HOPE'S RESPONSE TO

COVID-19

The news surrounding this world-health crisis is changing on a daily basis. Often there are governmental policy shifts between sunrise and sunset in a single day. Therefore, we will be posting updates to guide our congregation in news about live worship services, online alternatives, and group meetings during weekdays.

  • SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
    TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020 - 6 p.m.

    Dear Church Family,


    On Monday afternoon, June 1, Michigan Governor Whitmer rescinded the stay-at-home order in Michigan. This has caused us to alter our plans for regathering for worship at Hope.


    We are moving up, by one week, the reopening of our sanctuary for worship. This means instead of a parking lot, stay-in-your-car service, we will offer three weekend services this coming weekend, June 6 and 7.


    We will regather with three opportunities to worship. Saturday at 6 pm, Sunday at 9 am or Sunday at 11 am. Seating is limited to 100 per service.


    A chart was mailed to you last week to explain how things will operate as the church reopens. Please read it carefully. Please change the date on Phase 2 to June 1 and change the date on Phase 3 to June 6/7. 


    Our large sanctuary easily accommodates our ability to safely worship and practice social distancing during this time of pandemic disease from COVID-19. We ask that you fully cooperate with what we ask of you, not only for your sake, but for the sake of others.


    Safety practices will be in place. Seating in our sanctuary is being re-arranged to create social distancing and seating for about 100. Please go to the church website to register for a seat at one of our three weekend services. This will help us to balance the attendance between the three services. Thanks for your help and for your understanding. Please note that childcare and children’s ministry will not be offered for the foreseeable future.


    There are many people who will choose to continue worshipping at home for the foreseeable future. The service will continue to be available to watch on Facebook and on the church website. 


    Blessings to you!

    Pastor Bob Moss


    RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR A SERVICE THIS WEEKEND

  • STATEMENT
    SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2020 - 2 p.m.

    SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE REOPENING OF HOPE

    Late Friday afternoon, President Trump held a press conference calling for the immediate reopening of all churches for worship. As soon as the announcement was made, my cellphone rang and a member of our church wanted to know if we were going to have worship services this weekend. My answer was no. Here's why. There is no way for me to scramble all of the worship staff, the ushers, greeters, custodial personnel, security team, and others to be ready for services in just 27 hours for a Saturday evening service and a Sunday morning service.


    Bottom Line:

    The intention is for us to stay the course with our planning for adjusted in-person gatherings slowly in the coming weeks. There is no rush. Our focus is seeking wisdom from the Lord and one another as we carefully proceed. Over the next few days we will send you a document we are working on with a phased-in reopening plan and dates.


    There are those in the Hope family who think the coronavirus is no big deal. Others are very concerned. I will lead our church forward with wisdom, prudence, and measured steps as we reopen in a manner that provides safety, sanitation, and social distancing. I fully know and understand that people will disagree with some decisions. That's the price of leadership.


    Rationale:

    From the start of the stay-home order in Michigan, we were aware that we legally could meet for religious worship, yet we chose to meet online-only for a couple of reasons:

    (1) as a way to protect the health and safety of our church against the coronavirus and

    (2) to join in solidarity with our local community as we all made drastic changes to our social practices.


    I have never viewed the stay-at-home orders as a violation of our civil right to gather for worship. In fact, I know of some small Michigan congregations that have been meeting without any governmental interference. In my view, it may not be wise but it is legal. 


    Online worship continues:

    Our decision to continue in an online-only mode for the next two weekends remains in that same spirit as we consider the safety of all who attend and remain in-step with wise social practices in the community we call home. Around 60% of the people in our church directory are over the age of 60. We are told this group is more vulnerable to dire consequences from the virus. Reading the prayer request emails provides a running commentary on the fragility and health challenges faced by many of our congregation. As a pastor, I feel the weight of responsibility to look out for the health of our people. This has an impact on the timing of our reopening.


    As we look to the future, we will continue functioning with these same intentions. We will continue to do the following:

    1. Looking to the Lord for wisdom as we make decisions.

    2. Prioritizing the health and safety of our church. This means considering the safety procedures for in-person gatherings.

    3. Gathering feedback from our Guiding Council about in-person gatherings.

    4. Consulting with medical practitioners in our community and the CDC guidelines for churches.

    5. Seeking to live as a positive witness in our local community.


    This means that we will not rush back to large in-person gatherings. We will continue to take the necessary time to wisely discern our way forward. As we do so, we will remember that we are Kingdom Citizens and the church belongs to God. We are his people. We seek to faithfully follow his lead.


    Value Unity as Opinions Vary:

    This is a moment in time that is ripe for disagreement and division. Within our church, we certainly will not agree on every detail of every decision. Yet we come together, united in the name of Jesus, trusting that he will help us discern our way forward. 


    In the meantime, I continue to celebrate the great ways that God is already working for GOOD through all of this!


    Sincerely,

    Pastor Moss

  • STATEMENT
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020 - 11:00 a.m.

    Now that the initial flurry of day by day decisions is slowing down, we will no longer be posting daily updates. Instead we will post updates as needed, 


    Thank you for viewing these updates and for encouraging others in your circle to do the same. We will do our best to keep you updated on decisions affecting Hope Community Church, our family of faith.


    Weekend worship will be available online at 10 a.m. Sunday on Hope’s Facebook Page and on this website. 


    THE HOPE CHURCH BUILDING IS NOW CLOSED. ALL MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES AT HOPE ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THERMOSTATS ARE LOWERED, AND STAFF WILL BE WORKING REMOTELY FROM HOME. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR THE CHURCH PHONE REMOTELY.


    FINANCIAL UPDATE

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING FINANCIAL SUPPORT

    Due to your faithful support, we were able to meet payroll and mortgage payments this week. This is a very big thank you to the people of Hope!


    Care and well-being calls continue to be made. We have identified some people needing some items. If you are willing to help make a grocery store run for others, please notify the church office.


    We have some members needing pastoral care. Some members are in care facilities and at least one is in the hospital. Due to the pandemic we are unable to visit in person. We ask for your prayer support as we strive to offer God’s love and grace remotely to those who are suffering.


    Ways to give


    U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

    Your tithe and offering can be mailed to:

    Hope Community Church

    2390 Lake Street

    Niles, MI 49120


    ONLINE GIVING

    Our online giving is also available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    Staff compensation, utilities, mortgage and mission support are just some of the ongoing expenses of the church. Your generosity can help Hope weather the storm our nation is now experiencing.


    Pastor Moss and the Guiding Council will closely monitor the financial situation and will take appropriate actions to keep the ministry funded as long as possible. Your prayers for wisdom and your faithful support will make a huge difference. Thank you!

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

    Now that the initial flurry of day by day decisions is slowing down, we will no longer be posting daily updates. Instead we will post updates a couple of times each week, beginning Monday, March 23.


    Thank you for viewing these daily updates and for encouraging others in your circle to do the same. We will do our best to keep you updated on decisions affecting Hope Community Church, our family of faith.


    Weekend worship will be available online at 10 a.m. Sunday on Hope’s Facebook Page and on this website. Gather your family and visit either page to participate in the service.


    THE HOPE CHURCH BUILDING IS NOW CLOSED.


    THERMOSTATS ARE LOWERED, AND STAFF WILL BE WORKING REMOTELY FROM HOME. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR THE CHURCH PHONE REMOTELY.


    ALL MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES AT HOPE ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 


    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING FINANCIAL SUPPORT.


    Ways to give:


    U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

    Your tithe and offering can be mailed to:

    Hope Community Church

    2390 Lake Street

    Niles, MI 49120


    ONLINE GIVING

    Our online giving is also available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    Staff compensation, utilities, mortgage and mission support are just some of the ongoing expenses of the church. Your generosity can help Hope weather the storm our nation is now experiencing.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020 - 4:04 p.m.

    Thursday night your faithful worship team met at Hope to record some worship music that will be used for our weekend services. Few people recognize how much time and effort these faithful servants invest into creating excellent worship experiences for us. We especially thank them right now.


    Thank you for viewing these daily updates and for encouraging others in your circle to do the same. We are in a swirl of news and huge decisions needed by every individual, business and organization. Answering the same questions over and over can be exhausting! We’ve created this daily update as a one-stop shop for answers to your questions about the ministry of Hope Community Church.


    THE HOPE CHURCH BUILDING IS NOW CLOSED.


    THERMOSTATS ARE LOWERED, AND STAFF WILL BE WORKING REMOTELY FROM HOME. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR THE CHURCH PHONE REMOTELY.


    ALL MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES AT HOPE ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.


    Weekend services will be accessible online through Hope’s Facebook page and a link to our weekend worship will also be available on our website. This week the online service will be available only on Sunday at 10 a.m.


    Other News:

    • Operation Ambassadors of Mercy is now in the process of making wellness calls to every household in our congregation.

    THANKS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

    Your gifts can be mailed to

    Hope Community Church

    2390 Lake Street

    Niles, MI 49120


    Our online giving is also available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    Staff compensation, utilities, mortgage and mission support are just some of the ongoing expenses of the church. Your generosity can help Hope weather the storm our nation is experiencing.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020 - 11:52 a.m.



    Hope hosted a meeting of the Niles Area Ministerial Association (NAMA) today as we shared about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our congregations. Ideas were shared about how to minister to our congregations online and other ways of being connected. A prayer time for our churches and our community was held.


    Thank you for viewing these daily updates and for encouraging others in your circle to do the same. We are in a swirl of news and huge decisions needed by every individual, business and organization. Answering the same questions over and over can be exhausting! We’ve created this daily update as a one-stop shop for answers to your questions about the ministry of Hope Community Church.


    ALL MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES AT HOPE ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.


    Weekend services will be accessible online. Specific instructions on how and where to find the Hope worship service will be given soon.


    As of today, the church office is closed. The phones are being monitored remotely and the staff are working from home.


    Other News:

    • Operation Ambassadors of Mercy is now in the process of making wellness calls to every household in our congregation.

    THANKS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

    Your gifts can be mailed to

    Hope Community Church

    2390 Lake Street

    Niles, MI 49120


    Our online giving is also available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    Staff compensation, utilities, mortgage and mission support are just some of the ongoing expenses of the church. Your generosity can help Hope weather the storm our nation is experiencing.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020 - 11:50 a.m.

    Thank you for viewing these daily updates and for encouraging others in your circle to do the same. We are in a swirl of news and huge decisions needed by every individual, business and organization. Answering the same questions over and over can be exhausting! We’ve created this daily update as a one-stop shop for answers to your questions about the ministry of Hope Community Church.


    ALL MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES AT HOPE ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.


    Weekend services will be accessible online. Specific instructions on how and where to find the Hope worship service will be given soon.


    Other News:

    • Life Group leaders are being contacted. It is unlikely that any Life Groups will meet during the national crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Over 100 households received food from our Food Truck Ministry yesterday. Thank you to our faithful volunteers who ministered God’s grace and placed boxes of food into the vehicles. You are amazing.
    • Operation Ambassadors of Mercy is now in the process of making wellness calls to every household in our congregation.

    THANKS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

    Your gifts can be mailed to:

    Hope Community Church

    2390 Lake Street

    Niles, MI 49120


    Our online giving is also available to you. 

    Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020 - 11:50 a.m.



    We will make daily updates on this site in an effort to keep up to date with ever changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many ongoing decisions being made and this daily update will be the most effectives means of distributing that information.


    This past Sunday’s sermon is posted on our website.

    Our online giving is also available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    UPDATES

    The Deacon Ministry met Monday night at 7 p.m. as an emergency response team to discuss ways to support our congregation through these uncertain times. We met in the large room and used social distancing to keep our deacons safe. 

    • The Deacon Ministry will be making wellness calls to every household in our congregation. We are naming this effort Ambassadors of Mercy.
    • The Deacon Ministry will partner with our Mission Team in local outreach effort and to minister to needs in our community as they arise.
    • Life Group leaders are also making wellness check calls to the members of each LifeGroup.

    TODAY

    The Food Truck ministry will function as planned. Those who serve are requested to come early for special distribution instructions. People in our community are depending on these

    provisions. Thank you for your service.


    UPCOMING EVENTS

    • Hope is closed to all regularly scheduled activities until further notice.
    • AWANA will not meet on Wednesday night until further notice.
    • Youth Group will not meet on Thursday night until further notice.
    • The Chili cook-off scheduled for Friday, March 20 is postponed until May 1.
    • Men’s Breakfast is cancelled for Saturday, March 21.


    All weekend worship services are cancelled at Hope. Services will be streamed and available to watch online. We encourage you to tune in and stay connected to Hope. More updates about weekend services will be forthcoming.


    GENERAL REMINDERS

    Your ministry staff needs your prayer support right now. We want things to go well for Hope Community Church more than anyone. We are praying for you!


    We have never led any church through a situation like this before. God’s wisdom and your grace are needed. We already know that people will disagree with some of our decisions - that’s human nature. Please know that we seek Divine guidance in each decision we make.


    Over the next days we’re going to make some difficult decisions to protect the flock, considering everything from your spiritual growth to legal liabilities.


    Government bans on public gatherings are not politically motivated, but are motivated by concern for the health of our fellow citizens. We will be compliant with the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and our state and local government.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020 - 12 p.m.

    We will make daily updates on this site in an effort to keep up to date with ever changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many ongoing decisions being made and this daily update will be more effective than answering your questions one person at a time.


    Last Sunday’s sermon is posted on our website.

    Our online giving is available to you. Donate now to undergird Hope with your financial support.


    MONDAY

    • The youth fundraiser at Culver’s has been canceled. If you would still like to financially support the youth's trip to International Youth Convention this summer, you can give to the "FULL SERVICE" fund online now.
    • The Deacon Ministry will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss how we can support our congregation through these uncertain times. We will meet in the large room and use social distancing to keep our deacons safe.
    • This is not a LifeGroup meeting week. LifeGroup leaders are reminded to make wellness checks on members of their LifeGroups.

    TUESDAY

    • The Food Truck ministry will function as planned. Those who serve are requested to come early for special distribution instructions. People in our community are depending on these provisions. Thank you for your service.

    ADDITIONAL UPDATES

    • AWANA will not meet on Wednesday night until further notice.
    • Girl Scouts will not meet in our building on Tuesday night until further notice.
    • Women's Bible study will not meet on Wednesday until further notice.
    • Youth Group will not meet on Thursday night until further notice.
    • The Chili cook-off scheduled for Friday, March 20 is postponed until May 1.
    • Men’s Breakfast is cancelled for Saturday, March 21.

    GENERAL REMINDERS

    Your ministry staff needs your prayer support right now. We want things to go well for Hope Community Church more than anyone. We are praying for you!


    We have never led any church through a situation like this before. God’s wisdom and your grace are needed. We already know that people will disagree with some of our decisions - that’s human nature. Please know that we seek Divine guidance in each decision we make.


    Over the next days we’re going to make some difficult decisions to protect the flock, considering everything from your spiritual growth to legal liabilities.


    Government bans on public gatherings are not politically motivated, but are motivated by concern for the health of our fellow citizens. We will be compliant with the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and our state and local government.


    Check in with us tomorrow to hear some encouraging news!

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2020 - 11:50 a.m.

    Hope Community Church met this weekend with approximately 180 souls in attendance between the Saturday and Sunday services. The congregation abided by the recommendations posted on our website and the hospitality staff was well prepared. 


    For those not in attendance, the sermon will be posted here on our website later this afternoon, and our online giving portal is available now.


    Here are the latest updates on scheduled activities:


    Life Groups are not scheduled to meet this week. 


    MONDAY: The Deacon Ministry will meet Monday evening to discuss how we can minister to our congregation and community during this unsettling time. If you are available to help with delivering groceries to those in need, we appreciate you emailing us at info@hopeofniles.com.


    Offices will be open on Monday. We will also monitor phone messages after hours for urgent needs.


    TUESDAY: The Food Truck ministry will function as planned unless the Feeding America food truck is unavailable. Updates will be posted online.


    Continue to check our website for daily updates.

  • DAILY STATEMENT
    SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2020 - 11 a.m.

    As of the writing of this update, there are no COVID-19 cases reported in Cass County or Berrien County. One case is reported in St. Joseph County Indiana, but none in other neighboring IN counties.


    Given this information, the staff team of Hope Community Church met this morning and made the following decision: 


    Regular weekend services will be held at Hope on Saturday night at 6pm and Sunday at 10am. We are aware of Governor Whitmer’s ban of gatherings over 250. We do not anticipate either of our services exceeding this limit.


    The following precautions are put in place to ensure your health and safety:

    • Hospitality people will open doors so each individual can enter without touching door handles.
    • Greeters and ushers will not be shaking hands
    • We ask everyone to avoid hugs and handshakes
    • We will not have our traditional “greet your neighbor” portion of the service
    • We will not be having coffee fellowship before the services
    • We will not pass offering plates. Instead, baskets will be placed in locations where people can deposit their offering
    • Worship flyers will be laid on chairs prior to the services
    • We will not pass attendance pads
    • Custodial staff will clean all “touch points” in the building after services by disinfecting door handles, surfaces, faucets and fixtures, etc.
    • Hand sanitizer will be placed in prominent locations
    • We encourage you to keep an appropriate distance from others while seated in the sanctuary

    Other notes:


    Anyone feeling uncomfortable with attending public events is encouraged to stay home. Attending church while feeling anxious about being there is not our desire!


    Older adults are encouraged to stay home.


    Anyone with a cold, cough, influenza or any other illness symptoms is encouraged to stay home.


    The expenses incurred by your church will be higher during this uncertain time. Your generous support is needed to propel our ministry. You can give online, or you can mail your gift to the church. If you want to drop by, our offices are open from 9am to 3pm Monday through Thursday.


    We have already asked Life Group leaders to check up on older members who may need extra support. The Deacon Ministry and Local Mission Team will also be discussing how to offer increased support.


    This web announcement will be updated daily.