Dear Servant’s Church Family,

In the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, I hope you and your family and friends are staying healthy, and you are finding ways to connect with loved ones even though you are not able to be with them in person. As a church, we reach out to you during this time so we can pass important information on to you and hear what needs you are facing. Here’s an update:

  1. All church events are suspended until further notice. We will no longer have elders present on Sunday mornings for informal gatherings because doing so could endanger their health or yours. When it is again safe to gather, we will resume our gatherings for worship, along with small group meetings and other events.
  2. Family Feast dinners were handed out last night, but the number of people who showed up was down considerably from our usual turnout. We will do this again next week, and you might be asked to help with some of the food items we will need for that night. We will consider on a week by week basis if and how we should continue this ministry.
  3. Some of our area partners are offering additional assistance:
    •The Other Way(710 W. Fulton St.) has expanded their pantry hours. They are now open from 9am-3pm on Monday-Friday, and Tuesdays from 9am-6pm. They are also in need of financial contributions anddonations of pantry items to help fill the increased needs faced by our neighbors. Please call them at 616-454-4011.
    •Sibley School (943 Sibley St NW) is providing a breakfast/lunch combo for all children up to age 18, and special needs students up to age 26. The students do not need to attend GRPS to be eligible. Food distributions are available by drive-thru from 11:30-12:30 on Monday-Friday.
    •The United Way (1-866-211-9966) has a COVIC-19 Community Economic Relief Program that can help with food, rent, and bills.
  4. Our staff is not coming into the office on a regular basis, but we remain available by phone and email. If you have prayer requests or other care needs, please call Pastor Mark (616-366-2954) or one of the elders: Ann Heerde (616-916-5328), Lisa Fox (616-485-2931), or Sara Melton (616-633-9299)
  5. Church expenses continue even when our services have been cancelled. Please take the time and effort to continue your offerings –online at servantschurch.org, or by mailing checks to Servant’s Church at 909 Watson SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. If you give with cash, please contact one of the deacons to arrange for that to be handled.
  6. Elders, deacons, and staff have each been assigned a small list of households to contact, and you should have received a call or email by today or tomorrow. This person will check in with you at least weekly, and you can also contact them with any questions or needs that you may have. If you have not heard from anyone yet, please let me know so we can be sure we have your correct phone and email information.

Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ promised, “I am with you always!”

Pastor Mark

State of Michigan Guidelines:
Dealing with the COVID-19 Virus:

Individuals and families at home:

  1. Learn about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  2. If you have respiratory symptoms, STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK. Call your health care provider’s office in advance of your visit.
  3. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
  4. Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
  5. Be prepared if there is COVID-19 in your household or a disruption of daily activities in your community. For example, maintain a supply of medications, food, and other essentials in your house. Consider alternative shopping options such as curbside pickups or online deliveries.
  6. Access services as much as possible online or by phone.

Individuals at risk of severe illness:

These individuals include, but are not limited to, older adults and persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, such as persons with a blood disorder (e.g., sickle cell disease or a disorder being treated with blood thinners), an endocrine disorder (e.g., diabetes mellitus), or a metabolic disorder (such as inborn error of metabolism); those with heart disease, lung disease (including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic kidney disease, or chronic liver disease; those with a compromised immune system (e.g., those who are receiving treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, who have received an organ or bone marrow transplant, who are taking high doses of immunosuppressant, or who have HIV or AIDS); those who are currently pregnant or were pregnant in the last two weeks; and those withneurological or neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions.

  1. Individuals at risk of severe illness should stay at home and keep away from others who are sick, except in exceptional circumstances. Wash your hands often, particularly after contact with high-touch surfaces. Avoid crowds and closed-in settings with little air ventilation as much as possible. Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  2. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
  3. In households with individuals at risk of severe illness, provide a protected space for those individuals and have healthy people conduct themselves as if they were a significant risk to those individuals. For example, healthy people should wash their hands before feeding or caring for an at-risk individual.
  4. Have a plan for if you get sick, and stay in touch with others by phone or email.
  5. Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention.
  6. Family members and caregivers can support older adults by knowing what medications they are taking and ensuring there is an extra supply on hand.
  7. Family members and caregivers can support older adults by monitoring food and other necessary medical supplies (e.g., oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, and wound care supplies) and by creating a back-up plan for securing those essentials if they run out.