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Letter From Pastor Luther - April 24th, 2020

Week 7             Yet another week of “isolation”.  There is no particularly easy way to say this anymore.  What was once perhaps a novelty is quickly getting old.  No one likes it much anymore at all.  Even those of us who get the scientific reasons for maintaining the “stay at home” orders are getting a fraction impatient.  But patient we must be, if we hope to avoid a recurrence of the pandemic or the multitude of risks associated with it.  Please pray for wisdom in our political and societal leadership, and especially for patience for all of us, to ensure the best decisions.             As far as our congregation is concerned, we are doing as well as one might expect in diaspora.  Trying to mix music and set up electronics; offering pastoral support and counsel to people in need; maintain connections with seniors and youth; all of this is challenging right now.  But we are persevering.              A couple of things to note:             First, we have made a couple of decisions that we’d like to share with you.  We are announcing today that we will continue to hold virtual services on April 26, May 3 and May 10.  We will continue to consult with our medical professionals to get the latest updates and entertain when and as importantly, “how,” we’ll reopen our campus.             Due to restrictions of gathering and scheduling, our annual Vacation Bible School has been canceled for 2020.             I have been touched by the significant gifts I have received for the pastor’s discretionary fund.  This is a fund we turn to for folks in untenable and desperate situations.  Sadly, now more than ever, there are a lot of folks in that position.  To those of you who have exercised such generosity for those in need, thank you, thank you, thank you!             A reminder to everyone to stay safe.  Wash your hands with soap, frequently and vigorously.  Keep your distance from others.  At least six feet.  And don’t go out unless absolutely necessary.  Please remember, these activities are not just acts of self-preservation, but acts of charity to protect vulnerable individuals who might be harmed in having contact with us.             I’m feeling increasingly more comfortable with the professional quality of our worship and devotional presentations, thanks in large measure to Scott’s increasing comfort with live-streaming, and the improvements he’s made to our equipment.  This is not to mention, the wonderful job all of our musicians have been doing to adapt to these challenging circumstances.  Worship is live-streamed on our YouTube channel on Sunday morning at 10 am, and the devotions, every evening, Monday through Saturday at 7 pm on Facebook Live.             Last week, Deacon Mindy offered some helpful hints about how to access the church’s posts on the Facebook Live and YouTube platforms, as well as our website.  I’ll repeat it here:

          How to get to YouTube on Sundays For Sunday morning worship (at 10:00am) you will not go to Facebook to connect with the live stream.                All Sunday services will be held on YouTube.  You can either go to our website and  wait for the “Join Us for Worship” banner to pop up.  From there, click on the “YouTube” link.  You will be  taken directly to the YouTube channel for the live service. 

                     Or, you can go directly to our YouTube channel on Sunday morning by connecting with this link.  Either way, you will be taken to the live stream for worship. 

                       (Remember to join us for “Virtual Coffee Hour” after worship every Sunday.  A Zoom link will come out  in the Friday announcements.) 

                       How do I turn Facebook notifications for live videos on or off?

                       To change your general settings for live video notifications:

                       Click at the top right of Facebook and select Settings.

                      Select Notifications on the left.

                      Click Video, then select your notification options.

                      To change your live video notifications from a specific Page:

                      Go to the Page.

                     Click Following.

                     Click  next to Notifications.

                     Select the type of notifications you'd like to receive:

                     If Standard or Highlights is selected, you'll receive live video notifications                     from the Page.

                    Select Off to turn off all live video notifications from the Page.

                    Note: When you're watching a live video or a video that was live, you can tap or                     click  Subscribe to be  notified the next time the person or Page starts a live                     broadcast.

Additionally, on our church website, there is a link to the Facebook page. 

               If you haven’t already done so, please tune into Pr. Tim’s check in time at 2 pm Monday to Friday.( ).  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!

            I hope that you are staying well and safe and healthy.  Please, please remember, if you need anything, reach out to us.  We are here for you.  I also want to encourage you to stay in touch with your neighbors and friends, and fellow members of our congregation.  Give them a call, and let them know you’re thinking of them.  Many folks are feel lonely these days, and a call is much appreciated.

            We are, as we have always been, in our loving God’s hands.  Please don’t let yourself fall prey to the temptation to forget that!  And to the extent you are able, please share that truth with everyone! 

In Christ's service, 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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