Phase One for Returning to Church

Brothers and Sisters,

We have worked through a plan for us to return to church. As we processed what it will look like for us to come back together we were able to utilize some of the resources and recommendations made available by others. Please understand that phase one of our return to church as given below is subject to change as we continue to process the recommendations of appropriate officials and consider our own situation here in Houghton Lake. We will seek to communicate any changes in a clear and timely manner. If you have any questions please feel free to connect with Pastor Milam, Paul Ragan, or Nick Oster.

Note: Phase one has been updated as of May 26 with changes or additions in bold.


• Seeking to obey the Scriptural command to assemble ourselves together (Heb. 10:25), and seeking to "submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (I Peter 2:13) during the current pandemic, and seeking to be wise, we currently plan to begin meeting again on Sunday, May 31.

• Along with others who are working through these matters, we plan to follow a three phase plan that will begin with stricter measures in place and gradually relax those measures in phases two and three. We plan to communicate about phases two and three as we enter them.

• Considering that during the summer months people will be coming up to Houghton Lake from downstate and that we will likely have visitors from downstate, we believe it is prudent to continue phase one through the summer months.

Spiritual Practices

We want everyone to remember that our unity is in Christ not in our opinions about the coronavirus, data about the virus, how the pandemic has been/is being handled by governmental leaders, or what people should or should not be doing in response.

• We want to encourage that form of Christian love that is patient, pursues peace, prefers others in honor above ourselves, seeks not our own but the good and comfort of others, and is willing to make sacrifices to serve others.

• Understanding that it will be impossible to please everyone (as some may think we are doing too much and others may think we are not doing enough) we want to encourage everyone to be patient and supportive of this effort.

Attendance at Worship

• We are leaving it up to individuals to use their own discretion in returning to church. We understand (and will not judge) if you choose to stay at home. We will continue to post messages to the website.   

We will resume all church services - Sunday School, Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening.

Social Distance Practice

• Strict social distancing should be practiced. No handshaking. Maintain 6 ft. distance.

• Fellowship should take place in groups of less than 10 and should maintain a distance of 6ft. with those who are not immediate family members.

• Seating in the auditorium will be spread out with at least 6 ft. between individuals/family groups and pews will be spaced further apart than normal.

• Typical Greeter practices are adapted to the social distancing and sanitization concerns. A comfortable distance will be maintained at the door as people are welcomed. Guest will be invited to fill out a guest card and pick up a guest mug only if comfortable.

• No Sunday School fellowship time or gathering for fellowship meals.

Sanitization Practices

• Hand sanitization stations will be provided at the entrance.

• Someone will sanitize door handles, the tops of the pew backs, and bathrooms immediately after service.

• An offering plate will be provided in the back of the auditorium instead of being passed.

The use of personal protection equipment will be left to the discretion of each individual. 

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