Dear First Lutheran,
Things change quickly with this Coronavirus and so we’ve had to adjust some of the decisions we had previously communicated. We will be heeding the recommendation of our Governor and Health officials and postponing our Gallery of Living Art (GOLA). GOLA will not be held this weekend. We hope to hold it in the near future. We’ve also decided to cancel worship for the next three weekends, March 14/15, March 21/22, March 28/29. However, we will be creating online worship experiences for each week and encourage you to participate during the time you regularly worship. We don’t want to be presumptive about when we will resume worship but will communicate that as soon as we know.
In addition to postponing GOLA and moving worship online we are taking the following actions:
• All church activities are suspended until April 1. We encourage groups to check in with each other and find online ways to meet during this time.
• Pastors and Caregivers will be reaching out to people via phone calls and emails in lieu of visitation.
• Church staff will create online worship experiences that will be distributed via e-mail, social media and our website on Sundays.
• The church facilities will remain open for 12 step groups and other outside groups to use at their discretion.
• The church office will be open during business hours to receive phone calls and emails and coordinate our ministry during this time.
These are anxious times, so we turn to our Lord in prayer to give us guidance and peace. Christians have long been known to care for the sick and those in need. Today that care is shown by refraining from meeting in large groups to protect the most vulnerable among us. We are people who follow a Lord who gave His own life as a sacrifice. As a result, we are willing to make the sacrifices necessary, to help suppress the spread of this virus. We do this not just for our own sake, but for the sake of those who are most threatened.
Please stay in communication with the pastors and church staff. Let us know how you are doing and how we can serve you. If you or someone you know is in need of anything, please share that with us so we can help. We are in this together. I think of the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers, but God used him to save the whole nation of Israel. He said at the end of Genesis “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.” God doesn’t cause things like the Coronavirus, but he can use it to bring us together and help us remember that we are part of a community that can do great work to protect and serve one another.
We will be communicating with the congregation frequently during this time as we adjust the way we minister to one another. May God guide us with creativity, faith and patience during these difficult times. The Lord be with you!