Suspending In-Person Worship

We will suspend services and all other activities beginning immediately through April 4th.

Suspending Worship, March 17 2020.pdf

Download the original letter from Pastor Steve by clicking the link above or see the text below:

Dear Fellow Workers in the Gospel,

These are extraordinary times in our world.  I do not every remember a time where the kind of restrictions and recommendations have been made about gathering together and being in public places.  It is not a light or easy decision to suspend public worship, but I believe that this option is the best one right now for the safety and well-being of all people and particularly those at risk.

On Sunday morning (3-15), I had a conversation with multiple nurses within the congregation and at that time, it was communicated to me that how we conducted worship on Sunday was ok.  However, since that conversation, the CDC issued new recommendations that lowered the number of people gathering together to be no more than 10 and the governor of Indiana required restaurants to be closed to dine-in customers.  With these new restrictions and inquiring again with several nurses—the overwhelming consensus was that we need to suspend services and gatherings at this time.

The council met on Tuesday night and confirmed this decision. 

We will suspend services and all other activities beginning immediately through April 4th.  We will reevaluate on March 31st to see if the suspension needs to be extended or if we resume normal activities beginning with the Palm Sunday Service on April 5st.  At this point in time, things change almost hourly and it is difficult to know what the appropriate decision is in two weeks.

I am working with Jamie Baker to make sure that some type of online ‘worship’ is available.  The goal is to provide both a mid-week Lenten ‘worship’ and a Sunday ‘worship’ experience available through the website.  Please contact Jamie Baker if you have particular questions about how to access these ‘worship’ experiences.

Additionally, this time of social separation may be a good time for individuals and/or families to take time to be intentional about reading passages from the Bible or portions from Luther’s Small Catechism and have discussions about them.  Another resource to feed your spirit in these days is to find a podcast which focuses upon spirituality {e.g.  RobCast with Rob Bell; Another Name for Everything with Richard Rohr, Sunday morning Matinee, Finding Fred (not explicitly religious but worth listening)}.

As always, I am available to communicate with by phone.  Feel free to contact me if needed for conversation and/or prayer. 

Please join me in praying this prayer from A Prayer Book for the Armed Services: 

Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. In this time of fear, danger, and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation and nations around the world with your wisdom, comfort those in distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

In God’s Radical Grace,

Stephen M. Wood

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