Friends in Christ, March 17, 2020
I write this note as we take this adventure into the unknown. In 41 years of ministry leadership, nothing has happened like this. Life is changing rapidly due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. In order to comply with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations and the recommendations from Douglas County Health Department calling on us to limit our gatherings in order to slow the spread of the virus, we are taking the following actions.
Bishop Brian Maas sent this recommendation to all congregations yesterday: “I’m writing to urge you to suspend your in-person gatherings for public worship and other events for the weeks ahead. Knowing that policy advisors may change the timeframes again, I would encourage you to suspend in-person worship and events at least through Easter, and be prepared to extend that suspension as needed.”
Therefore, we will be suspending worship and all other activities at Grace and St. Luke’s for the next four weeks.
Remember: not gathering in a building does not mean we cease being Church! We are still part of the one Body of Christ, and we still connect with one another in prayer, worship, learning, and service. Regardless of our congregation’s size, we can be church together, even have a sense of worshiping together, without actually gathering face-to-face.
I would ask that we make every effort to support the ministry of Christ through the church. Please mail your regular giving to the office. If you would like to set up electronic giving, we can do that. Please call the office and we can answer any questions regarding this process.
I am exploring options for sharing the Sunday morning message. Please connect to our Facebook pages so that we can share ongoing updates easily. If you don’t have a computer connection and would like a copy of the Sunday message, we can arrange to mail one to you.
We are exploring options so that the ministry of sharing food from Grace’s Loaves and Fishes Pantry with those in need continues. At this time, we are limiting people’s entry into the building for this ministry. We may stop entry and instead hand bags of food out through the door. We will need lots of bags to do this so your donations would be welcome. The office will remain open each week day morning.
I would like to request that we each commit to supporting one another during this time. I regularly pray in the morning. I would invite you to pray then or at a time that works best for you. Let us pray for one another, the body of Christ, for those directly affected by the virus, for our leaders and for the wellbeing of all of God’s creation. Don’t hesitate to call one another, encouragement and conversation bring blessings.
On Sunday, as I ended my message, I quoted Joshua 1:9. God spoke to Joshua with these words: “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord Your God is with you wherever you go.”
May the powerful presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit attend to our lives.
Pastor Damon Laaker