Check this page for regular updates, with the most recent being at the top of the page.
We pray that even now the Spirit is filling you with hope, joy, and peace, so much so that you cannot contain it! God is ready and willing to do just that in any moment we need His strength.
As we continue to seek God together and adapt to the changing world around us, here are some updates that we would like to share with you.
In regard to ministry events:
- The Southern MI Conference of the Free Methodist Church has issued a mandatory closing of all facilities, and face to face gatherings for the foreseeable future. The only exceptions to these are small teams who will lead online gatherings such as Sunday morning worship, and food pantry distribution.
- Prior to this, the Board of Ministry had decided on Monday night that we would take that approach as well. Right now, our timeline will keep in step with our school district, as well as our state government, who has made it illegal for groups of 50 or more to gather until after April 5th. We will be submissive to these requests in order to help stop the spread of this virus, and to show a good Christian witness.
- To clarify, this means that all meetings at the church facility and auxiliary meetings, WFMC groups, ministry events such as Game Night, our WFM Preschool, NA and LifeCare, Women’s Retreat, Youth Group, etc., are cancelled for now. The Women’s leadership team will be issuing refunds for those who would like them and keeping money paid for those who would like it to go towards a possible fall retreat. Contact Beth Nofzinger at about refund information.
What we are doing to facilitate community and meet needs:
- We will still provide online worship and gathering space on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. We want to continue to be consistent in giving everyone a place to gather together and find hope. This will be available at com/live or facebook.com/westlandfmc, or through our church app.
- Our small groups will be transitioning to an online format, where they can study the word, pray, and even watch inspiring videos together. If you would like to learn more about jumping into one of these groups in the days to come, please email Pastor Eric at . What a great opportunity to continue to grow together and encourage one another!!
- Our leadership team will be calling everyone actively connected in the next week (around 300 people) to see how we can encourage and pray for you!
- Our food pantry will stay open. We have a team of people who will be delivering food and essentials directly to people’s door steps for those in need. To schedule a drop off, or to help with deliveries, contact our Director of Congregational Care, Shari Doktor, at: .
- We will be striving to send out a “Daily Dose of Hope” through email and online. This will be a short devotional that reminds us all of the hope we have through our God!
- Our youth team is exploring ways to keep the teens engaged online. Pastor Eric is working on resources for parents to encourage their kids. Each week we will include suggested resources to lift your spirits in our bulletins, as well as point you to some great resources in our massive Right Now Media subscription (email us to signup).
- We purchased a Zoom account, and have set up a churchwide account to access Google Meets. As stated earlier, small group meetings, as well as staff meetings, and individual meeting requests with our staff, will be taking place through these avenues for the time being.
In regard to finances, our preschool board has some reserves and is able to pay their staff during the current closure, as well as waive tuition for April. We thank God for His faithfulness to that program!
If you are able, we ask that you continue your faithful support which allows us to pay our commitments (gas, electric, insurance, conference apportionments, staff & missionary support, etc), continue fruitful ministry, and cast hope during these days where so many are anxious. You can do so by making an online donation at westlandfmc.com/giving or by sending a check or gift to the office: attention Don Jarrett 1421 S. Venoy Rd, Westland MI, 48186. Don is or Director of Finances and will be continuing weekly to process gifts and keep us current on all of our financial commitments.
We have been meeting and going through webinars nearly around the clock for several days now trying to discern the best approaches. Our conference is working to provide us with some additional resources to help maintain effectiveness through the online tools available. We are thankful for this opportunity to maintain unity and share the hope we have in God with the world around us! We love you all and can’t wait to be together again face to face, it will be a celebration!
In Christ – Pastor Tyson, Pastor Eric, and Your Leadership Team
Dear WFMC Family,
Here are some of the things that God has brought to mind in the last few days as we have sought His wisdom:
Jesus often let his followers know about things that were to come. Not so that they would be afraid, but so that they could be filled with faith that God is in control.
This was especially important in the days heading into the crucifixion, and it was important to Jesus to give future believers a picture of what the world would look like before He returns, as He did in Luke 21:
Luke 21:9–28 (CEV) When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 10 Nations will go to war against one another, and kingdoms will attack each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in many places people will starve to death and suffer terrible diseases…25 Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do. 26 People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken. 27 Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.
There are many things that can cause fear and anxiety in this world. Wars, natural disasters, and the spread of disease among them. However, the great news is that none of this is a surprise to God. He tells us these things will take place, in order to give us the faith that He is in control, and that as His people, we will overcome!
Whether He returns in 5 or 500 years, as Christians we are to “stand up straight and be brave” in the face of fears, and to share the hope we have with others. These days people are looking for hope and we know the true Hope of the World, Jesus! Let’s share that hope and comfort others with all that we have in us in the days to come!
As this relates to our worship gatherings, the following verses have been coming to mind:
Acts 20:28 (NIV) “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) Love…always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The advice of our governmental, denominational, and world leaders is that it is wise to avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks in order to stop the spread of this virus. This is affecting sports, schools, churches, denominational events, and many other institutions.
We believe it is our role as shepherds to do what we can to keep you and the community around us safe from exposure, in order to do our part to slow or stop the spread of this. Many in our congregation are in the senior citizen population, and many others are immune compromised because of various illnesses or procedures that they have faced.
Therefore, for this weekend and possibly the next few as well, our worship experiences will be online only. Our staff and members of the worship team will be live each week to allow us to gather together from our homes and proclaim the hope that we have in Christ Jesus!
You can view our Online Viewing Guide to see how you can get the bulletins, share prayer requests and other info, give financial gifts, worship along with the team, be encouraged through our time in the Word, and much more! Thanks in advance for continuing your amazing generosity, which enables us to do so many good things for believers and the community in the name of Jesus!
We are anticipating God to move in some mighty was as we gather together virtually this Sunday! We have some time set aside to process what is going on and to pray together. We will also be encouraging some guided interaction that will add to the experience.
We are believing that in these days, which seem uncertain to those around us, we can point others to the one thing that is certain and stable, Jesus! We are seeing evidence of God using this to bring opportunities for unity and to seek Him. Let’s let our lights shine brightly as we point others to the Light of the World!
We will have more information this week about how this may affect other ministry events and initiatives through WFMC. Please let us know how we can serve or pray for you. Especially when it comes to those who are high risk categories, we would love to make grocery deliveries or help in any way! We are anticipating a powerful move of God this Sunday and in the days to come.
For His Glory! – Pastor Tyson, Pastor Eric, and Your Leadership Team
Dear WFMC Family,
Like much of the world around us, we have been praying through and studying how to best keep people safe, informed, and encouraged during these days. This letter outlines our plans as of 3/12/20 to help you feel comfortable attending worship services at WFMC.
We have regular procedures in place to make sure our environments are clean and safe for you and your family. We take the following steps every week to prevent the spread of germs:
- Our campus is thoroughly cleaned each week by our staff, our friends at STEP, and the WFM Preschool Staff, including sanitizing the kid’s areas.
- We have hand sanitizer in different areas.
For upcoming weekends, we're adding the following precautions:
- A letter will be going out to our parents and kids to remind them of our current sick policies.
- We will be doing extra sanitizing on door handles. We are also working on securing additional wipes, stations, sprays, etc for the days ahead.
- We are encouraging everyone to wave and smile or do something like elbow bumps rather than shaking hands and hugging.
- We will be temporarily suspending the coffee and snack area.
- We will temporarily not be passing the offering plates and will instead encourage people to use the giving boxes near the exits for that morning. Online giving options are also available through com/giving or through our church app.
Along with these steps, to prevent the unnecessary spread of germs in a large gathering of people, we also recommend familiarizing yourself with these CDC and World Health Organization recommendations:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. *Due to alcohol-based sanitizers damaging our lobby floor, we ask that you limit the use of these to the sanctuary and bathrooms.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
- Stay home if you are sick, have been exposed to sickness, or if you are exhibiting any signs of sickness.
If you choose to stay home because of sickness or otherwise, we encourage you to join us live at westlandfmc.com/live or facebook.com/westlandfmc. You can view bulletins, submit prayer requests, give, and more on our website or through our app!
To this point, there has only been one confirmed case in our county. However, we will continue to monitor the situation, the advice of our government leaders, and that of our denominational leaders. Our bishops issued a statement today that can be found at: fmcusa.org/covid19. If needed, we are so thankful for being able to livestream preaching and worship and gather together virtually in the weeks to come!
We will be touching on the topic and spending time in prayer for people everywhere as we gather this Sunday. In the meantime, let’s meditate on 2 Timothy 1:7 where we are told: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind." We desire to see faith triumph over fear and people pointed to the only place of stability, which is a relationship with Jesus. We will also use the best knowledge and wisdom available to do our parts to keep our church family and those in our community healthy.
Let’s cover the days ahead in prayer, believing God will use these days to produce much needed unity, and to point people towards Him!
In Christ – Pastor Tyson, Pastor Eric, and Your Leadership Team