COVID-19 Update from the Pastor

Council has met to discuss our ongoing response to the covid-19 pandemic. The council has begun developing a plan for reopening that will reflect the scientific data from the El Paso County health dashboard. The council has determined that the sanctuary will remain closed to worship through Easter. We are hopeful, however, that soon after Easter, we will be able to return to indoor worship in some capacity if the trend downward continues.

We are in a very interesting time where many people have received vaccines and feel personally safe to return to more crowded venues. However, faith leaders, including myself, are not eligible for a vaccine until March 5. As our pastors and worship leaders get vaccinated and more and more of the congregation receives vaccines and the trend lines of the pandemic push downward I am confident that we will return to indoor worship this spring. We do need to keep an eye out for the variants of the virus and the possibility of another surge which would necessitate delaying a little longer. But, all in all, the end is in sight.

It’s helpful to me, when I get impatient, to look at the numbers. In February we had an incident rate of 125.5 and a positivity rate of 5.97%. Last August we were lower than that with an incident rate of 34.6 and a positivity rate of 4.53. Now that was before we had vaccines, but it does remind me that while we are lower relative to the peak in December, we are still higher than many other points during the pandemic. But we’re going the right direction.

Given the decline and turn to Yellow on the dial, we have decided to return to outdoor in-person worship on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesdays at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m weather permitting. We will still provide online worship and are committed to that being a permanent feature of our ministry. The outdoor Sunday worship will be live and not a watch party like we did last year. In addition, we are allowing small groups to return to meeting in person as long as they wear masks and their numbers do not exceed 50% of the room capacity in which they meet. I pray these small measures will give us some comfort as we endure the waiting till we can resume worship in the sanctuary.

Thank you for understanding and hanging with your congregation during these trying times.

-Pastor Travis

Featured post

Peel House Progress – April 17, 2021

This week, we start inside the kitchen. The drywall has gone up and everything is getting mud and tape!
The doorway into the back patio from the kitchen is being opened up. The rest of the bricks will be removed and a door put in!
In the parlor, the old fireplace, which was covered up years ago, is getting drywall and custom cabinetry!
Going upstairs, just off the main staircase, the whole second floor is getting new paint! Final coat went on later this week.
The second floor coffee bar is coming together!
The soon to be door for the stairwell going to the third floor from the elevator room on the second floor.
The view from the same photo above, just to the left. You can see the new stairwell getting a new wall!
More bricks added to the elevator shaft!

“While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them,
‘Have you anything here to eat?’”
-Luke 24: 41

When I’m teaching first communion seminar one of the key things that we teach is about the real presence of Christ. Trying to explain that the bread and wine are not actually flesh and blood but are the real presence of Christ for us, can get a little tricky sometimes. But they seem to understand that the table of Christ brings us together, it makes us one in the community (communion) of Jesus. It is amazing how life giving it is to gather around a table in community with others.

In the gospel for this week, Jesus shows up to the disciples again. He greets them, has a brief conversation with them, assuring them that it is really him. That he has come back to be with them and assuring them of their mission. He asks if they have anything to eat. They give him broiled fish, and I suspect in the eating of that fish, it is evident that he is indeed with them in flesh and bone. It’s in this exchange I’m assured that Jesus intended for us to come together in his meal knowing that he is always with us, that he is really real, and we can experience it in the bread and wine he gives for us. So, as we teach to those who are preparing to receive communion, Christ is in, with, and under the bread and wine we receive. Just as he is with us always, really real.-Pastor Carrie

-Pastor Carrie

Peel House Progress – April 10, 2021

Busy week at the Peel House inside and out! All things electrical are happening next week, so this week was a time to prepare.
Colorado Springs Utilities brought in the new electric box that will get hooked up next week!
On the elevator side, more bricks went up!
Concrete was poured on the steps.
Another view of the great concrete work!
A view down the elevator shaft.
What will be the elevator entrance on the second floor.
Great progress on the main steps going upstairs.
Tons of drywall work is being done. Next up.. paint!
Lois and Pastor Peel stopped by for a tour of the renovations. He even got the opportunity to sign the wall before it gets painted!

Children’s Spirituality Forum: Mindfulness Practices for Children

Sunday, April 18 at 11 to 12 p.m. on the First Lutheran Lawn

This event is for preschool and elementary-school children and their parents. We will be doing mindfulness practices (think yoga poses in game-style and breathing techniques) from Tracy Daniel’s book Mindfulness for Children: 150+ Mindfulness Activities for Happier, Healthier, Stress-Free Kids. We will also be doing mindfulness games that will help us get in balance with our bodies and snacks will be provided!

Mindfulness is a way to connect to your body and your mind in a way that is relaxing and fun. It is good for when you feel moody, stressed, or just need to relax. These practices are great ways for your children to settle their bodies after long hours in front of screens. We hope this will be a helpful resource for you during this stressful pandemic time, but also activities that you can use whenever you need them.

“Receive the Holy Spirit”
-John 20: 22

When are you most open to new things? Is there ever a time that change isn’t scary?

The disciples knew that the world would never go back to what it had once been. That Jesus who was with them, who they trusted, who was their teacher was gone. But, here in this place, in this locked room they were challenged by Jesus with them again. They likely weren’t quite sure what to do with that, what to believe and what that would mean for their future. I wonder how many felt relief with a heavy sigh, that Jesus is back, things can go back to normal now. But that wasn’t the message that Jesus would bring. Things would never go back to normal. The world would be different and the role of the disciples in the world would be different. They would now have to go and share the good news, they would have to go and make disciples, they would have to share that Jesus is with us always. They could no longer walk behind Jesus and play a supporting role they were going to have to do the work. So just as Jesus had now called them to go forth he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The gift of the Spirit is upon us, friends. How will we go forth in a world that will never be the same tomorrow as it is today and share the good news?

-Pastor Carrie

Ingathering of Food for Care and Share is on!

Challenge Accepted! During the month of April, we will be collecting food to feed those in need. To celebrate bringing worship back into our Sanctuary, Pastor Travis has challenged us to collect 2021 pounds of food! Care and Share is currently in need of peanut butter, canned fruit, canned tuna, and canned vegetables. Once we begin worship in our Sanctuary on April 11, you will find the collection containers near our outdoor coffee and lemonade reception. Each Friday we will deliver what we’ve collected to Care and Share and update the congregation on our progress!

There’s also an online component for those wishing to make a donation. Our goal is 2021 pounds of food and 2021 dollars donated. Here’s the link to donate. Care Drive – Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado (

Let’s do this!

Peel House Progress – April 3, 2021

Outside this week a lot of prep was done to pour concrete. This is right after it was poured for the elevator!
More prep work near the staff parking lot.
Another view. This is where the new transformer will sit.
Inside more drywall and trim went back up!
It is really coming together.

We Have an App for That!

We now have an app that allows you to see the calendar, sign up for events, online giving and much more!

Use your phone’s app store to find Ministry One church app and download and search for First Lutheran Colorado Springs. Or open this link with your phone. Once you’ve downloaded the app click on “profile” and use your cell-phone number to login. Note – only use an email address if it is unique to you and not shared by a spouse or family member.

Pastor Travis Norton

They finally dislodged the stuck ship from the Suez Canal. 9 Billion dollars of trade had been lost each day for the week it was stuck. Everything got backed up, people had to make hard decisions about going around Africa or waiting it out, each decision fraught with expense. But now it’s free and the canal is open again and things are flowing. A friend of mine pointed out that this is like Easter. Our lives, our flow got disrupted when death blocked our path to God. But Jesus dislodged the rock from the tomb and got life flowing again. Easter is about hope. That which is stuck will be dislodged. That which blocks our path will be removed. The grief, the sorrow, the despair will all give way to rejoicing and joy. I think this year that message is harder to hear and more needed than many years before. Life is returning!

-Pastor Travis

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