Dear friends at St. Mark Lutheran Church:
These are uncertain times! In the book of Philippians, the writer says, “Do not be anxious
about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” How do we, as a church family, respond to the general shutdown of our society in a way that reflects our faith and at the same time, protects those in our church and community who are most vulnerable?
Church Council has had multiple conversations about how to best respond, and just sent out a letter yesterday which indicated that we will be conducting “business as usual” with some precautions. The closure of the schools and virtually every other public institution has made us rethink that decision. So, beginning with this Sunday, March 15, Sunday & Wednesday worship and Sunday school will NOT be held at church. We do not know how long this suspension will last, but suspect it will be at least a few weeks. Other activities at church will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
This decision was made prayerfully and carefully. Sure, many of us are healthy and active, but we have a larger responsibility than to think just about ourselves. We have to consider the implications of carrying the virus into public spaces without even being aware of it; of our young ones who touch virtually every surface in the church; of our elders who come to church faithfully and who are vulnerable.
There are two proactive responses that we are initiating. First, there will be an abbreviated
service live-streamed at 10 a.m. on Sunday. It will be available on the St. Mark Facebook Page (St. Mark Lutheran Church – ELCA) and through YouTube. There will be worship songs, a sermon, and a children’s time. And we hope to be active in reaching out to our community as we are able, perhaps providing drive-through/walk-through lunches for our neighbors. In general, details will be available on the website, on the church Facebook page and sent to those for whom we have email addresses.
Please be prayerful for the situation, as we all navigate uncharted territory. As you are able, please be faithful with your offerings as well. They can be mailed to the church office, or you can contribute electronically here.
Thank you for your understanding, prayers, and compassion.
Pastor Beth Giller and the Council of St. Mark Lutheran Church