March 19, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of CtL,
Yesterday afternoon I received an email from The Rev. Deborah Hutterer, Bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA which included the following:
“Last Friday I sent out a communication that urged congregations to offer alternative worship that was not in person, and if they did hold worship to follow the CDC guidelines. At that time the CDC recommended groups of less than 50. And on early Monday the guidelines shrunk to less than 10 people in a gathering. I also thought that this request would be until early April, and now the CDC and World Health Organization are suggesting that this may be 6-8 weeks. As the Grand Canyon Synod Bishop, I support following their recommendations.”
There have already been so many changes in just the last week. Learning that we will not be able to gather for worship on Easter Sunday is difficult and sad. But, in these times, we must cling to the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are connected to all the saints who have lived before us and have lived through times and circumstances worse than those in which we find ourselves today. Hope, Faith, and Love will sustain us in these times, too.
Our worship team has already begun planning for an online worship experience which will include special music and Easter decorations. It will be different, but the truth of the resurrection which is at the very core of our Christian faith is the same yesterday, today and always.
Please forgive the frequency of the emails from the church office this week. We desperately want you to have the most current information and make available to you resources for your spiritual nurture as things unfold. There will be yet another email Saturday which will include a bulletin for this Sunday’s worship. By 8:00 Sunday morning a recorded online worship experience will be available on the front page of our website. It is not a live feed; you can tune in anytime you want and fast forward and rewind as you want.
Tonight, we have posted on the website a reflection about Holy Communion and the idea of sacrament. Holy Communion will be included in Sunday’s worship online and tonight’s post offers some thoughts about participating at home.
I will still be present at the church every Sunday morning from 8:00 am until Noon for any individual or family who wishes for me to join them in individual prayers and private communion. If more than 6-8 people happen to arrive at the same time, I would ask you to wait in the fellowship hall for a bit until the folks before you have left.
I will also be sending an email to people who have attended the Monday Study with instructions for how we will participate together in the study this Monday morning using Zoom.us. If you haven’t attended in the past but would like to attend Monday, please send me a note at email@example.com so I can include you in that email. Most of the time on Monday will likely be spent in conversation and prayer about the current situation, but our topic has been the Bible — its origins, transmission, and its role as our book of faith.
May Christ grant us wisdom, and grant us courage for the facing of this hour.