Updated on April 13, 2020 at 3:00pm
*Following the State of Michigan’s shelter in place mandate, in-person gatherings have been suspended through May 15, 2020.
*Communion at ULC
As ULC has suspended in person worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, several people have asked whether or not it is possible for us to celebrate Communion during this time. While we are encouraged by this question, unfortunately, the answer is no, we aren’t communing at this time. The encouragement from the leadership of the Michigan District, LCMS and Synodical leadership is for churches to temporarily suspend celebrating the Lord’s Supper. In the spirit of walking together with our brothers and sisters in our church body, we are honoring the recommendation from our leadership and looking forward to the day when we can celebrate around the altar again!
If you have any questions about the theology surrounding this decision, we encourage you to review the following links or reach out to one of our pastors.
Dear ULC Family,
This morning I spoke with one of our elders who reminded me of these words from Jesus, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
As COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, continues to spread we certainly recognize the tribulation of our world, but in the midst of it we can take heart knowing that our Savior has overcome the world. He is with us. He is for us. And nothing can separate us from His love.
In that confidence we are free to love our neighbors well in the midst of this crisis. Here’s what that looks like for ULC in the next couple weeks:
- Pray for those who are sick.
- Pray for healthcare professionals.
- Pray for leaders who have difficult decisions to make.
- Pray that God’s joy, peace, and love would flow through us to others.
- Pray for a quick resolution to this health crisis.
2) ONLY DIGITAL WORSHIP FOR THE TIME BEING
- In consultation with healthcare professionals, our elders, staff, and council we believe the best way for ULC to love our neighbors is to not gather physically right now.
- We will continue to evaluate when we can gather together in person again and be sure to communicate that with the ULC community.
- We will record a livestream worship service at 9:45am on both Sundays. The link for the livestream will be on our website, sent to your e-mail, and on all our social media platforms. Please join us digitally and share the link with others!
- If you cannot make the 9:45 livestream the video of the service will remain up on our YouTube page.
- Any classes scheduled to be held on ULC’s property for these next two Sundays are also suspended. Leaders will be in touch directly with those affected.
- If you don’t already, you can give your offering online.
3) DISCERNMENT ENCOURAGED FOR ANY ULC RELATED GATHERINGS
- Whether or not midweek Bible Studies continue will be left up to the leaders and participants in those studies.
- Community Group leaders are encouraged to discern with their group on whether or not they meet during this time.
- We are in contact with regular renters at ULC to cancel any gatherings over 100 people.
- Our custodial staff continues to take extra caution to ensure our building is exceptionally clean.
4) INCREASE OUR CARE AND COMMUNICATION
- Christians, this is our time to shine. This is our time to show God’s love to a hurting world. We encourage you to find ways to do that in your daily life during this time
- We are in contact with Hope Clinic and other care providers to find ways for us to serve alongside them. Complete this form to get involved.
- We are in contact with our students to see if there are any students who are in need of a home or help during this time.
- We are pulling together a care team to find the best ways for us to serve our city in the days ahead. If you are interested in being a part of that team, shoot me an e-mail.
- Families in need of childcare during the school closures can contact Pastor Marcus for assistance. Some of our students are available to help out!
- If you are in need in any way, please contact me and we will do what we can to serve you.
- Our staff will be working this week to develop and implement a strategy to best maintain a sense of community and care digitally over these next couple weeks.
Brothers and sisters, the Psalmist writes, God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:1-2,7)
May you be encouraged to know that you have a God who is with you, and from that place may we love our neighbors well at this time.
Grace and Peace,