10 August 2020
Dear Beloved in Christ,
As you read this communication, I hope this finds you and your families safe and healthy, as we continue living our lives to some normality during this COVID-19 pandemic
Your board of directors and I have continued to keep in close communication during these times of isolation and social distancing. We continue to move forward with the updating and remodel of the interior of our church building, with the prayers that when we are finally able to come back in person with one another, you will come into a fresh and updated worship environment.
We continue to adhere Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in Wisconsin Legislature vs. Palm shut down the Governor’s stay- at-home order, along with maintaining with the current regulations and rulings that come from our Mayor, as well as state and federal officials, as it pertains to safe practices during this COVID-19 pandemic.
While our prayers have been to see our statistical numbers go down, they sadly seem to be increasing daily. As of Monday, August 10th, there are over 60,000 documented positive cases of COVID-19 and over 1,000 deaths in the state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, some of your friends and family members are part of those statistics.
As the economic impact of the virus has turned the lives of countless people upside-down, many residents in our state will suffer because of this ruling. Employees called back to work by their employees without PPE will have difficult decisions to make about their future. Vulnerable populations of people will be at even higher risk than before. To quote one of my colleagues in ministry, Rev. Kerri Parker, the executive director from the Wisconsin Council of Churches: “…this is the time to make choices that support the vulnerable, rather than sacrifice them in an impossible quest for short-term victory over a virus that will be with us for a long time.
As a pastor, I grieve the brokenness that has led our leaders to politicize this public health emergency. And as your pastor, I want you to know that although our state may be “opening up for business,” things will not be business-as-usual at Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church for some time. Several counties, including Milwaukee, will keep the safe-at-home order in effect.
While this ruling does not change the health conditions of people in our church, the availability of testing or protective equipment for healthcare workers or personal use across the state, it also does not change any of my recommendations to the board, that we should refrain from gathering in person for worship until we enter an appropriate phase of the Governor’s Badger Bounce Back Plan and the advice of the Wisconsin Council of Churches.
However, there are ways that you and I can continue to stay connected and engaged with one another, not only as individuals of faith, but as a church family. The board of directors and I invite you to continue to connect and engage in the following ways:
- Continue to prayer for your pastor, staff, board of directors, and most of all one another.
- Continue to connect with us and worship with us each Sunday for our ONLINE WORSHIP WATCH PARTIES, starting at 11:00AM, which are accessible on-line through our YouTube, Facebook and Web page.
- Know that our Congregational Care Team is available and will provide care via telephone or email. If you have a care need, prayer or praise request, you can contact the church office (414-383-1100) or via email at email@example.com. Please leave a message with your information, if you need someone to contact you back, as well as leaving us your prayer or praise request. The weekly Prayer & Praise email will continue to go out each Wednesday morning.
Additionally, as a Community of Faith, continue to support your church financially. We need your faithfulness now more than ever so that we can sustain things during our physical absence. Bills still need to be paid, yours, as well as ours. There are several ways you can support the church financially:
- You can go to our website at www.milwaukeemcc.org and go to our giving page and pay by credit card or ACH where you see “Give Online”
- You can go to our PayPal link at: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/2384667
- Sign up for Bill Pay with your financial institution and set up a recurring gift to the church.
- Send your financial gift via Check or Credit Card, with the tithing envelope that has been provided with this letter. If you need more Tithes/Offering envelopes, let me know and I will be happy to send you more.
In John 14:1-14, when Jesus said farewell to his friends, he told them: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He wanted to prepare them because he knew they had troubled hearts. I do not want your hearts to be troubled, but I really do not want them to be broken.
Knowing that these are unprecedented times in each of our lives, please be assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure that all gets back to normal soon. Therefore, although businesses across the state may be reopening, Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church will not resume in-person worship, gatherings, or meetings until it is safe to do so. Please know, that I will continue to monitor the situation and work with our Board of Directors, local government, public health officials, our denomination, as well as our local Communities of Faith.
Know that you are loved and held in prayer, not only by me, but each staff and member of our board of directors. Please leave me a message at the church or email me, if you have any further concerns.
I look forward to seeing each of you in person once again when we are able. Know that we will get through this together!
Blessings to each of you!
Reverend Tory V. Topjian
Worship Services – Sundays at 11am
1239 W Mineral Street • Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-383-1100 • www.milwaukeemcc.org