Church Reopening Plan

We’re now meeting for in-person services Sundays at 9:00 & 11:00 AM.

Learning. Loving. Worship. Prayer.

These are the four core values that shape our “biblical community”.

Our guiding principles for reopening are:

* To honor God & His Word (Ps 138:2, 1 Tim 1:17)
* To love our neighbors as ourselves (Jn 13:34, Gal 5:14)
* To respect one another (Rom 12:10, 1 Peter 2:17)
* To stay humble & adjust our plans as needed (Prov 16:9, Micah 6:8)

Worship is an essential service for our members. When first returning to in-person worship, we will continue to consider New Hope an “online church” as we are aware that not all members will choose to return initially. We ask that you return only if you are well (no recent Covid-19 symptoms or contact with an infected person).

nh reopening guidelines

View Our Complete Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During Covid-19

Download the Guidelines

Safe In-Person Worship Guidelines

  • Please bring your own mask.
  • We ask that parents make the best effort regarding their young children and masks.
  • Clearly marked entry and exit points.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all doors.
  • Please follow 6-foot social distancing as you walk through the building.
  • We will not be printing a bulletin to start.
  • Please bring your own Bible, sermon notes, and pen.

Auditorium and Atrium:

  • Every other row has been removed in the auditorium.
  • Glass doors will remain open allowing for additional rows of seats in the atrium while accommodating foot traffic.
  • Please follow 6-foot social distancing within the rows (3 empty chairs between groups).

Quad:

  • The entire Quad will be available for overflow seating. The service will be broadcast on the large screen.
  • The front half of the Quad will have rows of chairs and the back half will have tables and chairs.
  • We will discontinue all food and beverage service on Sunday mornings until further notice.
  • We will have a team of people to wipe down frequently touched surfaces, especially in between each service.
  • We have pre-packaged elements (bread and juice) for use during the first few communion services.
  • We will have bins at the exits to dispose of communion cups.

Current Plans for Ministries

NH Kids

  • “Family Worship” offered.
  • Individually wrapped crayon packages, coloring and activity pages will be provided.
  • Seating available at tables in the Quad if preferred (1 family group per table).
  • Family Resource Table with free children’s Bibles and relevant information for parents after in-person services.
  • We will have a volunteer, wearing gloves and a mask, distributing these.
  • Virtual “Family Connection” Bible lesson and activities accessible through Facebook will launch on or before we re-open. NH Kids & Families Facebook posts will continue 2-3 times per week.
  • On-site Children’s Ministry will resume at a later date, yet to be determined

NH Youth Ministry (MS & HS)

We are hoping to have our youth engage in some in-person meetings following social distancing guidelines. We will not be holding formal Youth Group meetings, but we will stay connected through the summer.

The GreenHouse (College & Young Adults)

  • Mon-Thurs Virtual Bible Reading & Discussion
  • Individual Discipleship Meetings: In-person if both parties are comfortable.
  • Discipleship Small Groups (<10): In-person if possible.
  • GreenHouse Community Meetings (>10): 1-2x/month, in-person if permitted and possible.

NH Ladies

We’re continuing with weekly Jennifer Rothschild’s Bible Study on Facebook at Noon on Tuesdays.

NH Men

Meetings will resume in the fall.

NH Seniors Ministry

We’re not planning on in-person meetings until a later date.

NH Missions

We’re supporting Samaritan’s Purse’s efforts with the flooding crisis in Midland, Michigan.

What to Expect on Sundays

Take a tour of our facility so you can know exactly what to expect when you join us for Sunday services.

View the map for more details »

Frequently Asked Questions

Download the FAQ

Sunday, June 21st at 9:00 and 11:00 AM.  (Please note, “virtual-church” will continue to be streamed)

People who are well (no recent symptoms or contact with infected person). People who feel is it the right time for their family.  Several people will refrain from coming right away for various reasons.  We encourage everyone to follow their conscience, respect the consciences of others and take responsibility for their health needs.  We encourage people not to attend in-person if they are fearful, immune compromised, or have a vulnerable pulmonary system.

On-site Children’s Ministry will resume at a date yet to be determined. To support families, children will be offered an activity/coloring pages and pre-wrapped crayons.  Additionally, family tables will be available in the Quad. 

We have discontinued all food and beverages until further notice.

We now have 5 hand sanitizer stations. One by each of our 3 doors and 2 just outside the auditorium.

Yes! Thank you!  Please refer to the Re-Opening Volunteers link to sign-up.

Please email office@nhchurch.com so the church can notify everyone who was involved with that service that they may have been exposed.

Please refer to the State of Michigan FAQ regarding face covering recommendations.

Q – Are they required, and if so why?

A – Yes, unless you are medically unable.  We have utilized the advice of medical professionals, recommendations of governing authorities and above all else, biblical principles for interacting with each other (Romans 12:10, Gal 5:14, John 13:34).   

Q – Do they have to be worn the entire time I’m in the building?

A – Yes, unless there is a medical reason not to.  This allows those around you to feel respected/protected/secure/loved.

Q – Do my children have to wear masks?

A – We encourage parents to make their best effort to have children, over the age of 2, wear masks.  We understand their compliance may be inconsistent.   

Q – Is a specific type of mask needed?

A – No, any cloth face covering that is well-secured (like a bandana or scarf) that covers your mouth and nose. 

Q – What if I forget to bring my own?

A – No problem!  We have disposable masks on hand for anyone who does not have one.  

Update From the Pastor

July 31, 2020

Dear New Hope Family,

I want to take a brief moment to update you on the safe procedures we have in place for “in-person” worship services. Please know that we continue to adhere to the most current prescribed guidelines which are overseen by our leadership team, including various medical doctors at NH. Our goal is to ensure the protection of all who serve and attend while aiming for a welcoming and worshipful experience.
 
As I observe the activities of God at NH and communicate with various church leaders from multiple places around the country – it is abundantly evident that our God is at work in ways we have not previously experienced.  While forever the same and never changing, God is also always at work to draw people to Himself and deeper into relationship.  Jesus said that the Father is always at work (John 5:17), and the clear directive of scripture is that we are to join Him in His work, not the other way around.  In other words, our temptation is to insist God join us in our activity, and in many ways desiring that He would return us to what we consider “normal”, or the way things used to be (pre-virus).  But the evidence of scripture is that God is always active, always at work, and in many cases doing new things. He brings new opportunities our way and He expects us to join Him. That requires a willingness to be adaptive and flexible on my part. A willingness to look for where He is working and join Him, while setting aside my own series of expectations.  It’s admittedly hard, but I am compelled to let Him be the Master because I am assured that He intends all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
 
As we move forward, please know first and foremost that families (including and especially those with young children) are welcome in the services. We do welcome the opportunity to meet together as an entire church family. The Children’s Ministry Team will continue to have activity materials available for each family upon arrival at the building. As well, parents of young children will have the option available of sitting at round tables in the Quad while watching the service on large screens if desired. Recently, some young families have been sitting in the main auditorium for the announcements and worship songs and then move to the Quad for the message time, which is entirely optional. The NH Kids’ Ministry is not restarting as of yet, but we will keep you updated on that progress as we develop our safe procedures.
 
As a reminder; please know that if your health is compromised, or if you are uncomfortable with meeting in a group setting at this time, we very much encourage you to remain at home until your strength is regained. We want you safe and healthy! If you are unable to join us in person at this time, please know that “Virtual-church” services will continue to stream during both the 9:00am and 11:00am services “live”. If you decide to attend in-person, you will find that we are seeing approximately 15% of the NH congregation attend each weekend, which of course allows for very safe distancing.  Each person I have spoken with over the past 6 weekends have assured me that they feel as safe at NH as they do any other public environment they step into.
 
This coming Sunday we will be sharing Communion and we will also return to “the Parables” sermon series. This week’s parable is The Fruitless Fig Tree, found in Luke 13:6-9. The sermon notes for this Sunday as well as the Kid’s Activity and Coloring Pages can be found at live.nhchurch.com (usually posted there by Sunday morning).

Here are some updated steps we are taking to keep you safe while attending in-person: 

  • In addition to the three touch-less hand sanitizer stations we put in when we first re-opened, we now have three new touch-less wall mounted stations. We are planning to add more stations in the Fall.
  • Our roof-top air exchange units already have a very high air change rate, but we also are in the process of upgrading the filters to a MERV 13 rating. 
  • We have upgraded our primary cleaning agent to better defeat the Covid-19 virus.

As we are all aware, the nature of guidelines, recommendations, information, and conditions change frequently, so should we need to make adjustments on a date or other critical information, we will communicate this.
 
As you can imagine, we do continue to long to see our entire NH family face-to-face, and at the same time we are committed to gathering in a safe and welcoming way. To that point, not only is seating capacity significantly reduced, but as well, our staff sanitize the facility on a continuous basis. Also, because the building is obviously an enclosed space, we continue to ask each person entering the church to put on a mask to protect those most at risk. If you do not own a mask, a free one can be provided. These protocols are an excellent way of visibly demonstrating care and compassion to those who are more vulnerable.
 
Our Heavenly Father is clearly using these circumstances to draw people to Himself, and for that we praise Him even in the midst of our struggles.
 
In Christ,
 
Pastor Mark

June 4, 2020

Dear New Hope Family,

As Michigan starts to reopen, I’d like to update you regarding plans to resume “in-person” worship services at New Hope. Our leadership team and staff are grateful for your patience as we’ve worked to develop procedures and protocols which will guide us forward. Please know we’re taking detailed measures informed by the most current government guidelines to ensure the protection of all who serve and attend while at the same time aiming for a welcoming and worshipful experience.

With that in mind, I’m very happy to announce the reopening of New Hope’s main campus at 2170 E. Saginaw Hwy. on Sunday, June 21st. NH Kids ministry will be delayed in restarting, but we welcome the opportunity to meet together as a church family in the services at 9:00 and 11:00 AM. The children’s ministry team will have activity materials and prepackaged crayons available for families as they arrive. In addition, families will have the option to sit around tables in the Quad while watching the service on large screens if desired. 

Upon your arrival, you’ll find seating in the auditorium and other places throughout the building has been temporarily re-arranged to allow for proper distancing. That means our seating capacity will be significantly reduced to coincide with government recommendations. Volunteers and staff will be working to sanitize the facility on a continual basis. And for the time being, we’re asking everyone entering the church to wear a mask in order to protect those most at risk. We’ll have free masks available if you don’t have one or just forgot. And for those not able to wear a mask due to health issues, we plan to make optional seating available. Families of young children should know that we understand it may be difficult to keep masks on your kids, so just do your best. Masks are not recommended for children under age 2. 

We anticipate all of these adjustments will be for a limited time, but these new protocols are an excellent way of visibly demonstrating care and compassion to those who are most vulnerable. Please understand we have carefully considered our options and approach based on the guidance of medical professionals who are part of our congregation, along with the recommendations of the CDC and state governing authorities–all of these, while at the same time seeking God’s wisdom through prayer. Although we long to see you face-to-face, we remain committed to gathering in a safe and welcoming manner. 

Also know if your health is currently compromised or you’re not quite ready to meet in a group setting, we understand and encourage you to remain at home for now. We want you to be safe, healthy, and comfortable! Meanwhile we hope you’ll stay connected via New Hope’s “virtual-church” services which will be streaming during both the 9:00 and 11:00 AM services. You’ll find the online services here: LivestreamYouTube, or Facebook.

We’re also working to resume “in-person” opportunities for our various ministries and will communicate those plans with you in more detail soon. However, once the building has reopened for services on June 21st, small groups may resume meeting onsite following our recommended guidelines. Note: The facility at 1340 Haslett Rd. will temporarily remain closed and the Youth Ministry will continue to connect virtually and hopefully engage in-person following social distancing guidelines. 

As you can imagine, because the church represents a broad cross-section of society, it’s natural to find people of many different opinions regarding how we should move forward. Again, we’ve established our process by utilizing the advice of medical professionals, recommendations of governing authorities and above all else, biblical principles for interacting with each other. Please look for more details regarding our written plans and protocols soon. As we’re all aware the nature of guidelines, recommendations, information, and conditions change frequently, so when we need to make adjustments, we’ll communicate this. We don’t expect to get everything perfect, and we’ll learn and adapt as we go–but it’s most important that we extend grace to each other in the midst of these remarkable times. 

Finally, I’m personally so very grateful our God has everything under His control. It’s in times like these that we’re reminded we need Him more than ever. He clearly is using these circumstances to draw people to Himself, and for that we praise Him even in the midst of our struggles.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

nh worship East Lansing

Planning to join us from home?

Watch with our virtual church family