We are currently on Phase 2 of our reopening plan.  This means we are meeting in person for House Gatherings, 1-on-1 discipleship, and worshiping together by watching the online service in groups we call Viewing Parties.  We would love for you to join us in any of these aspects and if you are interested or would like to know more please email corey@thecaledoniagathering.org

Below you can find the full outline of our plan to reopen.

Moving Forward 

Following A Plan that makes sense given Scripture & The Commands of Jesus,

Current Thoughts from Health Officials, and Our State Legislation 

 

The Reasons For Talking About This... 

  • As the weeks go on with quarantine life, frustration and unrest continue to grow and mount. Knowing that there is a plan moving  forward gives us hope and allows us to press on. “Where there is no vision the people perish. (Prov. 29:18)” Its like running a race - if you know there is finish line in sight you can muster the determination to press on. 

  • There are going to be churches and organizations around us that may differ from ours. This proposal is not a criticism of their decisions, but rather the process by which we have come to our own. 

  • This document will allow us to have answers to the question, “why haven’t we opened yet?” 

The Plan Going Forward (Everything Online -> HG in person -> WG in person) 

  • Phase 1: We will adhere to the executive order for our state that says “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited.” (Executive Order 2020-77). Meaning, we will not gather in person on Sunday mornings or in house gatherings until that restriction is lifted and we are assured by health officials that it is safe to do so. 
  • Phase 2: Assuming Michigan’s sequence follows other states, restrictions will probably be lifted incrementally, allowing for smaller groups to gather first. When permissible we will encourage 1 on 1 discipleship groups and house gatherings to meet in person again, taking the necessary precautions outlined by the State and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Our Sunday Worship Gathering will continue as online only. 
  • Phase 3: We will resume in person large group gatherings on Sunday mornings once the restrictions on large group gatherings are lifted. Our large gathering worship will not resume until it can resume safely with all involved (kids, visitors, vulnerable population, etc.) using the guidelines of the State and CDC, as well as local health officials as our guide. 

Rationale (Why) 

  • The Commands of Jesus and Scripture. Jesus’ command was “to love one another the way I loved you. (John 13:31)” Jesus loved us by giving up everything for us - self sacrifice. The apostle Paul clearly thought that it was the job of the Christian to put the interests and needs of their neighbor ahead of his/her own (1 Corinthians 10, Philippians 2). James, the brother of Jesus thought that the only religion worth its salt to please God was “to care for the poor the orphan and the widow” (James 1:27). The health and safety of our society’s most vulnerable is one of our greatest concerns. The Church should be a people known for care and concern for others. Demanding our “right” to do things when it puts others at risk is anti-Christian, a clear violation of our Faith, and an overt display of disobedience to Jesus. 
  • The Mission of Our Church. The mission of The Caledonia Gathering is to tell people about the Life and Love of Jesus and to inspire them to learn to live and love like Him. It is not our mission to gather in a large group on Sunday mornings. It is a great thing. We love it. We miss it. But we do not require it in order to carry out our mission. In fact, the early church gathered in homes, and devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching which came via letter. When the author of the letter to the Hebrews told people to “not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, (Heb 10:25)” he was referring to those house church gatherings. Sunday morning aids the mission it should not become the mission. 
  • Current Opinion of Health and State Officials. The current position of health officials for our state is that we accept and abide by the Stay at Home order. Because of the rapid spread of this virus, and it’s aggressive nature - people can easily be infected through a conversation, recirculated air out of vents, and simply breathing within 6 feet for too long. When this plan for moving forward was shared with Dr. Michael Meindertsma, he said in his estimation this “would be the wisest way forward.” The director of NIH, Francis Collins also said the best thing to do is to stay home for the sake of others. 

Conclusion: 

While this remains a difficult time for many, it is a great opportunity for the Church to witness to the love of Jesus as we care for the people around us. Those who have can share and help those who do not have. We should not miss this historic opportunity to bear witness to the mercy we’ve received from God by sharing it with others by serving relationally, financially, and spiritually.