Dear Hillside Church Family,
 
Due to the executive order from Governor Whitmer that has temporarily suspended non necessary activities, the church office will be closed until Monday, April 13.  We will be having only online services streamed live through Facebook.  
 
We want to talk to you about several important matters.  
 
First, let me say that our hearts are with you.
 For you who are medical professionals on the front lines of this crisis, our hearts are with you.
 For you parents who are adapting to being with your kids 24/7, our hearts are with you.
 For you who are concerned about the future of your paycheck or business, our hearts are with you.
 For you who may become sick, our hearts are with you.
 For you kids who may become stir crazy with quarantines, our hearts are with you.
 
Second, I want to say that we believers choose faith over fear.
 This is a time for the church universal to rise up. This is our opportunity to shine. To care for our brothers and
    sisters and neighbors. To demonstrate our faith.
 We also want to support those in authority over us. So we honor their requests for limited gatherings.
 
For the foreseeable future we will be doing only online services.
 We only want essential personnel in the building.
 We will notify you when we are able to resume public service.
 The Missions Committee is looking at changing the date for our annual WE Fest in April.
 But we thank God for technology that allows us to live stream.  And we encourage you to worship with us
    online every Sunday morning at 11:00 am.
 If you do not already have Facebook, would you please open an account so you can view our church services.
    If you need help with this, you may call our tech director, John Zielke at 334-0736.
 We will also be exploring viewing platforms other than Facebook. “Viewing platforms” is tech talk.
 Last week during the service there were 150 families logged on, representing at least 300 people.
 We celebrate that we are not starting from scratch. We already have been doing live feed for several months.
 But this gives us opportunity to make our live feed even better. You should look for enhanced viewing in the
    weeks ahead.
 We also are exploring ways for youth and kids to gather online.
 Ron McComas will do Facebook live with kids next Tuesday at 1:00 pm.
 Pastor Nate plans to do Zoom gatherings with the youth and will communicate directly with them on the
            time.
 Even though you will not be in church, you can still read the weekly bulletin on our web site.
 
We will comply with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order to not meet in groups until April 13.
 This means, until further notice, no small groups until after that date.
 
Our whole staff is collectively brainstorming on how to encourage you to be the church in this crucial time.
 Some of the ideas we thought of are not doable. We can’t invite families to the church gym because the virus
    lives on touched balls and equipment.
 One thing you can do is check on your neighbors and friends, especially the elderly, housebound, or
     physically compromised. Please do this.
 We have people standing by to pick up and deliver groceries, prescriptions and other essentials for these
    folks.
 If you cannot be out, or should not be out, please take advantage of this service. Call us at 985-9614.
 If you know of someone who will not see this note, who could use this service, we ask you to contact            them, not us. Please ask them to directly contact us.
 If you want to be a deliverer, let us know.
 If you are available, you may offer child care for friends who need to go to work.
 
Here’s a word about your regular church contributions.
 Even though we cannot have services, we still have bills to pay. So your faithful giving is vital.
 Let me suggest three ways to give.
      Number 1. You may mail your checks to Hillside.
      Number 2. You may set up payments to Hillside with your bank online.
      Number 3. You may give online at our website; lifeonthehillside.com/give/
 
God is not caught off guard by the coronavirus.
 He can redeem this whole world-wide crisis for His glory and honor. Let me tell you what He has done in the        past.
 The Church grew the fastest in her infancy, during the first 200-300 years.
 And this growth happened during a time of great persecution.
 In that time there were no church buildings. The first recorded church building was in 256 AD. That was 256        years without any buildings. And the very first buildings were soon torn down by the Romans.
 After the year 1000 AD, there was a wave of building cathedrals and churches in Europe.
 My point is that the church doesn’t need a building to thrive.
 I wonder. Is this time, just like the early church, an opportune time for an explosion of church growth?
 
I am praying for you. Wash your hands and stay safe.
Pastor Bill