition, we will be sending resources in the coming weeks to help us all experience the hope of this season even while the circumstances present significant challenges. We also encourage you to check out our Spread Hope initiative for opportunities to be a blessing to your neighbors during this season. We are constantly reevaluating our strategy to remain connected to one another and remain faithful to our mission to make disciples in Auburn Hills that will make disciples of the nation.
God has been working in you and through you — when we consider the people who God has brought to be a part of this growing family of Christ followers, it fills us with hope! We pray that God would protect you and your families, encourage you when you feel discouraged, strengthen you when you feel weak, and spread His love and hope through you.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us by phone or email. We are here for you and your family. For any questions specifically about this update, email Associate Pastor Brendan Dry at: [email protected].
Grace and peace,
LCAH Staff (Donearl, Brendan, Marcia, and Yang)