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Letter From Pastor Luther - April 10th, 2020

Week 5           

            As we approach the wonder of the Paschal Celebration we find ourselves, for yet another week, in the self-imposed isolation that prudence requires so that together, we do our part to slow and eventually end, the plague that is COVID 19. 

            The church continues to try to improve our outreach to the congregation.  It is important, especially at a time like this, that we support one another.  Remember, we are church together.  Please do your part by checking in with folks you know (virtually, of course).  And if you discover a need with which the church can help, please let us know.  We’re here for you!

            You will have received an email from our church president, Dr. Brent Brown, with an update from him, but I want to share a new and exciting bit of news with you, and then conclude with some information previously sent, but which is still relevant. 

            First, as we prepare for Easter with repentant and open hearts, we want to encourage all of our members to participate in our Easter vigil.  What this has meant in previous years is that we commit ourselves to a block of time, and the church is open for prayer from the close of the Good Friday worship all the way through to Easter Sunday morning.  This year, we cannot do so in our sanctuary, but God’s special gift to everyone, is that you can get out of bed, and be in your pajamas, and be in prayer and be vigilant, awaiting the resurrection, together!  Please commit yourself to doing so.....pick an hour and let us know.  Let our congregation keep watch for the during of the Easter Vigil (Good Friday evening through Easter Sunday morning).  We can still do this, with much greater convenience than usual! 

            Second, on this Easter Sunday, we will be celebrating the sacrament virtually.  That means, we will want all of our members and worshippers to be ready with bread and grape juice/wine, and when the officiating Pastor, at the appropriate moment in our virtual worship, utters the words of institution, we will all be able to take the sacrament together.  In order to prevent possible (even inadvertent) abuses of the sacrament, that part of the worship service will not be a part of what is visible, when the services are posted to our webpage or our YouTube channel.  In the case of households, where more than one person is present, then please serve one another with the following words:  “The Body of Christ, given for you” as the consecrated bread is served.  The response that the recipient might say is:  “Amen.”  Then with the grape juice/wine, please say, as you give it to another:  “The Blood of Christ, shed for you”, with the appropriate response from the recipient again being, “Amen.”

            This will be our first attempt at virtual communion, so there are bound to be challenges.  But please be patient with us and with yourselves.  This is God’s special gift of grace to us, and on this wonderful time of celebration, it is especially important for us to remember that in all things and in all times and in all places, God is in control, not us! 

            And now by way of reminders:

            1). The campus will remain closed until further notice, with all worship and study times going online.  All external activities that normally take place on campus have also been postponed indefinitely.  At this point, as previously mentioned, we are planning worship through Easter Sunday, anticipating a likely virtual worship format through the month of April.  Ministry staff remains available by telephone or email, so please reach out if you have a need.

            2). Sunday morning worship is going to continue at 10:00 am on Facebook Live.  ( ), and later posted on our webpage ( ) and our YouTube channel ( ).  Look for the worship outline online at: . ( )

            3). We are continuing to reach out with evening devotions live every evening (Monday thru Saturday) at 7:00 pm.  You can access these devotions at the internet addresses listed above.

            4). Every weekday (Monday thru Friday), you can join Pr. Tim and other ministry staff in a check in time on Zoom.  This is how you get there.  ( ).  I hope you’ll join us, just to let us know how you are doing, to say hi to your neighbors, and to let us know if you need anything.  Remember, we’re here for you!

            For those who use the devotional “The Word in Season,” they are in stock in the church and we can mail them to you if you let us know you’d like them.  Please email or and we’ll make sure a copy is sent to you. 

            The significance of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection is perhaps more apropos and poignant than ever.  Our human proclivity for wanting to be in control, renders us confused and afraid, with an overwhelming sense of helplessness at times like ours.  Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the answer.  We have been blessed with responsibilities and gifted with gifts to share, always.  But make no mistake.  God is in control.  And now we have the privilege to celebrate that.  Let’s come together for worship this Easter Sunday, and remember that God’s love for us is everything.  Together, let us proclaim:  “He is Risen!”  For He is Risen, Indeed!

            Easter blessings to all!  Christ is Risen!

            Pr. Luther

- After worship, around 11 am, Darrell and Nancy Datte host our after worship coffee/donut fellowship time (BYOC/D) on Zoom, and look forward to welcoming everyone in our community. Please think about joining in and saying hi to your brothers and sisters. That gathering can be found here:

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