Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Worship at Trinity: Acting out of love, not fear
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
After consulting with other leaders and experts, Trinity has decided to cancel in-person worship services and all other group gatherings at the church building for the next two weeks with the exception of Meals on Wheels deliveries. Regular in-person worship will resume on March 29 unless the situation requires us to continue to refrain from public gatherings.
The Youth Service scheduled for March 22 will be rescheduled.
Even though we will not worship together in person, we will put a Scripture reading, children’s sermon, sermon and prayers on YouTube each Sunday, and our Thursday evening Lenten gatherings will be available online through Zoom (more information will be forthcoming). Email communication will continue, including some devotions and words of encouragement that I will be writing. I will continue to come to the church office and be available for pastoral care.
We are refraining from group gatherings out of care for and love for the most vulnerable people among us. Even though many of us may not be in great danger, all of us know and interact with people who have health issues and for whom COVID-19 would be dangerous.
The Church has a long history of caring for people in times of epidemics. In the earliest centuries of the Church, Christians stayed in cities where plagues ran rampant and cared for their own sick as well as for their pagan neighbors. Because of the efforts of Christians, many lives were saved and many people came to faith.
In 1527, when the plague came to Martin Luther’s hometown of Wittenburg, Luther advised people to be careful, to seek medical attention, and to avoid unnecessary contact with others. He also reminded pastors, government officials, parents and ordinary citizens that followers of Jesus are empowered by the grace and love of God to care for one another. We are right to be cautious, but we do not have to be afraid. We trust in a God who cares for us all.
Please think of the more vulnerable people around you. Do you know elderly people who live alone? Are there people with medical issues who are close to you? Will there be children in your neighborhood home from school? Give those people a call. Let them know you care. Offer assistance in a safe, responsible way. Pray for them.
I am going through the church directory, praying for each of you by name.
If there is any way that I can be helpful to you, please reach out to me. As I said, I will be available in the office during the week, and I am always available by phone or email.
Tim Oslovich, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church