IMPORTANT UPDATES

Mar 19, 2020

UPDATES MARCH 24

Effective on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Or until a new notice is received extending the state order, here are some important points of the Michigan governor STAY AT HOME order as it effects our staff and ministries:

All individuals who leave their home or place of residence must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence except to the extent that those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Restricting the number of workers present on premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure functions.  

We are asked to promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.

We will begin to keep at least six feet from one another, to the maximum extent possible, including for clients who are standing in line, as well staff and volunteers.

Work or volunteers for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities are exempt from this Stay at Home order, and we will continue to serve clients in Sally’s Kitchen and the Food Pantry.

So, this order does not mean that we wholesale shut down our corps and programs. What this means for us as The Salvation Army is that we can, and are expected, to continue providing the essential services of food and shelter we are currently doing. What does need to change is to determine who is essentially required to work on on location. In order to make this happen. Minimum support staff can work on location remembering to practice social distancing and hygiene rules. Battle Creek would classify the following employees as essential to operate our helping ministries: Corps Officers, Social Service staff, Cook & Custodian. 

  • The Food Pantry and Sally’s Kitchen will remain open with changes to maintain 6 feet apart distance. 
  • In the Kitchen, Take-out orders will be encouraged for meals, one per person who is not eating in the dining room.
  • Chairs will be placed to keep proper seating distances. People cannot move chairs.
  • The pantry will allow 2 people in the lobby area at a time. The remaining clients will wait in the hallway in properly spaced chairs. 
  • The front office will remain closed. Phones will be answered by Social Services.
  • Non essential staff will not be working from the office until further notice.  

CORPS PROGRAMMING

Corps Programming (Sunday Services, Bible Study, Men’s and Women’s Ministries, Youth programs, Corps Council, and Advisory Board) will not meet during this time of the STAY AT HOME order. This is a directive from headquarters.  Congregation members are encouraged to reach out to others through phone calls, texts, social media, and hand written notes.  Pray for one another and BE the church.  We know this includes Easter Sunday on April 12, and the division is working on a plan to divisionally bring us together so we do not feel the loss on this important Holy Day.  More will be addressed regarding Holy Week Worship soon.   Any concerns may be e-mailed to kevin.vanzee@usc.salvationarmy.org.

We continue to pray for all of us, (Officers, staff, volunteers, clients, and congregation) as we work through this pandemic together, keeping one another safe, and accountable.  Wash your hands often!  Use sanitizer to wipe down surfaces frequently.  Keep your distance and refrain from handshakes, hugs, and touching.  Cover your mouth when coughing, sneezing, yawning, etc.  Refrain from touching your face or hair.   Be encouraging to one another.  We are all stressed and have some fear and anxiety about all the news and protocols.  But we serve a God who knows all and God is in the details of what we are required to do. We will do our best together to honor Him and serve in His name in love.  You are each important to us.  Please let us know how we might specifically pray for you, your family, and the ministry of The Salvation Army in Battle Creek.  Stand firm!   I Corinthians 15:58

God bless you!
Majors Kevin & Christie Van Zee                                                                                           
Corps Officers


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