GREETINGS, FRIENDS CHURCH!


Dear Friends,

Many folks are eagerly waiting for information on when Battle Creek Friends Church will open its doors for worship. Some, on the other hand, have voiced their thoughts toward taking a slow and methodical approach. It seems we will never know the perfect moment to come together.  The chance to worship and be together is something we will never take lightly. As leadership, we know there are many opinions, scenarios, laws and situations to navigate. We must move forward together as the church, in grace and in peace, knowing that people will differ in what they feel is best.


WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE WILL BEGIN CHURCH SERVICES IN THE BUILDING ON JUNE 28TH! NEW SERVICE TIMES WILL BE 9:00 AM AND 11:00 AM.

It is up to every single individual to decide what is and what is not safe for them. Be assured that Battle Creek Friends Church will take as many steps as needed to increase everyone’s safety. Regardless of any measure that we include in our future worship though, we know that it is impossible to guarantee everyone’s complete safety. As a church, we want to do our best to make each person as safe as possible because it IS the right thing to do. Our decision-making process will not be determined by the media, by any hype, or by what other churches are doing. With hearts that are turned toward our Heavenly Father, let’s all work to prayerfully consider all ways toward a safe and meaningful worship and community experience.


By listening, conferring and praying about this, we will work toward a schedule of moving forward, knowing that to some degree this schedule should be fluid in its forward motion. It could change appropriately when restrictions are eased or heightened. Knowing that church facilities are not designed for social distancing and understanding how BCFC (Battle Creek Friends Church) was/is growing, we will have to continually adapt with resolve, in all possible ways, to take care of as many people as possible; while still acknowledging the possible threat that is still there for some congregants (mainly the elderly and the immune compromised)


Here are some possible scenarios that everyone at Friends Church will need to walk through together with grace:

1. Advice and opinions will be given many times over from others; sometimes it will come from the same person often. Our graceful reply toward each other should be filled with God-honoring language. Let us always put the safety of others first.


2. We need to ALWAYS be patient— this will be a different time AT CHURCH. A more different time than any of us have ever walked through. Some people will come not wanting to wear masks, and some people will come and be offended that others are not wearing masks.

 ----“That young mom, as amazing as she is, has no idea how to keep a face covering on a five-year-old. That young father doesn’t know how to keep his toddler from snotting all over the place. That elderly person may feel panicked when she or he can’t get big breaths through the mask and may pull it off.” (taken from Phil Stout)


3. We must understand that the decisions made by the leaders of the church are not specific to one demographic or person. Every person will feel differently about how we should do worship and do church. Please help us make everyone as comfortable as possible so that they can worship God.


4. Let’s do our VERY BEST to work toward making people feel safe and loved. Let’s continue on with our mission to Love God and Love People.

Listed at the top of our front page on the church Website is a comprehensive understanding of initial guidelines for attending Battle Creek Friends Church in the next few months. Please go to www.bcfriends.org/openchurch for a detailed outline and guidelines. If you do not have internet access, please call the office and we will be happy to mail you a copy.


With Love and Excitement,

In Christ,



Pastor John


Below you will find information about our church reopening to the public on June 28th, 2020. 

Precautions – What Battle Creek Friends Church (BCFC) is Doing To Promote A Safe Environment:


• BCFC will sanitize all main surfaces before every service, bible study, and activity. We will wipe down the handrails, doorknobs and anywhere people are likely to touch. We will use antibacterial cleaning supplies. We will have at least two assistants (people) working toward cleaning surfaces during services on Sunday Mornings.

• BCFC will open the doors if weather permits in order to allow fresh air to circulate.

• BCFC will have roped off sections of seating and removed chairs where needed to allow for at least 6 feet of space between family groups. (ATTEMPTING less than 10 in small sections) 

• BCFC will provide sanitizing wipes and/or disinfecting hand cleaner throughout the church for congregants.

• BCFC will provide cleaning supplies in the bathrooms.

• BCFC will not utilize bulletins for the time being. Instead, please find announcements online.


FriendsKIDS Children’s Ministry Through the Summer:


Through the summer of 2020 on Sunday Mornings, there will not be scheduled Children’s Ministry or nursery. The K-5th weekly Sunday morning lesson will be shown downstairs in the large group room at 9am and 11am and children must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. The lessons will continue to be available online as well. The changing station in the nursery will be available for parents who need to use it. Please note that the nursery is closed other than to use the changing table. Karen, our Children’s Ministry director, will be available for any questions. FriendsKIDS will continue their weekly targeted and intentional relational family connection; this will happen outside of Sunday Morning activities. We understand this will be hard for families, but for the safety of volunteers and families, we will wait to do classes for kids.


What Can I Expect When I Arrive On Sundays?:


In order to minimize contact with one another we are making some necessary changes to our worship service. As the risk diminishes or increases, we will make appropriate changes.

When you enter the church, please make your way directly to your seat. On your way into the sanctuary you will find an offering “box” by each door. You can present your tithes and offerings to the Lord either on your way in or out (also consider using our online giving app or website for giving). Seating is limited and some chairs will be removed. Please sit with family or those you came with. Please be respectful of others. Overflow seating will be available in the basement for viewing by video. If you have a praise or prayer request you wish to share, please contact us during the week by calling the office at 269-968-9376 or by sending an e-mail to office@bcfriends.org (no prayer request cards will be available). Following the service, please be mindful of social distancing. We do not want to create congestion at the exits. Please practice patience. Once you are dismissed please head directly outside. For the sake of those who wish to maintain distance, we suggest that you fellowship outside of the church building following the service while maintaining a safe distance. We understand that some may find these changes frustrating and restrictive. However, in the short term, these measures can be both an expression of our love and concern for others, as well as necessary and reasonable compromises that enable us to open earlier.


Expectations Of Those Attending Church:


We are also asking that those who attend take precautions. With your help, this will provide for a meaningful service where everyone can focus their hearts and minds on our Lord with minimal concerns. We respectfully ask that everyone follow these precautions out of love for one another, regardless of personal preference:

• Please stay home if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, or unexplained muscle soreness.

 • Please stay home if you are elderly and feel the risk is too high for you. Please stay in touch with us, so we can continue to serve you!

• Please stay home if you have had contact with someone who is sick.

• Please wash your hands before coming.

• Please maintain at least 6 feet of distance between one another. We know that some are comfortable with much less, but others may not be.

• If you use the restroom, please wipe down all surfaces you touch with a disinfectant wipe.

• Please wear a mask (at least until you have taken your seat)

• If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 10 days of attending a service, please let us know so we can inform the congregation. (Names will never publicly be released by the church)

• Feel free to wear gloves or other protective equipment if you choose.

• Please do not remain in the aisles or congregate in the common areas. If you wish to visit, please gather outside while maintaining social distancing.

Let us be humble, putting the needs and feelings of others before our own. This is a chance for us to show love to one another, even if we do not feel the need to protect ourselves to this extent.

Philippians 2:3-5

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.


Timeline For Re-Opening (Subject to Change):


June 1 thru June 14

Communication Campaign  // Staff Appointments

1.    Through mail, email, Facebook and phone let church community know the coming schedule. This includes limited church services beginning June 28th and continuing indefinitely pending the virus outcomes.

2.    Staff working in church building at own discretion.

3.    Continued Zoom staff meeting on Tuesday mornings.

4.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings.

5.    Staff appointments allowed in office while respecting current social distancing measures.


June 14 thru June 21

Staff hours in office // but office still closed to public.

1.    Staff are encouraged to keep alternating hours in the office. This is a sort of re-acclimating process. Schedule to be kept online.

2.    All staff are to keep rigorous record and account of any fever or sickness symptoms and are asked to stay home if they suspect any illness.

3.    Office is still closed  for walk-in to the public.  Meetings by appointment only.

4.    Fully ready the church facility with appropriate communication in allocated spaces. Signs and directives.

5.    Communication publicized about church service in the building on June 28th.

a.    No children’s church.

b.    New church times of 9:00 am and 11:00 am. This will give adequate time between services to sanitize church and allow for less interaction with others.

c.     Fully distanced Sunday evening in-house bible study at 6:00 pm.

6.    Communicate guidelines for how we will do church.

a.    Family units sit together with rows spread further apart.

b.    We will ask that masks be worn before and after church.

c.     During church service people can take their mask off.

d.    No hand shaking before, during or after service.

e.    Staff to wear masks before and after service through the month of June unless State and National directives in this initiative are relaxed.

f.     Offering to be taken by established donation points.

7.    Sanitize Church with Serve-Pro professionals

8.    Beautify the building and grounds for Sunday re-opening.

9.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings.


June 28th thru July 4th

June 28th Begins in-building Sunday Worship  (Unless there are heightened restrictions in Calhoun County)

1.    First Sunday of IN-Person Church – June 28th // Service Times 9am and 11am

a.    No children’s church

b.    Video will be available in basement for children to watch, accompanied by at least one parent. Seats will be preset at 6ft distances in the children’s ministry area. Children can sit with family unit in church or in children’s ministry area.

c.     Nursery will only be available for parent to change diapers upon request.

d.    No coffee bar or donuts---Congregants are urged to bring their own coffee and donuts!

e.    Worship band is continued with three or less players/singers on stage.

f.     Offering will be given in a drop box outside the sanctuary.

2.    Two staff sanitizer positions are created so that areas can be cleaned immediately after they have been used.

3.    Fully distanced Sunday evening in-house bible study at 6:00 pm with Pastor John.

4.    Communicate to the congregants that office is only open by scheduled appointment. Until directives are lifted with masks in Michigan, all appointments must be scheduled.

5.    Children’s Ministry will continue weekly targeted and intentional relational family connection, which will happen outside of Sunday morning activities.

6.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings and children’s ministry resources available.

7.    Bible study and life groups can be scheduled in the building as long as they are limited to 10 or less people. A complete schedule of every gathering will be kept in the main office. Each area used by a small group will be cleaned and sanitized by group when finished.


July 5th thru August 1st

Continued Sunday worship in same manner listed above.

1.    Continue weekly worship in the manner conducted on June 28th.

2.    Weekly socially distanced in-person staff meetings.

3.    Socially distanced in-person elder meeting – July 14th

4.    Baptism service at Lee Lake // TBD (still being considered)

5.    Begin work on planning for Children’s Ministry Sunday mornings.

6.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings.

7.    Bible study and life groups can be scheduled in the building as long as they are limited to 10 or less people. A complete schedule of every gathering will be kept in the main office. Each area used by a small group will be cleaned and sanitized by group when finished.



August 2nd thru August 30th

Continued Sunday worship in same manner listed above

1.    All precautions and church directives remain in place unless regulations and directions become more relaxed at the state and federal level.

2.    Begin intentional communication on coming change on September 1 for Children’s Ministry.

3.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings.

4.    Bible study and life groups can be scheduled in the building as long as they are limited to 10 or less people. A complete schedule of every gathering will be kept in the main office. Each area used by a small group will be cleaned and sanitized by group when finished.


September 6th thru September 26th

Children’s Ministry begins – Still TBD

1.    All precautions and church directives remain in place unless regulations and directions become more relaxed at the state and federal level.

2.    Begin Children’s Ministry September 6th.

3.    Continued online Sunday church services as well as weekly online gatherings.

4.    Bible study and life groups can be scheduled in the building as long as they are limited to 10 or less people. A complete schedule of every gathering will be kept in the main office. Each area used by a small group will be cleaned and sanitized by group when finished.


Sept 27th thru October 25th

1.    All precautions and church directives remain in place unless regulations and directions become more relaxed at the state and federal level.

2.    More Information to be determined on September 1.