Our Response to COVID-19

Our Response to COVID-19

Our church determined last evening to cancel all worship services from now through March 29th. This decision was made in order to follow the directives given us from our government to have no public gatherings over 10 people for the next 15 days.

As we discuss this, we recognized that at least three different commandments come into play. The Third Commandment calls us to protect our time with God in His Word as the Lord says, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” The Fourth Commandment calls us to honor and serve all those in authority and respect their decisions as the Lord says, “Honor your father and mother.” The Fifth Commandment calls us to care for our neighbors’ physical body and life as the Lord says, “You shall not murder.”

In limiting the size of worship gatherings, the government is not attempting to deny our freedom of religion. Rather, government authorities have issued mandates that they believe will protect citizens from harm. This is in accord with our desire to protect life.

CONTINUE IN THE WORD

Since all of these biblical principles are valid, it is legitimate for our congregations to strive to comply with governmental regulations on the one hand and, on the other, to find alternate means to enable God’s people to be fed with Word and sacrament. Therefore, we laid out a bare plan of how to provide God’s Word to you over the next two weeks, and longer if need be:

  1. Sunday Sermons will continue to be produced and recorded to be put on our website.
  2. We will look into working with Pastors Gumm and Luchterhand in recording Lenten sermons as well.
  3. We strongly encourage all members and friends to promote the use of our website, which includes: sermons here and online giving here.
  4. Very soon pastor will also begin to provide a daily email with Bible study material. This material can be used for daily personal or family meditation. At a time when we seem to both need God’s Word more and have more time on our hands, God is providing us an opportunity renew our personal study.

COMMUNICATION AND CARING

Finally, we want to emphasize that cancelling worship does not mean we stop existing as God’s Church. Recognize that this is an extraordinary opportunity to let our light shine as each of look for ways to serve the people in our church and community in Christian love:

  1. We are organizing a list of members who would be willing to call other members to help maintain communication. If you would help, please reply to this email.
  2. Any special member needs and prayers will be communicated through these calls to the office and shared via our daily devotional material.
  3. As time allows , Pastor will also seek to make more one-on-one phone calls with members and winter visitors.

In all this, we know that there is no need to worry or panic. We cast our cares upon the Lord. We know His grace and power reign over us and for us. As Paul wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” So let’s draw near our Light, Jesus Christ, through His Word. And let’s let our light shine in gospel confidence and service so that others may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven.

In Christ,
Pastor Gensmer

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